Something about a person whose anniversary is celebrated
Nickolai Bambiza has remained for ever in the history of the Pripyatski State Landscape Hydrological Reserve as the director who directly promoted to stop the existence of the Reserve.
Nickolai Bambiza came to the Pripyatski Reserve in 1987, in the period of Perestroika. The labour collective elected his to the director’s post in 1989 on the wave of Perestroika and the higher administration confirmed his nomination.
Nickolai Bambiza chose "the rational management because national parks and reserves just will not survive in the present conditions” as the main principle of his activity within the reserved territory.
Since 20th November of 1991 the Pripyatski State Landscape Hydrological Reserve was subordinated under the Council of Ministers of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialistic Republic. Before this event a meeting of the labour collective was held where the new director gave reason for his proposal to change subordination of the Reserve to the Council of Ministers because of a lack of finances at the State Committee of Nature for purchase of chain saw spares.
Since 1992 the large-scale expansion of the economic activity in the area of the Pripyatski Reserve started. The Reserve’s administration permanently lobbied the sanction for hunting of animals from the State Committee of Nature of Belarus under pretext of regulation of the wild ungulates’ number and of the scientific purposes. The regulation of number is fast enough transferred into the hunting tourism which supported by the governmental level. In woods, quite often on the border of the strictly reserved zone, places for artificial feeding and fodder fields with towers for hunting have been appeared. Sanitary fellings have been intensified and the timber export abroad has been started.
After the subordination of the Reserve under the President’s Property Management Department the economic activity within its area has been developed. In 1995, due to efforts of Nickolai Bambiza and support "from above", the Pripyatski Reserve incorporated two collective farms and the Experimental Forest Game Ground “Lyaskovichi" (EFGGL).
In October 1996 the Pripyatski Reserve stopped its existence after an order of the President about reorganization of the Reserve into the National Park appeared, probably not devoid of personal contribution of Nickolai Bambiza. The Reserved Zone as a part of the protected natural area was reduced up to 35.4 % (in 1989 it made up 47.7 %). Since this period the expansion of economic activity in the protected area formally got to use a lawful substantiation. In 1997 the construction of a large timber processing shop which is capable to process up to 50,000 cubic metres of wood per year has been started at the border of the National Park “Pripyatski”.
By 1999 the National Park “Pripyatski” already owned 13 trade shops including cafe and bars, a meat production shop as well as confectionery, bread and macaroni sections. But the prestige of the Park as the nature protection institution has sharply fallen in eyes of the public and scientists. The hope for creation of a meteorological station necessity of which was stressed since the first years of the nomination of the Reserve on the Pripyat River was finally buried. The scientific staff was reduced from 6 employees in 1994 to 2 ones in 1999. Although EFGGL, all commercial, industrial and agrarian facilities functioned, the sponsors were looking for to complete the building of the Museum of Nature and its expositions.
The pre-election propaganda of 2000 for election of Nickolai Bambiza to become a deputy of the Chamber of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus put the opening 1,300 new workplaces in the National Park and EFGGL as his personal. The known scientists-biologists K.Filonov and M.Kaletzkayaÿ warned of substitution of an ecological estimation by economic one because these two kinds of estimation concerning the nature will never coincide. There is one more estimation – the moral one. However regarding moral norms, to all appearances, Nickolai Bambiza had no problems. He was one of the co-authors-developers of the new method of hunting in the National Park "Pripyatski" when local experts who serviced the hunting exposed a grown in captivity wolf under shot of foreigners who suspected nothing and paid for hunting a wild predator. By the way, the local inhabitants and workers of the Pripyatski Reserve have not elected Nickolai Bambiza and he has not become the deputy.
The activity of Nickolai Bambiza in the field of nature protection in the Pripyatski Reserve was greatly appreciated. He was transferred with honour to the Committee of Fish Protection at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection of Belarus in 1999 and he has been appointed the General Director of the National Park “Belovezhskaya Pushcha” in 2001. It can seem to either sane man as absurdity and invention. But unfortunately, this is not invention. This is face-grimace of the wilderness protection in Belarus now.
Even now we are not able to estimate all consequences for woods of the former Pripyatski reserve after 10 years of management of Bambiza clan. The forest inventory of the National Park “Pripyatski" planned for implementation in 2002 - 2003 has been rejected and rescheduled in 10 years later. What was the reason? Maybe for the task to hidden the consequences of the rational management within the reserved area?
Materials of the Russian newspaper “The Reserved Bulletin” have been used for this publication
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