Prof. Jan Szyszko, Minister of the Environment, and Konrad Tomaszewski, Director General of the State Forests, signed the “Programme for the Białowieża Forest as UNESCO cultural and natural heritage site and the Natura 2000 site” in the Ministry of the Environment.
“For some time, a very disturbing phenomenon has occurred in the Białowieża Forest – the disappearance of natural habitats, the disappearance of stands. So far, this crisis has affected mostly spruce. The number of dead spruces in the Forest is already counted in millions. The occurrence of valuable, protected species of fauna and flora has been decreasing along with the degradation of habitats,” Prof. Szyszko explained at the press conference.
“The Programme for the Białowieża Forest as UNESCO cultural and natural heritage site and the Natura 2000 site" prepared by the Minister of the Environment, Prof. Jan Szyszko, Ph.D., and the Director General of State Forests, Konrad Tomaszewski, Ph.D., will serve the purpose of restoring natural habitats and slowing down their disappearance.
The Programme consists of two parts. The first one involves the preparation and making available to the public full documentation of all legal and economic acts, press articles, letters in the Ministry of the Environment and the General Directorate of State Forests concerning the Białowieża Forest.
The second part is a research and monitoring programme financed by the State Forests. One of its assumptions is to identify 1/3 of the area of the forestry managements which will be left without any human intervention. In the remaining part, the present situation must be improved immediately, i.e. the natural habitats need to be fully restored. This action will show how to protect the forest: whether it is better to leave it to itself or whether we should act, using active nature conservation methods.
Full wildlife documentation of each part of the three forest managements will also be developed within the framework of the Programme. “We are beginning a great inventory of the natural resources of the Białowieża Forest. Its result will be the creation of a biodiversity map,” said Konrad Tomaszewski, Director General of the State Forests.
See “Program for the Bialowieza Forest as the cultural and natural UNESCO-heritage and the area of Natura 2000 network worked out by the Minister of the Environment, Prof. Dr. hab. Jan Szyszko and General Director of the State Forests, Dr. Konrad Tomaszewski” (pdf, file, size: 356 kB)