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Nature conservation areas of Belarus should become country’s gems, Sergei Sidorsky believes

The nature conservation areas of Belarus should become the gems of the country, Prime Minister Sergei Sidorsky stated on December 4 at a session of the Presidium of the Council of Ministers highlighting draft national strategy on the development and management of nature conservation areas of Belarus by 2015, the schemes of the rational positioning of the specially protected natural areas and the state programme of the development of the specially protected natural areas for 2008-2012.

The drafts were developed with a view to outlining the main promising areas of the state policy in the area.

According to the Prime Minister, the state should derive profits from the specially protected natural areas. This pertains to forests, water and other resources. The head of Government criticized the drafts and insisted they should be amended. In particular, provisions of the draft state programme of the development of the specially protected natural areas for 2008-2012 should be systemized and linked to the plans of development of the regions they are located in. “All the money should be channeled into generating profits under the condition of preservation of natural resources,” Sergei Sidorsky stressed. In his words, the programme has to clearly stipulate the objectives of the development of such territories and means of achieving them.

According to the Prime Minister, Belarus does not need to increase the total area under the state protection (the Minister of Natural Resources suggested increasing the area from 8.3% to 9.3% of the country’s territory by 2015). Sergei Sidorsky believes that it would be better to improve the specially protected natural areas and to apply for getting an international status in order to attract more investments and tourists.

When presenting the programme Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Leonty Khoruzhik noted that the programme was aimed to form an efficient system of protecting natural areas with a view to preserving the natural state of ecosystems, biological and landscape diversity.

The national strategy of the development and management of nature conservation areas of Belarus by 2015 should on the one hand ensure economic development of the country and rational use of natural resources, on the other hand, it should guarantee preservation of biological and landscape diversity.

According to Leonty Khoruzhik, it is necessary to improve the legal support of environmental activities and streamline their management system. Besides, the efficiency of protection of such areas should be increased.

Specially protected natural areas play an important role in preservation of ecosystems, biological and landscape diversity. As of December 1, 2007 Belarus had 1,441 such areas. They include Berezinsky biosphere reserve, four national parks, namely Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Braslav Lakes, Pripyatsky, Narochansky, 99 national and 414 local reserves, 337 national and 586 local natural monuments. The total area of the specially protected natural areas accounts for 8.3% of the total territory of the country.


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