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A Belarusian E-Red Book created
Minsk, 12 January 2007 - An Internet-version of the Belarusian Red Book has been created under the UNDP/GEF project “Catalizing Sustainability of the Wetland Protected Area System in Belarusian Polesie through Increased Management Efficiency and Realigned Land Use Practices”, implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of Belarus, Institute of Zoology and Institute of Botany of the National Academy of Sciences, and the “MediumM” company.
Red Books and Red Lists are widely used by nature protection scientists and experts all around the world for drawing the society attention to plants and animals that are under the threat of extinction. Inclusion of a species into a Red Book envisages certain moral responsibility of a hosting country for its future.
The E-version of the Belarusian Red Book (http://www.redbookbel.net ) is aimed at providing wide access to information about species which are under the highest risk of extinction. The resource is useful for biologists, ecologists, environmental protection, land-tenure, hunting, forestry and agriculture specialists, instructors, students, pupils, and all nature lovers.
‘I would suggest viewing the new resource as a tool for distant learning, because the Red Book is a visual means of education and propaganda of sensible and careful attitude to animals and plants’, UNDP Programme Associate, Dmitri Goloubovsky, says. ‘We hope it will be also used by ecologists and biologists on a daily basis as an instrument for biodiversity preservation’.
The E-Red Book of Belarus is divided into two sections – flora and fauna. The resource provides detailed information about 477 species of rare and disappearing animals and plants with pictures, drawings and maps. The description of every species is accompanied with data on distribution, biology, numbers, causes of changing of the numbers and natural habitat, and protection measures already adopted and still to be taken.
The web-site also contains lists of extinct animals and plants (“black list”), and lists of animals and plants which require protection. The resource is unique in the amount and up-to-date character of information, user-friendliness and practical value: E-versions of Red Books have not been launched in any other CIS country yet. Belarus is the first to use Internet innovative means for raising the level of environmental culture of the population.
For additional information please refer to UNDP/GEF Project Manager Alexei Artushevsky at 226-59-54, or UNDP Communications Associate Vladislav Khilkevich at 227-38-17.
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