New German documentary reports on Polesia

The brand-new documentary ‘The great extinction of species’ reports on the problems of, and solutions to biodiversity loss. Leading scientists, conservations and economists discuss this issue of global concern – not only on a local, but also on a national and global scale. As part of this story, the German-language ARD film shows impressive footage of Polesia, referred to as the Amazon on the doorstep of Europe. The film crew from the German TV channel visited the Belarusian part of Polesia. They interviewed conservationists from the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) and APB BirdLife Belarus about their efforts to protect this unique landscape for future generations. 

The aquatic warbler is globally threatened and here lives its most important and largest population’ says Elleni Vendras, coordinator of the FZS ‘Polesia – Wilderness without borders‘ project.

The small songbird is Europe’s rarest and their population is decreasing. It needs wetland areas like Polesia to survive and thrive. Polesia is a paradise for birds – many of which depend on this pristine landscape for their survival. Scientists recorded more than 200 species of birds in Polesia, according to Vendras. 

Rivers and their water influence all life in Polesia. In spring, the area is flooded, then during summer the water-level drops. Pavel Pinchuk, ornithologist of APB explains:

‘Polesia exists due to this dynamic. If this process is artificially regulated, Polesia will cease to exist as a wetland. This is the death of Polesia.’ 

The documentary joins a growing number highlighting the need to urgently tackle biodiversity loss. For Europe’s Amazon, we have a narrow window of opportunity to save this wilderness from the E40 waterway and prevent an environmental catastrophe of global significance.

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