We use cookies, to make it easier for you to use our service and for statistical purposes. If you do not block cookies, you agree to the cookies being used and saved in the memory of the device. Remember that you can manage cookies on your own by changing browser settings.

Professor Jan Szyszko: In the Białowieża Forest, we work for the benefit of the local community.

“All the activities carried out by the Ministry of Environment in the Białowieża Forest comply with both national and EU law. The objective of the activities of foresters in the Forest is above all taking care for the well-being of the local community, stopping the gradation of the spruce bark beetle and maintaining public safety”, emphasized the Minister of the Environment Professor Jan Szyszko during the hearing at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, regarding the dispute between Poland and the European Commission on the Białowieża Forest. The verdict on the Białowieża Forest will be probably announced in a few months.

We save our cultural and natural heritage and represent the interests of the local community

Most of the Białowieża Forest has been shaped by man for centuries and the foresters operate in these areas. Their activity is limited to trees that have been planted by man and to areas where forest management has been carried out for years.

“We cannot allow the cultural and natural heritage of the Białowieża Forest to be lost. It is thanks to proper use of its resources that the area has been preserved in good condition for many years. Today, these forests, which are a source of prosperity for the local population, are dying out. That is why we act in the interest and for the benefit of the local community – we take care of the people. Without the Białowieża Forest, this region will lose both its natural and economic potential”, says Professor Professor Jan Szyszko, Minister of Environment.

“We came to the hearing at the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg in order to resolve any misunderstandings", he added.

Protective measures

Trees affected by spruce bark beetle are not removed in the Białowieża National Park, natural reserves and reference areas. In other areas of the Forest, which constitute approximately 2/3 of its entire area, conservation activities are carried out in accordance with the requirements of Nature 2000 programme.

“The areas, mainly along the communication and tourist routes, where foresters from Białowieża, Browsk and Hajnówka Forest Districts operate, are subject to protective measures. These measures consist of removing affected trees from the Białowieża Forest and are aimed at preventing diseases from spreading – including, first and foremost, the gradation of spruce bark beetle, which has led to the death of almost 1.5 million trees since 2012, as a result of bad decisions of the previous authorities”, said Professor Jan Szyszko.

The protective measures carried out by the Ministry of Environment and the State Forests in the Białowieża Forest are fully compliant with the relevant laws. The Forestry Act requires foresters to actively protect the forest. European regulations also oblige foresters to act. The Białowieża Forest is unique where it comes to biodiversity. We are obligated to take care of the preservation of valuable habitats and protected species”, added Professor Jan Szyszko.

Back to top