Poland – Green area | A delegation from “Terre Liban”, represented by its president Paul Abi Rached completed a one-week visit to Poland, after being invited by the Polish Association “Grupa Ecologiczna”, aiming to encircle thousands of storks, in order to study their migratory routes from Europe to Africa passing through Lebanon, where millions of birds pass through its sky, in a gorgeous scenery, which many people from all over the world hope to see it. The Stork, which moves between three continents, completing distances which reach up to 4,000 kilometers, has become a migrant ambassador which preserves the balance of nature, and symbolizes “good luck”, with the white flag of peace it draws in the atmosphere of the countries it crosses through during its migration.
Many representatives from environmental associations from Belarus, Spain and Poland participated in the visit, along with Mr. Michel Sawwan, the winner of “Hunting Stork through Photography” contest, which was organized by “Terre Liban” at the beginning of the Stork migration season last spring, under the auspices of the Polish Embassy in Lebanon and the support of the Green area website and “Consultants PAR” company. The participants in the environmental week began their activity by surrounding a group of 44 birds, distributed in 15 nests in different regions, noting that this meeting is very important in order to build a European – Asian – African network, for the protection of migratory Stork birds, through effective educational and awareness activities.
It is also noteworthy that Poland formally asked Lebanon to allow storks to cross the skies of Lebanon and to return to its territory in order to breed safely, pointing out that there is a bad reputation from some Lebanese who hunt migratory stork birds, and publish their photos on Facebook pages and social networking sites, in order to show off their skills! After his meeting with the Ambassador of Poland in Lebanon, the Environment Minister also promised to pursue the case, asserting that “the issuance of the Environmental Public Prosecution Act, which allocated environmental lawyers, will control the violations,” adding that “the ministry will cooperate with municipalities to prevent this phenomenon”. The minister also encouraged him to place the storks in some Lebanese areas, such as Bnashii, in order to raise awareness on their importance. ” Returning to Poland, and specifically to the village of Zivkovo, residents have a beautiful and distinctive experience with storks, where this village protects its birds, whose numbers in the summer exceed the number of Poland’s population who believe that the birds bring luck and tourists, and also bring children, according to the old Polish legends.
These villages, in the north of Poland, are very near to the border of Kaliningrad, which is supported by non-governmental organizations and European funds; rely on birds to attract tourists and to fight against displacement from the countryside. The villagers do what they can to host these big white birds that are considered a symbol of good luck by Eastern Europeans and residents of the north. Adam Obozinski, who runs a farm in Bialystok (northeast), owned by the non-governmental organization “BTOB” that deals with the protection of birds, said: “We cut the grass in the fields, dig lakes, and put new platforms for the storks’ nests. We also reform the old platforms, and isolate the electrical lines for the birds’ safety “. Storks have found a paradise on earth in this region, and more than 15 thousand pairs of white storks each year, reach this country, that is rich in lakes and marshes. However, Poland includes 50 thousand birds of this kind, which is 20 percent of the total storks in the world, according to local authorities. The retired farmer Vladislav Andreev (64 years) says: “In the sixties of the last century, there were 120 residents in the village, and 20 storks.”
Andreev’s passion for the stork bird goes back to his childhood. He has fixed nests and built other new structures for these birds on the roofs of his farm, along with its trees and poles. He adds that “storks bring luck. We have always lived with them, and we have never felt any misery.”