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The race to save Polesia, Europe's secret Amazon

A proposed waterway linking the Black Sea and the Baltic has sparked fears of catastrophic biodiversity loss - and raised the spectre of ChernobylAll photographs by Vincent MundyOn the banks of the Pripyat River lies a forest. On a crisp winter afternoon with an expansive blue sky above and hardened snow underfoot, the area is criss-crossed with the tracks of hares, deer and wolves. This is the south-eastern tip of Belarus, home to sleepy villages steeped in tradition, where people hang their Christmas trees upside-down from the ceiling and eat raw pig fat as an afternoon snack.It is also part of Polesia, Europe's largest wilderness. More than two-thirds the size of the UK (18m hectares) and spread across Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia, in spring this brittle landscape blooms into a labyrinth of gigantic bogs and swamps that supports large populations of wolves, bison, lynx and 1.5 million migratory birds. It has been called "the Amazon of Europe" for its extraordinary biodiversity. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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