GB No. 1(16)/95
Immediate help is needed to protect this ancient forest, which dates back to 8000 BC and is inhabited by lynx and Europe's last wild bison. The World Bank has granted a US $146 million loan to the Polish logging industry. This loan threatens to turn Poland into a logging colony and makes a mockery of a US $4.5 million World Bank Global Environmental Facility loan aimed at conserving Białowieża.
The Belarussian/Polish border divides this ancient forest, with 900 sq. kilometers on the Belaruss side and 600 sq. km. on the Polish side. About 47 sq. km. are protected as Poland's Białowieża National Park, while the rest of the Polish portion is threatened with intensive logging. Loggers are hacking down huge old oaks and selling them for great profit, thus removing the biggest and best trees and damaging the remainder of the forest. The Białowieża is on the verge of becoming just another intensively managed, man-made forest. The Polish activist group "Workshop for All Beings" is calling for action for the Białowieża. Please call or fax the Polish Embassy.
Tell the Ambassador that you will be avoiding tourism in Poland until the Białowieża is fully protected, and will urge others to do likewise. Tell them that you support and expect implementation of the Białowieża Primeval Forest Campaign goals:
Please also write to the Polish President and the Polish Prime Minister and express your outrage at the destruction of the Białowieża forest, while supporting the Primeval Forest.
For more information:
Pracownia na Rzecz Wszystkich Istot
Workshop for All Beings
ul. Modrzewskiego 2913
43-300 Bielsko-Biala, Poland
Native Forest Network
P.O. Box 6151 Bozeman, MT 59771-6151 USA
tel. 4061585.92.11, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org