Decision : CONF 205 V.142-145
Belovezhskaya Pushcha/Bialowieza Forest (Belarus/Poland)
V.142 IUCN received reports in relation to the Bialowieza Forest, Poland, which state that the Government has abandoned its plans to enlarge the Park due to the lack of funds, and that funding for the existing Park remains at minimal levels. There are also disturbing reports about a doubling of cutting rates in the commercially-managed part of the Forest outside the World Heritage site, and lobbying to cut areas of old growth forest. While this information does not pertain to the part of the Forest designated as the World Heritage site, it can be expected that the integrity of the site may be affected should much of the surrounding Forest be cut.
V.143 While there are no plans to change the current status of Bialowieza Forest World Heritage site as a strictly protected area, IUCN and the World Heritage Bureau have urged the State Party to expedite the enlargement of the National Park to include the entire Polish side of the Bialowieza National Park. This option will be lost if the logging goes ahead.
V.144 The Centre informed the Bureau that a meeting with the site manager had taken place on 21 June 2001 which confirmed that logging was taking place only outside the World Heritage area.
V.145 The Bureau noted with concern the information regarding the cutting rates in the Forest outside the World Heritage area and requested the authorities to provide a report on these issues by 15 September 2001.