June 3, Minsk / Correction. BELTA /. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chairman of the National Commission of the Republic of Belarus for UNESCO Vladimir Mackey sent an appeal to the heads of the National Committees for UNESCO of foreign countries regarding the construction by Poland of a protective structure on its territory last and largest in the region European forest of relics, the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Belovezhskaya Pushcha” “, he told a Belta correspondent at the Belarusian Foreign Ministry.
Belarus’s foreign minister has expressed grave concern over the construction of a Polish border wall on the territory of the facility. “Belovezhskaya Pushcha is the last and largest primordial lowland forest in Europe, which has survived to this day in its original form and includes vast untouched areas of old forests. of their natural habitat and is a serious threat to the sustainable existence and conservation of populations of ungulates (bison, deer, roe deer, elk) and predatory mammals (bears, wolves, foxes). and deer “, said the minister.
“Given the scale of the work being done by Poland on the construction of the wall, one can predict the inevitability of the following serious consequences for the ecosystems of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Belovezhskaya Pushcha,” he said. habitat and protected habitats, burglary of transboundary ecological corridors, cutting of adjacent strips of old forest and black alder, destruction of living land cover during construction works, violation of the hydrological status of adjacent ecosystems, gene pool of their populations, the emergence of new ways for foreign plant species to penetrate natural ecosystems.
Vladimir Makei said that he would like to draw attention to the unprecedented violation by Poland of the provisions of the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, according to which the state must take all necessary measures to ensure the protection and the preservation of the cultural and natural heritage located in its territory.
“According to paragraph 11 of the Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention, the assessment of the impact of the proposed interventions is of fundamental importance for all World Heritage Sites,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus.
“The Polish side, despite our repeated requests, has not yet provided information on the details of the construction of the wall and the assessment of its impact on the exceptional global value of the object,” the Foreign Ministry chief continued. “The World Heritage Center also asked the Polish side to provide UNESCO with an assessment of the impact of the construction wall on the site for examination by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and urged the Polish authorities to suspend construction until to complete the situation. studied and evaluated in accordance with the guidelines for the implementation of the Convention “.
The Minister also stressed that Poland’s decision to build the border wall was not agreed with the Belarusian side and is in complete contradiction with the establishment of the joint mission of the World Heritage Center and the IUCN for the reactionary monitoring of the site (2018) – “to “Let’s return to the discussion on improving the interconnection of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha ecosystem, including across the state border between Belarus and Poland.”
The conservation status of the cross-border World Heritage Site “Belovezhskaya Pushcha” will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee at its next 45th session.
The Belarusian Foreign Minister called on his counterparts to support Belarus and urge the Polish government to stop building a wall in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha World Heritage Site, dismantle the already installed structure and start demolishing an already installed structure. appropriate procedure for the elimination of damage caused to the ecosystems of the area.
“I rely on your support to find effective solutions to this problematic situation in the spirit of interaction and partnership and I reaffirm our readiness to work with all parties involved in this problem,” said Vladimir McKay.
As previously reported by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Anatoly Glaz, Belarus reaffirms its readiness to cooperate with Poland and relevant international structures in maintaining the Belovezhskaya Pushcha, including the damage caused by the construction work carried out by Poland on the ecosystems of the object, as well as by the development of appropriate measures to eliminate its consequences.-0-
Poland has already built 120 km of the wall in Belovezhskaya Pushcha
Photo from the archive