History of the reserve

On April 26, 1986, an accident occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which led to the release of large volumes of radioactive material. As of May 10, 1986, throughout the 30-km zone, the dose rate of gamma radiation exceeded 5000 μR/h, including in the settlements of the Khoiniki region: Masany - 100,000 μR/h, Borshchevka, Ulasy - 50,000 μR/h, Dronki - 1000 microR/h.

In this regard, the sector of the evacuation (exclusion) zone was determined, representing a compact territory with an area of 170 thousand hectares. The population living on this territory was evacuated, and the land was taken out of economic use.

On May 4-5, 1986, 31 settlements of the Bragin region, 12 settlements of the Khoiniki region, 8 settlements of the Narovlya region were resettled from the ball zone adjacent to the station.

June 3-10, 1986 - 18 settlements of the Bragin region, 6 settlements of the Khoiniki region, 4 settlements of the Narovlya region; August 27 - 5 settlements of the Bragin region, September 30 - 2 settlements of the Khoiniki region, 22 settlements of the Narovlya region. A total of 108 settlements (24.7 thousand people) were evacuated. Subsequently, in the period from the end of 1996 to 1997, 14 settlements were re-evacuated.

Resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Belarus and the Council of Ministers of the BSSR No. 59-5 of February 24, 1988 "On the progress of work to eliminate the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident in the republic and the tasks arising from the decision of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU of January 14, 1988" there is agricultural activity. By this decree, on the territory of the Belarusian sector of the exclusion zone, the Polesie State Ecological Reserve with an area of 131.3 thousand hectares was created under the subordination of the State Committee of the BSSR for Nature Protection. It included the lands of the state forest fund of the Komarinsky, Narovlyansky and Khoiniki forestry enterprises, as well as the lands of agricultural enterprises in the Bragin, Narovlyansky and Khoiniki districts, located within the thirty-kilometer zone of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

The Polesie State Ecological Reserve was established with the aim of implementing a set of measures to prevent the removal of radionuclides outside its territory, to study the state of natural plant complexes, fauna, conduct radiation-ecological monitoring, and conduct radiobiological research.

The main tasks of the Polesie Reserve:
    • implementation of measures to prevent the transfer of radionuclides;
    • ensuring the protection of the protected area and the objects located on it;
    • protection of the forest fund from fires, pests and forest diseases;
    • carrying out the minimum necessary measures to maintain hydrological balance;
    • afforestation of lands, ensuring the natural development of ecosystems;
    • implementation of measures to increase the number of rare animal species;
    • monitoring changes in the radiation environment, conducting radiation and environmental monitoring of flora and fauna;
    • scientific research of flora and fauna, the impact of radioactive contamination on them;
    • development of technologies and measures for the rehabilitation of contaminated areas.

By order of the Council of Ministers of the BSSR No. 485r dated July 18, 1988 the proposal of the State Committee of the BSSR for Nature Protection was accepted and a temporary administration of the reserve was created.

The functioning of the reserve began in September 1988 after the release orders of the Gomel Regional Executive Committee "On the establishment of the temporary administration of the Polesie State Ecological Reserve" dated August 23, 1988 No. 354-r. There were 14 people in the administration. It was headed by Alexander Dmitrievich Konopatsky, the first director of the reserve. Dmitry Petrovich Demchenko was appointed to the post of chief forester.

In accordance with By the decree of the Council of Ministers of the BSSR No. 122 dated April 10, 1989 Polesie State Ecological Reserve was renamed into Polesie State Radiation-Ecological Reserve and transferred to the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Belarus.

Since the summer of 1990, the scientific department of the reserve began to function on the territory of the former settlement of Babchin.

Guided by the resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus dated April 7, 1992 No. 190, the Gomel Regional Council of People's Deputies, by decision No. 71 dated March 3, 1993, transferred to the reserve 85.1 thousand hectares of the lands of Bragin (64 320 hectares), Khoiniki (84 937 hectares ), Narovlya (64,239 ha), Mozyr (793 ha) and Kalinkovichi (1,091 ha) districts, from the territory of which residents were resettled. In accordance with the second point of this decree, the lands of the Mozyr and Kalinkovichi districts became part of the Khoiniki. The area of the reserve was 216 410 hectares.

In 1992 - 1996, an orchard was laid, including test plantations of peach (10 varieties), apricot (19 varieties), grapes (7 varieties), apple (4 varieties), lemongrass, cherry plum, cherry, cotoneaster, nut-bearing (Manchurian and walnut , Korean cedar, tree hazel), hybrid actinidia.

The description of the reserve's boundaries was approved by the resolution of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus No. 2384-XII dated June 14, 1993.

Order No. 101 of 6 September 1993 for Polesie Radiation-Ecological Reserve approved the distribution of its territory into 16 forestries. In 1993, on the lands of the exclusion zone, the Khoiniki, Bragin and Narovlya sections of the reserve were organized. Of the 92 resettled settlements located on the territory of the Polesie Reserve, the Khoiniki site accounts for 20, Braginsky - 40, Narovlyansky - 32. Before the accident, 22 thousand people lived in them.

By the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the BSSR dated December 27, 1990 No. 344 Polesie State Radiation-Ecological Reserve was transferred from the jurisdiction of the State Committee on Ecology to the State Committee of the BSSR on the problems of the consequences of the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

Order No. 39 of August 5, 1995 on the Ministry of Emergency Situations from the Consequences of the Catastrophe at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant of the Republic of Belarus approved the Regulations on the Polesie State Radiation and Environmental Reserve.

In 1996, in accordance with the protocol of instructions of the President of the Republic of Belarus No. 08/80, a radiation-ecological station was organized in the former settlement of Masany for operational monitoring of the radiation situation.

In 1996, the Polesskaya micropopulation of bison was created on the territory of the Novopokrovsky forestry of the reserve.

By the decision of the Khoiniki District Executive Committee No. 994 of June 16, 1998, the radiation-ecological station was renamed in memory of the initiator and organizer of its creation as the research station "Masany" named after V.N. Fedorov.

In 1998, on behalf of the President of the Republic of Belarus (protocol No. 12/186 of August 3, 1998), an experimental base of the reserve was created, including a livestock farm, an experimental orchard, a bee-keeper, nurseries for growing planting material of cultivated breeds (peaches, apricots, apple trees), three production sites for wood processing. In experimental use, 700 hectares of former agricultural land were introduced for the production of forage and growing crops. The production base of the Bragin section was organized at the reconstructed utility facility.

In 2000, the Gomel Regional Committee registered the institution "Polesie State Radiation-Ecological Reserve" (Decision No. 462 of July 31, 2000).

In 2005, the scientific and administrative building was put into operation. Its laboratories house two scientific departments (radioecological monitoring, fauna ecology) and a laboratory for spectrometry and radiochemistry. The laboratories of the Department of Ecology of Plant Complexes are located in the former settlement of Babchin. Research station "Masany" is a part of the department of radioecological monitoring.

In 2007, the Charter of the Polesie State Radiation-Ecological Reserve was adopted.

In 2008, an administrative building was put into operation in the settlement. Komarin, Bragin district.

At the beginning of 2009, the production base of the Bragin area, a production building with a warehouse (wood processing workshop), a timber drying chamber in the town of p. Komarin.

In 2012, in accordance with the Law of the Republic of Belarus "On the legal regime of territories exposed to radioactive contamination as a result of the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant" dated May 26, 2012, a state environmental research institution "Polesie State Radiation-Ecological Reserve" was created to manage the reserve.

Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus "On the Polesie State Radiation and Environmental Reserve" dated January 21, 2013 No. 41 (as amended by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus 06.11.2018 No. 431) approved the provision on the reserve, borders, area, composition of lands, including reserved and experimental and economic zones.

The total area of the reserve is 217,173.8 hectares. The area of land provided to the institution for permanent use is 216 877 hectares, including 64 591 hectares (29.8%) in Bragin district, 64 103 hectares (29.5%) in Narovlyansky district, 88 183 hectares in Khoiniksky district (40, 7%). The lands of the forest fund of the reserve, forming its territory, do not include the lands of the following land users located within its borders, but whose special purpose does not meet environmental goals: the communal design, repair and construction unitary enterprise "Gomelobldorstroy", the Gomel republican unitary enterprise of electric power industry "Gomelenergo ", the transport republican unitary enterprise" Gomel branch of the Belarusian Railway ", the republican unitary enterprise" Beltelecom ", the republican specialized unitary enterprise" Polesye ", the state specialized forestry institution" Narovlyansky special forestry ". The total area of these lands is 296.8 hectares. These territories are subject to the protection and use regime established for the reserve.

Due to its geographical location, the total length of the external border along its perimeter is 367 km, including the length of the border with Ukraine - 121 km.

Organizationally and economically, the territory of the Polesie Reserve is divided into 16 forestries. There are two fire-chemical stations of the first type and one of the second type, 8 stationary checkpoints, at which round-the-clock duty is carried out. The fire-prevention arrangement of the forest fund includes 96 fire reservoirs, 38 fire-observation towers, 4170 km of roads, including forest roads - 3920 km, 1358 km of fire breaks and mineralized belts.

There is an experimental base, which includes a livestock farm where breeding horses of the "Russian heavy draft" breed are kept, a bee farm, nurseries for growing planting material (stone fruit, forest and ornamental crops), three production sites for wood processing. For experimental use, 700 hectares of former agricultural land were introduced for the production of feed and the cultivation of crops.

Managment structure. The state environmental research institution "Polesie State Radiation and Ecological Reserve" is headed by the director and subordinate to the Department for Elimination of the Consequences of the Catastrophe at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Belarus.

Leaders of the Polesie Reserve

director: Konopatsky A.D. (1988-1992), Voronetsky N.N. (1992-2003), P.I. Palitaev (2003-2005), Kudan P.M. (2005-2017), Rubashchenko M.M. (2017-present);

chief foresters: Demchenko D.P. (1988-2000), Degtyarik A.N. (2000-2004), V. G. Ropot (2004-2005), A.V. Sechko (2005), Kudin M.V. (2005-2011), Malyutin S.A. (2011-2016), A. V. Tishkovets (2016-present);

deputy Directors for Research: Fedorov V.N. (1990-1997), Piskunov V.S. (1997-2003), Chernega L.N. (2003), Bondar Yu.I. (2003-2016), Yanochkin I.V. (2017), Kudin M.V. (2018-present).

Modern infrastructure: administrative and production buildings on three sites, repair shops, three points for special sanitization of personnel and transport (at each site), 16 forestry offices for service personnel, a laboratory and scientific building, a sanitary building, a museum. The fleet of automotive and special equipment numbers over 100 units.

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