Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.


Białowieża Forest

Belarus, Poland
Factors affecting the property in 2000*
  • Forestry /wood production
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Logging operations;
  • Need for a management plan
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2000
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2000**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2000

IUCN has received the published document ‘Principles of the Bialowieza National Park functioning after its extension onto the entire Polish side of the Bialowieza Primeval Forest (Proposition)’, dated June 2000. The Polish Ministry of Environment and the Parliamentary Commission for Environmental Conservation is recommending the document to guide the organisation and functioning of the proposed extended Park. Conservation NGO’s have welcomed the document, while several representatives of local authorities objecting to the extension believe the document is a sound basis for a compromise. The document is a ‘vision’ for the National Park should it be enlarged. It was prepared in full consultation with all stakeholders as a basis for stimulating sustainable development of the region. A four-tiered zoning approach is proposed, including a strict protection zone (no forestry, no access), a passive protection zone (no forestry but access to the public to pick mushrooms, berries etc.), a transition zone (with moderate restoration management) and a restoration zone (satisfying local demand for wood). The logging intensity in the first year would be set at 70,000 cubic metres (60% of the present level) and is expected to gradually decrease due to the decrease in demand and changes in industry and employment trends.

It is envisaged that tourism development (one of the most important forms of regional economy) will take place at the edge of the Park and not encroach on the Forest. Education and training programmes are considered as ways of extending the tourist season, as well as building public awareness, understanding and trained professionals. IUCN applauds the “Principles Document” but notes that it is still uncertain whether a formal extension of the Park will take place.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2000
24 COM VIII.iii
State of conservation reports of natural properties noted by the Committee

 State of conservation reports of natural properties noted by the Committee

Belovezhskaya Pushcha/Bialowieza Forest (Belarus/Poland)

Pirin National Park (Bulgaria)

Dja Faunal Reserve (Cameroon)

Gros Morne National Park (Canada)

Canadian Rocky Mountains Parks (Canada)

Comoe National Park (Côte d'Ivoire)

Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)

Komodo National Park (Indonesia)

Lorenz National Park (Indonesia)

Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest (Kenya)

Te Wahipounamu - South West New Zealand (New Zealand)

Arabian Oryx Sanctuary (Oman)

Huascarán National Park (Peru)

Danube Delta (Romania)

Lake Baikal (Russian Federation)

Niokolo-Koba National Park (Senegal)

Doñana National Park (Spain)

Sinharaja Forest Reserve (Sri Lanka)

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Uganda)

Gough Island (United Kingdom)

Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti National Park (United Republic of Tanzania)

Ha Long Bay (Vietnam)

Mosi-oa-Tunya/Victoria Falls (Zambia/Zimbabwe)

The Bureau may wish to adopt the following decision and transmit it to the Committee for noting:

“The Bureau commends the efforts of the State Party. The Bureau urges the State Party to expedite the enlargement of the National Park to include the entire Polish side of the Bialowieza Primeval Forest, and to apply the document “Principles of the Bialowieza National Park functioning after its extension on to the entire Polish side of the Bialowieza Primeval Forest (Proposition)” as a basis for management of the National Park when it is enlarged.”


Report year: 2000
Belarus Poland
Date of Inscription: 1979
Category: Natural
Criteria: (ix)(x)

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.