OPEN APPEAL IN DEFENSE OF BELARUSIAN WETLANDS
This petition had 21,966 supporters
Wetlands preservation is all about maintaining of natural balance and conservation of natural heritage, which plays a large part in the climate building, preserving of the biological diversity and providing of the well-being of people.
At present, Belarus has more advantageous position than some other countries, which have destroyed their virgin landscapes as far back as the beginning of the 20th century and now with the enormous financial investments attempting to restore them. Belarus is able to achieve a high level of development, preserving at the same time its virgin nature for the descendants and all the people. The wetlands are part and parcel of our natural resources. In the years of wide-ranging melioration more than 1.5 million hectares of wetlands were drained, and 70% of the whole area of Belarusian wetlands were cut off. Nowadays large wetlands remain in Belarus only within the borders of the strictly protected natural areas – wildlife reserves, preserves, national parks.
Thereby we are especially concerned about the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus No. 794 “On Some Issues of Peat Extraction and Optimization of the System of Strictly Protected Natural Areas” dated 17 June, 2011. This resolution assigns promising peat deposits, situated within the borders of existed or designed wildlife preserves of local or republican importance, and makes amendments into the Scheme of rational distribution of strictly protected natural areas in the Republic of Belarus Nr. 1919 approved by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus on the 29th of December 2007.
Also we are worried about long-ranged plans concerning involvement of the new protected natural areas into the peat extraction. A number of promising areas for the building of the new peat bricks factories have been assigned by the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Belarus within the scope of the Programme on the elaboration of the mineral deposits and development of the mineral resources base of the Republic of Belarus for the years 2011-2015 and for the period until 2020. In the event if some changes will be made into the “Peat” programme in the year 2013, the following strictly protected natural areas: National park “Pripyatsky”, Berezinski Biosphere Reserve, Republican Protected Landscape “Vygonoshchansky”, Republican Protected Landscape “Selyava” and others can be affected by these activities.
We voice our disagreement with the resolutions and plans taken by the government of Belarus, dealing with deprivation some protected areas of their status for the purpose of the peat industry development. The employment of the low-yield and abandoned peatlands, abandoned and partly spent peat deposits, development of high technologies, the use of energy from renewable sources would help stop the absolutely unnecessary drainage of the natural protected areas.
We become aware of the serious threats facing the environmental safety of our country and Eurasia in general. These dangers are brought by drainage and elaboration of the last big natural wetlands, still remained within the borders of the protected areas of the national and international importance, which provide preserving of the unique biodiversity, maintaining of the carbon balance and lightening of the temperature, hydrological and other climatic abnormalities.
We demand the revocation of Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus Nr. 794 “On Some Issues of Peat Extraction and Optimization of the System of Strictly Protected Natural Areas” dated 17 June, 2011.
We insist on the cancellation of construction of new peat bricks factories and development of new deposits in the natural wetlands.
We expect an open and public debate on the governmental projects and decision making based on the public opinion to become a key factor indicating the effectiveness of the regulative system concerning environmental issues of our land.
We appeal to give up the plans of the reordering protected areas and to foster the efforts for the restoration of the state interests balance which is codified in the Scheme of rational distribution of strictly protected natural areas.
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