The Berezinsky reserve and other nature sanctuaries might disappear if peat digging begins in their grounds. Belarusian ecologists call on the authorities to abolish Resolution No.794 which states that promising peat deposits may be located in specially protected nature areas.
«It is not so much an ecological problem as an international one. Belarus will most probably lose support of numerous natural guard funds because various international organizations have invested their money in these natural protection projects. It is hard to comprehend why for the sake of peat digging should the Berezinsky reserve be drained. Such measure will damage the image of Belarus,» Alexander Kazulin, head of biological resource department (The National Academy of Sciences), points out.
Volumes of peat digging are being increased to provide not less than 25% of electric and heat energy production by means of peat.
A number of experts state that the utilization of peat for producing energy is an obsolete technology and environmental abuse. In European countries (e.g. Finland) peat is digged only in the grounds drained before. Peat goes to integral utilization and then it is used as growing medium.
In the late 40-ies of the XXth century peat bogs occupied 14.2 % of the territory of Belarus (appr. 2.9 mln ha). In the result of the marshland melioration campaign 1.2 mln ha were drained. The most part of the innings runs the danger of peat-bog fire.