1. What is a biosphere reserve?
Biosphere reserve – it is a unique territory in its naturalness and standard, of international importance for the conservation of biological diversity. However, one should not think that the reserves are needed exclusively for nature protection.
The main tasks of the biosphere reserve:
- conservation of landscapes, ecosystems, species, genetic diversity;
- promoting sustainable social and economic development of the territory;
- conducting scientific environmental research, monitoring, education and upbringing;
- restoration of disturbed ecosystems to as close as possible to their natural state;
Each biosphere reserve was supposed to contain three specially designated areas, including one (or more) core zones for the conservation of biological diversity, a buffer zone surrounding the core zone, and a transition zone (or, in other words, a cooperation zone) for economic activities related to the sustainable use of natural resources. resources of this region.
2. GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT BIOSPHERE RESERVES
2.1 History of biosphere reserves
1970 – the long-term intergovernmental and interdisciplinary MAB program (“Man and Biosphere” or “Man and the Biosphere”) was created. The governing body is the International Coordinating Council (ISC).
November 1971 – The first meeting of the ISS is celebrated as the official foundation day of the MAB program.
1974 – The first biosphere reserve in the United States is founded.
1983 – the first International Congress on Biosphere Reserves in Minsk (Belarus). A “Action Plan” for the development of biosphere reserves has been developed.
1992 – UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro (Planet Earth Summit). Put forward an “ecosystem approach” in biodiversity conservation and emphasized the need to analyze environmental problems from a global perspective.
1995 – 2nd International Congress on Biosphere Reserves in Seville (Spain). The Strategy for Future Action (the “Seville Strategy”) has become the founding doctrine for the Man and the Biosphere program. The Regulation on the World Network of Biosphere Reserves became the charter of the MAB program.
2008 – 3rd International Congress on Biosphere Reserves in Madrid (Spain). Madrid Action Plan approved. It is based on the Seville Strategy and aims to realize the strategic advantages of the Seville Papers and enhance the role of biosphere reserves as the main internationally recognized territories for sustainable development in the 21st century.
2016 – 4th World Biosphere Reserves Congress in Lima (Peru). The Congress has three main objectives:
- review of the implementation of the Madrid Action Plan for Biosphere Reserves 2008-2013, the Seville Strategy and the 1995 Regulations for the World Network of Biosphere Reserves;
- an assessment of the lessons learned and new challenges facing the World Network of Biosphere Reserves;
- development and launch of the Action Plan for Biosphere Reserves for 2016-2025.
2.2 World Network of Biosphere Reserves
The World Network of Biosphere Reserves unites specially protected natural areas designed to demonstrate the balanced interaction of nature and humans, the concept of sustainable development of the environment.
The World Network of Biosphere Reserves of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program includes 701 biosphere reserves in 124 countries. The global network of biosphere reserves is annually replenished with new sites by the decision of the International Coordinating Council of the program, which includes representatives of 34 Member States of UNESCO. The global network includes transboundary biosphere reserves located on the territory of two or more neighboring countries.
The European Network of Biosphere Reserves is the largest and oldest of the regional networks. It includes 50 countries in Europe, Canada and the United States and represents 262 biosphere reserves. Meetings of representatives of the European network have been held almost every two years since 1986.
Three UNESCO biosphere reserves have been created and are operating in the Republic of Belarus, including two national reserves – the Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve (1987), and the Biosphere Reserve “Belovezhskaya Pushcha” (1992), one transboundary – trilateral biosphere reserve “Western Polesie, Belarus – Poland – Ukraine” (2012), which included the national biosphere reserve “Pribuzhskoe Polesie” (2004).
More information about biosphere reserves can be found in the Policy Brief on Biosphere Reserve Management, which is available at link.
3. THE HISTORY OF FORMATION OF THE REPUBLICAN RESERVE "PRIBUZHSKY POLESIE" AND THE TRANSBOUNDARY BIOSPHERE RESERVE "WESTERN POLESIE"
- Republican reserve “Pribuzhskoe Polesie (Belarus);
- Polesie National Park (Poland) ;
- Shatsk National Park (Ukraine).
4. LOCATION, AREA AND STRUCTURE
Pribuzhskoe Polesie is located in the southwestern part of Belarus, on the territory of the Brest and Malorita districts of the Brest region, the warmest part of our country. This area was not exposed to radiation pollution, there are no potential sources of threats to the environment. All this creates favorable conditions for the preservation of unique natural complexes, the production of environmentally friendly products and the improvement of the population.
The border of the reserve in the west runs along the Western Bug river, in the south along the border of Ukraine and Belarus, in the east along the border of the Maloritsky and Brest districts and in the north along the quarterly glades of the Brest forestry.
The area of the republican landscape reserve “Pribuzhskoe Polesie” is 17,230.6 hectares.
The area of the Pribuzhskoe Polesie biosphere reserve is 48,024 hectares.
For the most complete reflection of the natural differentiation of the territory and, accordingly, the differentiation of the necessary environmental protection measures, the territory of the biosphere reserve is divided into three zones:
- The main zone (A) (4.367 ha or 9.1% of the territory of the reserve) includes areas of the territory with the most valuable ecosystems, for which the most stringent restrictions on permissible natural resource use have been established.
- Buffer zone (B) (25.337 hectares or 52.8% of the territory of the reserve) includes relatively intact natural landscapes, for which no change or intensification of traditional land use is envisaged.
- The outer transition zone (C) (18.320 hectares or 38.1%) includes land plots necessary to ensure, in the present and in the future, sustainable, intensive and ecologically balanced development of the territory.
5. PHYSICAL AND GEOGRAPHICAL FEATURES
- central point – 23 ° 39’16 “E, 51 ° 43’43” N;
- the northernmost point – 23 ° 51’56 “E, 51 ° 57’00” N;
- the extreme eastern point – 23 ° 55’18 “E, 51 ° 54’28” N;
- the southernmost point – 23 ° 40’30 “E, 51 ° 29’58” N;
- the westernmost point – 23 ° 31’45 “E, 51 ° 43’4” N
The highest point is Mount Selyakhinskaya – 182.6 m above sea level.
The lower ground point: the edge of the Spanovka river – 139 m above sea level.
Lower submerged point: the bottom of Lake Beloye – 126.4 m above sea level.
According to the geobotanical zoning of Belarus, the territory of the biosphere reserve belongs to the southern part of the forest zone, the subzone of deciduous and mixed forests.
The climate is temperate continental, unstably humid. The average annual air temperature is + 7.4 ° C, in July + 18.8 ° C, in January -4.4 ° C. Average annual rainfall: 548 mm.
The main river of the Pribuzhskoe Polesie biosphere reserve is the Western Bug, which flows along its western border, which, thanks to a long border regime, has preserved its natural channel and pristine nature in the floodplain. The territory of the reserve is also crossed by small rivers: Spanovka (in the upper reaches of the Prirva), Seredovaya Rechka, Kopayuvka.
Water resources also include many untitled streams and a system of reclamation canals.
The largest reservoir of the biosphere reserve is the Tovarny pond in the system of artificial reservoirs of the Stradoch fish farm. In total, there are about 130 lakes on the territory under consideration, of which 7 are large non-floodplains, which form the Brest group of lakes.
The smallest streams of the biosphere reserve are spring streams, of which there are about 10 in this area.
The average swampiness of the territory is about 28%, however, the eastern part (Pridneprovskoe Polesie) and the western part, gravitating to the Bug, are less swampy.
The landscape basis of the biosphere reserve is formed by forests, which occupy 62% of the territory, swamps and water bodies – 6.4%. In general, intact natural areas account for about 72%.
Wetland "Polesskaya Valley of the Bug River"
Based on materials provided by the public organization “Ahova Ptushak Batskaoshchyny”.
6. FAUNA AND FLORA
The territory of the reserve is inhabited by 49 species of birds, 9 species of mammals, 2 species of reptiles, 2 species of amphibians, 2 species of fish, and about 30 species of invertebrates included in the third edition Red Book of the Republic of Belarus.On water bodies, the common bittern is a large bittern, there is a small bittern. Barnacle, black and white-winged terns nest in large colonies in river floodplains and on ponds. And here is a gray-cheeked toadstool. The common inhabitants of the cattail-reed thickets are the small borer, the mustachioed tit and the nightingale cricket – rare and protected species in Europe. On the ponds you can also see one of the rarest ducks in Europe – a globally endangered species – the white-eyed duck. On the banks of the rivers, in steppe dry meadows and on dry sandy islands, the little tern and neck-tailed nest nest. On wet meadows, another globally threatened wader species is the great bodew. In spring and autumn, during the period of migration, a large number of rare birds of prey accumulate on reservoirs: the white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla), osprey (Pandion haliaetus), golden eagle(Aquila chrysaetos), hobby (Falco subbuteo). You can also observe rare species of sandpipers: red-breasted dunlin (Calidris ferruginea), dunlin (Calidris alpine), white-tailed sandpiper (Calidris temmincki), big ulita(Tringa nebularia), tie (Charadrius hiaticula). Blue tit has been spotted several times in winter (Parus cyanus). Marked 16 species of bats including protected species: European shirokushka, Natterer’s bat. Other rare mammals in Europe are found: elk, wolf, badger, hazel dormouse and regiment, beaver, otter. On the ponds of the fish farm, a marsh turtle is a common species.(Emys orbicularis).In the vicinity of the village of Medno, habitats of the jungle toad are known (Bufo calamita). The world of invertebrates is exceptionally rich, but poorly studied. In the old hollow trees in the oak forests, you can find the hermit wax, in the forest swamps, the black Apollo butterfly and the large floating spider. In total, about 30 kinds of insects included in Red Book of the Republic of Belarus.
Flora of Pribuzhsky Polesie totals over 700 species higher vascular plants. The Pribuzhskoe Polesie is the only place of growth for the majestic fern of the majestic Pribuzhskoe, and for the common scutellum and the forest mytnik – in the Belarusian Polesie. In the early 1990s, a new woody plant for Belarus was noted – Austrian mistletoe.
Here you can simultaneously meet subarctic species (bearberry, wild rosemary) – representatives of the forest-tundra and pontic species (mountain clover, silver cinquefoil, steppe timothy, Polesskaya fescue) – representatives of the southern steppes; boreal species (female kochedyzhnik, trefoil watch, blueberries, blueberries, lingonberries, marsh marigold, annual sycamore, common spruce, brittle willow) – demoral species common in the taiga zone (common hornbeam, smooth elm and rough elm, small-leaved linden, noble coppice, lanceolate stellate, lanceolate starweed, European gingerbread) are typical inhabitants of mixed and deciduous forests of Europe; Atlantic species (Zhannovets paniculata, gray-haired mace bearer, heather) – growing in the coastal Atlantic part of Europe and Sarmatian species (sand carnation, bloodworm, sandy astragalus, tiled skewer) – common between continental boreal forests and steppes.
More than 30 kinds plants and fungi included in Red Book of the Republic of Belarus.
In the reservoirs of the reserve, there is a very rare aquatic insectivorous plant – vesiculate aldrovanda (Aldrovanda vesiculosa) – a relict species. This is a perennial aquatic herb with a threadlike, slightly branched stem 5-10 cm long. The leaves of the plant are equipped with sensitive hairs that form a trapping apparatus. Capturing small crustaceans and insects, the plant digests them and assimilates nutrients.
The flora of the territory, especially the southern and central parts of the reserve, is interesting primarily for the variety of orchids growing here. Among the sparse deciduous and coniferous-deciduous forests near the edges, on calcium-rich soils, one of the most beautiful and rare orchids of the temperate zone grows – the lady’s slipper (Cypripedium calceolus). The plant is 25-50 centimeters high with large leaves and large up to 8 centimeters with very beautiful yellowish-dark purple flowers.
In deciduous and light-coniferous forests, on dry forest clearings and edges, dark-red dremilik (Epipactis atrorubens) grows, in mossy areas of swampy coniferous, mixed and deciduous forests in shaded areas, a three-cut rook is found(Corallorhiza trifida).
In open forest bogs, damp and swampy meadows, you can find the May fingernail (Dactylorhiza majalis), which has become extremely rare in Europe. Under the canopy of oak forests, huge areas of continuous thickets are formed by one of the few Belarusian lianas – common ivy. Right there, under the canopy of oaks and hornbeams, green-flowered lyubka (Platanthera chloranta), red pollen head (Cephalanthera rubra) grow, in damp coniferous and deciduous forests, an egg-shaped cache (Listera ovate). On the outskirts of open forest bogs, on damp meadows and forest edges, you can see rare beautiful plants – Siberian iris (Iris sibirica) and tiled skewer (Gladiolus imbricatus).
Almost all forest formations in Belarus, with the exception of gray alder, are represented by small fragments or massifs of forest vegetation. The main forest-forming species are: pine, black alder, birch, oak. The forest stand also includes hornbeam, spruce, maple, linden, ash and aspen forests. Forest communities in the vicinity of the Stradoch fish farm are interesting and original.
Here dry continental sand dunes overgrown with pine forests, transitional and raised bogs alternate with small open and bushy lowland bogs and black alder forests. Sub-Atlantic and Central European oak and oak-hornbeam forests with forest communities of the western taiga, represented by spruce forests growing in island areas outside the range and being the largest of the island spruce forests in Belarus.
On the territory of Pribuzhsky Polesie, there are floodplain forests, typical European broad-leaved and northern taiga forests, juniper woodlands and heather wastelands and disappearing, extremely rare for Belarus communities of sandy meadows. In the floodplain of the river. Western Bug and r. Kopayuvka, natural floodplain low-lying eutrophic meadows have been preserved; fragments of steppe meadows are represented in the floodplain of the Western Bug. Among the forests in low areas are scattered small bog massifs, mainly lowland, but also fragments of transitional and raised bogs.
7. STATE ENVIRONMENTAL INSTITUTION "REPUBLICAN RESERVE" PRIBUZHSKOYE POLESIE "
The main tasks are:
- ensuring conditions for the preservation in a natural state of natural complexes and objects located on its territory;
- organizing the implementation of environmental protection measures in protected areas and ensuring compliance with the established regime of its protection and use;
- organization and conduct of field observations aimed at studying natural complexes and objects, assessing and forecasting the ecological situation, developing scientific foundations for nature protection, preserving biological and landscape diversity, reproduction and rational use of natural resources, participation in environmental monitoring;
- environmental education of the population and promotion of environmental protection;
- preservation of the natural complex as a historically formed landscape and the genetic fund of flora and fauna;
- organization and implementation of environmental education, education and upbringing of the population;
- preservation of cultural heritage (objects of ethnography, archeology, history, etc.);
- organization of tourism;
- management of an integrated economy based on scientifically grounded traditional technologies and advanced achievements of nature management;
- carrying out economic and other activities in accordance with the established regime of protection and use of the territory of the reserve and the biosphere reserve.
8. POPULATION AND CULTURE
An important feature Pribuzhsky Polesie is its location at the junction of three cultures: Belarusian, Ukrainian and Polish, which led to the synthesis of different ethnic traditions here, manifested in everyday life, rituals and especially in the language.
The dialectological feature of the region may be of interest not only for specialists, but also for lovers of exotic linguistics.
The modern ethnic composition of the population on the territory of the transboundary biosphere reserve “ Western Polesie ” was formed over a long period under the influence of a complex complex of natural, historical and socio-economic factors.
At present, in this region, almost the entire population is represented by three East Slavic peoples of the Indo-European language family: Belarusians, Ukrainians and Russians, as well as representatives of the West Slavic group – Poles. The titular nation is Belarusians, whose share in the total population of the region is about 80%.
Among national minorities, Ukrainians occupy the first place, although in general in the Brest region in the first place (about 10%) are Russians. The share of other nationalities among the population living in the territory of the reserve is quite insignificant.
However, this was not always the case. Before the Second World War, Jews made up a significant proportion of the ethnic composition of the region’s population. Thus, according to the data of the first All-Russian census of 1897, Jews constituted about 10% of the population of the Brest district. And in the town of Domachevo, located on the territory of the newly created reserve, Jews constituted the majority of the population. According to the data of the Polish census of 1931, 112248 Belarusians lived in the Brest powiat (officially 95226 people were recorded as “tutish” and only 17022 were Belarusians), 50248 Poles, 32089 Jews, 17926 Ukrainians, 3075 Russians, 59 Germans, 19 Czechs, 6 Lithuanians, 2511 others.
The religious (confessional) structure of the population is closely connected with the ethnic composition of the inhabitants, the history of the formation of the ethnic territory. Before the adoption of Christianity, the population living in the territory of the planned reserve was characterized by paganism. From the X century. Christianity gradually began to spread among the inhabitants of the region. During the time of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Orthodoxy was considered the state religion. After the Union of Kreva (1385), the influence of the Roman Catholic Church began to increase. Together with migrants, Judaism penetrates here, and from the 16th century – Protestantism. After adoption in 1596. In the Brest Union, the Uniate Church gradually began to play a leading role for the inhabitants of the region. After the third partition of the Commonwealth (1795) and the transition of the territory of modern Belarus under the jurisdiction of Russia, the leading role again passed to Orthodoxy.
At the beginning of the twentieth century. among believers, the share of Orthodox Christians in the region was about 80%, Catholics – 7%, Jews – 11%. During the region’s accession to Poland (1921-1939), the number of adherents of Catholicism increased significantly, but the share of Orthodox believers was about 70%. Together with the Protestants, the share of Christian religions during this period was more than 80%. Protestants first appeared on the territory of the planned reserve in 1564, when Nikolai Radzivil on the right bank of the Bug River in the Domachevo region founded two Lutheran colonies for the Dutch – Neudorf and Neubrov. At the beginning of the 19th century. there were about 300 Protestants. At present, about 40 parishes of the main religious movements are registered in the Brest region. Among them, 25 are Orthodox, 2 are Catholic, 10 are Protestant. There are few adherents of other religions, and therefore they do not play an important role in the spiritual life of society.
Wooden churches and temples are considered the undoubted heritage of the region. The oldest temples are excellent examples of Polesie cult architecture:
The villages have preserved elements of the old layout, characteristic of the region and inscribed in the natural surroundings. Local traditional forms have become widespread in the construction of residential buildings and outbuildings. Their rich decor is noteworthy. Here, residential buildings have survived and remain, where a hut and a barn are combined under one roof. Many estates located on the outskirts of villages are built on the principle of farmsteads.
The local residents carefully honor the memory of the heroic and tragic events of past wars, looking after the international cemetery of the First World War, where 1,346 servicemen of Russia, imperial Germany, Austria-Hungary, Poland are buried, for the places of heroic battles of 1941-1944, for monuments victims of World War II.
9. ECOLOGICAL EDUCATION AND ANNUAL FESTIVAL "THE SECRETS OF THE PRIBUZH POLESIE"
Environmental education, along with nature protection activities, is one of the priority areas of work of the State Public Institution “Republican Wildlife Refuge“ Pribuzhskoe Polesie ”.
The main directions of environmental and educational activities of the State Public Institution “RZ” Pribuzhskoe Polesie “are:
- work with schoolchildren (organization of presentations in schools);
- work with the media;
- advertising and publishing activities;
- ecological excursions and educational tourism;
- interaction with the teaching staff and educational authorities;
- ecological actions, contests, festivals.
Annual festival "Secrets of the Pribuzhsky Polesie"
To enhance environmental awareness and education of students, the Republican reserve “Pribuzhskoe Polesie” organizes the traditional annual festivals “Secrets of the Pribuzhskoe Polesie”. They are carried out in several stages throughout the calendar year.
The first stage consists of educational, local history, sightseeing excursions or hikes on the territory of the biosphere reserve (April-September).
The second stage is play. It consists of an ecological game for teams from various educational institutions (from schools to universities) and consists of an obstacle course, a quest and a thematic quiz.
The final stage is the final competitive program, in which teams that have passed the previous stages take part. As a rule, there are several nominations: team presentation, art photography competition, music competition.
The winners of the festival are awarded with diplomas and a valuable prize, and laureates – with certificates and honorary prizes.
10. LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL FOUNDATION "RESERVATIONS OF THE BREST REGION"
On October 16, 2012, the Main Department of Justice of the Brest Regional Executive Committee registered the Local Ecological Fund “Zakazniki of the Brest Region”. Its founders are State Environmental Institutions:
- Republican biological reserve “Sporovskiy“;
- Republican reserve “Pribuzhskoe Polesie“;
- Reserve of republican significance “Vygonoshchanskoe“;
- Reserves of republican significance “Middle Pripyat” and “Olmanskie swamps“;
- Landscape reserves of republican significance “Middle Pripyat” and “Prostyr“;
- Reserves of republican significance “Middle Pripyat” and “Luninsky“;
- Republican landscape reserve “Zvanets“.
The purpose of the Fund is to increase the sustainability of the functioning of the system of specially protected natural areas (SPNA) in the Brest region.
The main activities of the Foundation are aimed at achieving the following tasks:
- Promoting nature conservation by raising the prestige of the PA system;
- Implementation of joint actions in monitoring the natural systems of protected areas;
- Assistance in the organization and conduct of scientific research;
- Development and publication of teaching aids and scientific articles;
- Implementation of measures to preserve unique natural complexes;
- Implementation of social, economic, cultural and environmental programs in the region;
- Ecotourism development and others.
11. INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
The territory of Pribuzhsky Polesie has been a testing ground for monitoring for several decades:
- ecosystems (monitoring is carried out by the State Institution “RZ” Pribuzhskoe Polesie “);
- hunting species of animals (by game users);
- scientific (by the National Academy of the Republic of Belarus and universities);
- surface waters (State Institution “Brestoblhydromet”, State Institution “Republican Center for Analytical Control in the Field of Environmental Protection” Brest Regional Laboratory for Analytical Control), which is carried out at three hydrological posts: 1) River Western Bug – v. Tomashovka (frontier post);
2) River Western Bug – g. Domachevo (border crossing);
3) R. Kopayuvka – Leplevka village (bridge, turn to Domachevo from the P-94 highway);
- water regime (GU “Brestoblhydromet”), started in 1949 on the Kopayuvka river in the Chersk section, where there is a gauging station.