Białowieża Forest

Białowieża: Cracking the stalemate and restoring Europe’s last remaining lowland primeval forest

The extensive and ethereal Białowieża (Beloveshskaya Pushcha), a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the last great primary forests in Europe. This project will initiate landscape-level and cross-border restoration of the forest’s hydrology, which is essential to maintain its outstanding biodiversity value. To address an ongoing dispute in Poland and Belarus over intensive logging in the forest, this project is taking a novel transboundary approach to progress the political stalemate. By planning and coordinating priority restoration activities on both sides of the border, it is estimated that up to 20,000 ha of drained mires and formerly straightened riverbeds can be rewetted and restored within the Białowieża ecosystem.