"Today, caring for nature, including wildlife, takes on unique importance. In a report in June this year, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) calls on all countries of the world to make a great recovery of nature. Its restoration is in the interest of the entire mankind," comments Professor Piotr Skubała from the Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection at the University of Silesia in Katowice.
In keeping with this trend, this year the Żubr Fund is carrying out activities in cooperation with the Biebrza National Park. The swamplands of the Biebrza valley, one of the last valleys in Europe not destroyed by man, store about 500 million m³ of water, which is about the same amount as in the largest Polish retention reservoirs. The marshes are islands of biodiversity, cool the climate, act as natural air conditioners, and are a unique habitat for birds, which the whole of Europe admires. It is worth noting, however, that about 40% of the Biebrza National Park (read our article about the park here) area belongs to private owners, which means that appropriate nature conservation activities are not always carried out there, such as limiting animal disturbance and disturbance of valuable plant and fungi species, expanding strict or active protection areas, preventing peatlands from drying out, and conducting monitoring and scientific research. That is why the Żubr Fund started a long-term cooperation with Biebrza National Park, whose goal is to support the acquisition of parcels located within its territory to enlarge the land owned by the park.
It is already known that proper conservation is crucial for climate change and thus has a direct impact on our quality of life and social sustainability.
Increasing the land resource in the park is an important and long-term process. Thanks to the involvement of the Żubr Fund this process can be accelerated and the first of the planned plots has already been purchased with funds from the Fund. The plot is an extremely valuable natural habitat and a feeding ground e.g., the Greater Spotted Eagle (it is less than 300 m from its nest), but also a place of concentration of migratory birds, among which we can observe widgeons, white-fronted geese and cranes.
The activities of the Żubr Fund take place at a time when for 20 years, no new national park has been created in Poland. They also match the mood of Poles, who express a positive attitude towards national parks. In a survey conducted by the Żubr Fund, 75% of those asked favoured increasing their numbers. In the same survey, 75% agreed that national parks protect endangered species, and more than 60% thought their territory should be expanded. The vast majority of the population (90%) supports the existence of national parks.
Cooperation with Biebrza National Park is a consistent achievement of the Żubr Fund's mission, established by Kompania Piwowarska (the Polish brewing group – editor’s note), which is to actively support wild animal species by reinvesting part of the profits in them. The Żubr Fund's mission is to educate, save and protect nature. It carries out this mission in the most valuable natural regions of Poland.
"We are happy to contribute to improving the situation of Polish national parks. We feel responsible for the protection of endangered species in Poland - heroes of European bison stories. Our actions are not a one-time action, but a consistently implemented, long-term commitment. We cooperate with state institutions, scientists and public benefit organizations, engaging and informing a wide range of consumers about the needs of Polish nature", says Urszula Czerniawska, Senior Brand Manager of the Żubr.
In 2019, the Żubr Fund donated one million zlotys to protect endangered species, in 2020 it funded specialized equipment, worth one million zlotys, for the Bialowieza National Park, and another million will be donated this year to fight for the preservation of wildlife, in its most natural form possible.
Source: Poland Daily 24, PAP