Activists of a public campaign “Let’s Save Prypyats Oak Forests” demand urgent revision of the park management policies.
Ecologists advocate return of the status to floodplain oak forests and expanding of the conservation area by at least 50%. It has been stated by the coordinator of the campaign Inesa Balotsina, BelaPAN informs.
Activists of the campaign express concern over energetic anthropogenic activities of the current administration of Prypyatsky national park, which put at risk of annihilation unique natural landscapes.
In 2013 by the Decree #59 Lukashenka approved the new zoning of Prypyatsky national park (Pripyatsky). Its unique oak forests, which reserve status had been existing for decades, were stripped of this status. The administration of Prypyatski national park is carrying out “sanitation cutting” and is adamantly lobbying permissions for cutting living, or so-called “weakened” trees.
Besides, as noted by Inesa Balotsina, a timber processing integrated plant “Lyaskavichy” was built in the national park in 1997. It manufactures everything from timber to parquet. However, “oak forests do not grow as quickly as they are placed under cultivation.” In addition, as a result of construction of new roads in the forest estate land, “hundreds of living trees including oaks are annihilated.”
Prypyatski Landscape Hydrological Reserve was founded 45 years ago, on June 1969. In 1996 the status of the territory was lowered from a reserve to a national park.
Prypyatski park has a status of a territory which is important for birds, as well as a key botanical territory, and is a part of the IBA international program as a land most important for birds life.
In September 2014 it received a status of wetlands of international importance. Its territory is a core of an ecological corridor of all-European importance, which unites Central and South Europe. Prypyatski national park is probably to become a part of “Ancient Pripyat Valley” Transboundary Biosphere Reserve of the UNESCO.