Rescue for Białowieska Forest

Minister Elżbieta Witek and Prof. Janusz Sowa presented the outcome of the works of experts of the Forest Research Council (RNL) pertaining to the future of the Białowieska Forest. Today it’s a dead forest, stressed the Council’s Chairman, Prof. Janusz Sowa. Measures aimed at limiting the extent of bark beetle gradation are a solution, said the Professor.

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Photo: P. Tracz / Chancellery of the Prime Minister

The Head of the Political Cabinet of the Prime Minister said that the issue of the Białowieska Forest must be resolved immediately. At the initiative of Prime Minister Beata Szydło on 18 Feb 2016 the Forest Research Council was established whose members include independent experts advising on the management of Polish forests. As the Minister stressed, the task of the group of the researchers was to assess the condition of and outlook for the Białowieska Forest. The results of the works performed by the team of researchers who inspected the Forest were presented at the meeting with journalists.

“Forests attacked by bark beetles become dead”

What I saw at the Białowieska Forest terrified me and all of us, said Prof. Janusz Sowa. We have been witnessing the death of that wonder of nature being the product of a man’s activity, What’s worse, that death results from erroneous decisions made by men, explained he. The Professor discussed the condition of the Forest’s destruction which, in his view, is very significant. Problems related to the dieback of trees are not the only ones suffered in that region, because fauna that had once found its shelter and food there has now begun to deteriorate.

The Council’s Chairman stressed that the current degradation of the Forest is the result of erroneous decisions taken in November 2011. Such mismanagement was related to, among other things, leaving the trees destroyed during gusty winds which was a starting point for the gradation process. Moreover the so-called cutting plan restraining foresters is also a problem.

Report on Białowieska Forest’s condition

A solution that can now be applied involves taking measures to limit the extent of the bark beetle gradation, said Professor Sowa and stressed that such measures will help save devastated spruce and pine silva.

The Forest Research Council prepared a report describing the condition of the Białowieska Forest for Prime Minister Beata Szydło. Professor Sowa stated that the report contains information regarding reasons of the problems and recommendations on how to prevent the Forest destruction. Among other things, the recommendations pertain to amendments of the law that will enable the foresters to act more effectively. The Professor stressed that coming to the rescue of the Forest is also important in view of the region’s development because that place enables many people living nearby to make a living.

More details about the establishment and members of the Forest Research Council

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