The director of the Białowieża National Park was dismissed from his position today – Deputy Minister of Climate and Environment Mikołaj Dorożała told TVN24. He added that a competition for a new director would be announced soon.
“I confirm. The director was dismissed from his position today. I thanked him for his work so far. We will soon announce a competition for a new director,” said Mikołaj Dorożała, Deputy Minister of Climate and Environment, in response to TVN24’s questions, when asked about the reports regarding the dismissal of Michał Krzysiak from the position of director of Białowieża. National Park. Earlier, “Gazeta Wyborcza” reported the dismissal of the head of the BPN.
Michał Krzysiak has been the director of the Białowieża National Park for the last almost six years.
Dorożała: it’s time to protect our national heritage
On Friday, Mikołaj Dorożała also posted an entry on website
As he added, “it’s time to start protecting our national heritage! Thank you to everyone we had the opportunity to meet.”
“Nothing about us without us”
On Thursday and Friday, representatives of this ministry held a number of meetings in Białowieża, including: with foresters, local government officials and scientists about the Białowieża Forest and the protection of this area. They were also in the field, including in places where intensive logging of trees in the forest has been carried out in recent years. – We are ending an era in which strategic, most important decisions regarding the natural environment in Poland are made from behind a desk in Warsaw. That’s why we came here, to show a new style of work and decision-making, which will consist in the fact that ‘nothing about us without us’, that we will listen to the voice of local communities, scientists, non-governmental organizations, local government officials, making important and strategic decisions – said the minister at a press conference. She emphasized that the Białowieża Forest needs “strategic decisions.” She spoke about the need to develop a “unified voice”, a compromise regarding the forest. – However, it must be admitted that different voices and different positions clash. And so far, there has been no such common voice, also of local communities, as a partner for our ministry, added Hennig-Kloska. She pointed out that work is underway on various strategic documents regarding the forest and the Białowieża National Park. This includes: plan for UNESCO, plan for the Natura 2000 program, forest management plans. She said that each of these documents is created separately and they are not always consistent with each other. She called the Białowieża Forest a “national treasure”. – There is one conclusion – we need a constitution for the Białowieża Forest and we will want to prepare such a document – emphasized the minister.
The issue of expanding borders
When asked about the possibility of enlarging the Białowieża National Park, she said that this was also the purpose of this visit, to answer the question whether and to what limits the park should be expanded. – On our part, the ‘October 15 coalition’, there is a will to expand the borders of national parks, to create new ones, and we want to implement this demand. Certainly, the area of the Białowieża Forest is one of those that should be explored first. However, such decisions (…) cannot be made from behind a desk in Warsaw, she said. Hennig-Kloska emphasized that after this visit, taking into account the voices of various parties operating in the area, a plan will be created to “actually meet these demands.” She pointed out that this requires, among other things, legal analysis. When asked whether there was the will and consent of local government officials to expand the park, she said that the ministry would take into account every vote and – as she assured – “such plans will certainly be further consulted.” – We are done with the work where we announce plans and then we will wonder how to implement them, because this led to fires and conflicts. Quick decisions attract a lot of media attention, but are not necessarily easy to implement – emphasized the head of the Ministry of Climate and Environment. – After the visit, we will sit at the desk and plan, draw new maps, draw new lines, and then consult them, and then make decisions. This is the path we will follow, said the minister. Deputy Minister of Climate and Environment Michał Dorożała announced at the conference that an open competition will be organized for the position of coordinator for cooperation with UNESCO for the Białowieża Forest. – The threat of losing Białowieża’s UNESCO heritage may mean a disaster for everyone, from scientists, through non-governmental organizations, and above all to local communities – he noted.
Main photo source: Artur Reszko/PAP