UNESCO Committee called for immediate cessation of cutting of the oldest stand of trees
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee called on Polish authorities on Wednesday to immediately stop cutting down trees in the oldest part of the Bialowieza Forest. Poland and Belarus are also to accept a mission of experts and prepare by December 2018. report on the state of wilderness preservation.
Such are the decisions made at the 41. Committee session in Krakow. – We wanted to have an open exchange of views today, when Poland is hosting the sessionoIn and opinion and this has happened – Deputy Environment Minister Andrzej Konieczny told reporters.
The discussion was initiated by a delegation from Kazakhstan, whichora proposed that sanitary cuts be allowed in the forest, wanted to extend the time for preparing a report on the state of the forest’s preservation, and deleted from the document a provision referring to the European Commission’s actions on Bialowieza. This was opposed by the m.in. Portugal, Finland, Zimbabwe and Angola.
In the end, only the time was extended, ktory Poland has to prepare a report on the Primeval Forest – It is to be established by December 2018, not February next year. UNESCO World Heritage Committee reiteratedoswoj request that Poland maintain "continuity and integrity of the protected old-growth forest in the Białowieża Forest" and called for "immediate cessation of cutting and logging in the old part of the forest".
The Committee also wants Poland and Belarus to adopt another expert missionoin UNESCO from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the World Heritage Center. The previous three missions visited the Pushcha in 2004, 2008, and the last in June 2016. The discussion on the possible inscription of the primeval forest on the List of World Heritage in Danger is to be held at the 2019 session.
Deputy Minister Konieczny told reporters that Poland is waiting for the "conclusion of the session and delivery of the decision". – UNESCO is a very serious organization, ktora at a high level leads the deliberations, these are people very experienced in diplomacy. They set certain decisions, whichore we respect and ktore we will perform,” added Konieczny. He added that the UNESCO website has all the documents submitted by Poland on the Bialowieza Forest, including the findings that sanitary cuts, forest protection and hunting management are permissible.
Secretary General of the Polish Committee for the. UNESCO Slawomir Ratajski told the media that there are rotive opinions on the methods adopted to protect the primeval forest, but the "hopes that in the end the best and most appropriate method will be chosen" and the UNESCO mission will be helpful in this regard. – This decision halts activities thatore may harm the forest – mowili Ratajski.
The UNESCO Committee’s position is welcomed by defenders of the Bialowieza Forest, but as mowished by Greenpeace Poland director Robert Cyglicki, they are not laying down their arms and will continue to block heavy logging machinery in Bialowieza. On Wednesday, such blockades were held in dwochoThe participants of the meetings will continue to block heavy logging machinery in Białowieża,” added Konieczny "UNESCO zrob something about it finally".
– The most important provisions of the decision are: halting cuts in stands over 100 years old, referring to the proceedings, whichore conducted by the European Commission, the commitment of the states parties to accept the expert missionow. Wspolnternational community stood by its opinion – assessed Cyglicki. He added that Portugal and other countries during the discussions sided with the Committee’s transparency and did not agree that the document should be changed at the last minute, ktorego project had been known for many months.
According to Adam Wajrak, the Committee’s decision "is a diplomatic and prestigious victory". – Cuts won’t stop it, this is a very symbolic victory, but symbols count too – moWajrak.
On Tuesday, environment master Jan Szyszko invited members of theow of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee to visit the Bialowieza Forest on July 8 and see for themselves the need to "to carry out active protection against the print bark beetle gradation, ktory threatens wilderness habitats".