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Andrzej Kraszewski Minister of the Environment Ministry of the Environment Wawelska Str. 52/54 00-922 Warszawa POLAND

October 5 2010

Wawelska Str. 52/54 00-922 Warszawa POLAND October 5 2010 Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1

Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU Telephone 020-3353 2000 guardian.co.uk

Dear Minister of the Environment,

I am writing on behalf of the Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom and our readers worldwide to ask you to consider a proposal for protecting Poland’s biodiversity.

The action has been proposed by our online readers and developed by professional scientists. It is based by scientific evidence.

We believe it will both protect an important species and habitat and send a clear signal to the negotiations at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity COP10 in Nagoya later this month that the decisive, concrete actions can and must be taken to halt the alarming decline in global biodiversity.

Our campaign, Biodiversity 100, has identified 26 achievable actions in a number of countries and has the support of the international scientific community. We are sharing our proposals with journalists around the world, who will be able to measure the success of their national and local governments in implementing the actions we have put forward. For more details of the campaign please go to guardian.co.uk/biodiversity100.

The specific proposal we request that you consider is to Implement measures to protect the vital Biał owieża National Park and its biodiversity (more details below).

We kindly request you to react publicly to our recommendation, both through national media and through your statements to the CBD COP10 plenary. We also urge you to consider including our proposed action when you revise your National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan after COP10.

As a major international media outlet with a global audience, the Guardian takes seriously its responsibility to report on the planet’s biodiversity crisis. We would be very keen to hear back from you about your country’s efforts to protect the natural environment and, especially, to hear of your reaction to our proposal.

Yours Sincerely,

Yours Sincerely, Alan Rusbridger Editor-in-Chief The Guardian CC: Dr. Bozena Haczek, Chief Specialist, Department of
Yours Sincerely, Alan Rusbridger Editor-in-Chief The Guardian CC: Dr. Bozena Haczek, Chief Specialist, Department of

Alan Rusbridger

Editor-in-Chief

The Guardian

CC: Dr. Bozena Haczek, Chief Specialist, Department of Forestry, Nature Protection & Landscape Mr. François Wakenhut, Head of Unit – Biodiversity, Directorate-General Environment, European Commission Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive secretary, CBD

Biał owież a National Park Action: Protect the vital Biał owieża National Park and its biodiversity

Description: Since the 14th century the Biał owieża Primeval Forest has been the hunting park of Polish kings. It is one of the most valuable old-growth forests in Europe and recognised as an UNESCO World Heritage site and Natura 2000 area. Currently, only a quarter of the 600 square km of forest on the Polish side (it also spreads into Belarus) is a protected national park. The wilderness is home to European bison, the endangered white-backed woodpecker and other important native biodiversity. The present management, which includes some logging, is causing a decline in biodiversity. Unfortunately, indications are that the state-owned forestry company are considering only a partial extension of the protected area, which will include “environmentally friendly” timber production. Scientists call for an extension of the national park border to cover the whole of the forest.

Evidence: The forest is the best-preserved old-growth deciduous forest in the European lowlands. The current management system outside the park is causing biodiversity decline.

For the full version of this text with links to scientific papers, please visit the Biodiversity 100 site:

guardian.co.uk/biodiversity100