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The Pripyat Marsh of Belarus Emily Alford Belarus Facts Borders Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Poland, and the Ukraine Belarus Facts A little smaller than Kansas Landlocked No natural borders

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the pripyat marsh of belarus

The Pripyat Marsh of Belarus

Emily Alford

belarus facts
Belarus Facts
  • Borders Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Poland, and the Ukraine

belarus facts3
Belarus Facts
  • A little smaller than Kansas
  • Landlocked
  • No natural borders

belarus ethnicity
Belarus Ethnicity
  • Ethnicity
    • Belarusian 77.9%
    • Russian 13.2%
    • Ukrainian 2.9%
    • Polish 4.1%
    • Other 1.9%

belarus religions
Belarus Religions
  • Religion
    • Orthodox 60%
    • Catholic 20%
    • Jewish 14%
    • Other 6%

belarus languages
Belarus Languages
  • Languages
    • Belarusian
    • Russian

Cyrillic Alphabet

environment and climate
Environment and Climate
  • Belarus is mostly flat
  • Once completely covered with forest
  • Has over 10,000 lakes

environment and climate8
Environment and Climate
  • Average January temperature -4 degrees Celsius (24.8°F)
  • Average July temperature 17 degrees Celsius (62.6°F)
  • Rainy season from June to August
quick facts about the marshes
Quick Facts about the Marshes
  • Formed by Pripyat River floodplain
  • Pripyat is the largest marsh area in Europe
  • Also called

Pripyatsky, Pripet,

Pinsk, Poles'ye,


more quick facts
More Quick Facts
  • Size: 38,000 sq mi (98,400 sq km)
  • Over 900 sq km are part of Pripyatsky National Park
  • 250 bird species live there, 200 of which breed there

culture of the swamp
Culture of the Swamp
  • Many archaeological sites
  • Traditional folklore and craft
    • More distinct than other regions of Belarus

  • The Pripyat Marsh is located in the southern section of Belarus and northern section of Ukraine

Pripyat Marsh

environment and climate13
Environment and Climate
  • Many unique species live in the swamp
    • Reed Warbler
      • Disappeared from most European countries, but still survives in these wetlands
      • Population in Belarus has decreased 90% in last 30 years

environment and climate14
Environment and Climate
  • Land Use
    • The marshes are used for farming:
      • Rye
      • Potatoes
      • Flax

formation of swamps
Formation of Swamps
  • Combination of impervious clay and slow river-water run-off form the large swamps

  • Marshes were the location of the Battle of Pinsk
    • Battle took place on July 3, 1812
    • French army tried to overtake Belarus
  • Used as hunting ground for European Kings

  • Occupied by Soviet 5th Army in 1918
  • Was considered a natural barrier for the Soviet Union

  • Contaminated 23% of Belarus’ land
  • Over 2 million people lived in this area
  • Contamination spread unevenly throughout Belarus

  • Draining of swamps started around 1870
  • Drastically increased draining in last 20 years
  • 1966-1990 More than one million hectares of the Pripyat marsh in the Polesie area, which is located in the southeastern corner of Belarus, was drained
debate over draining
Debate over Draining
  • Government plans to drain 175,000 hectares of swamp
    • This would replaces farmland damaged from Chernobyl
    • Belarus government has already asked World Bank for the loan to pay for drainage
drainage effects on animals
Drainage Effects on Animals
  • Waterfowl unable to migrate and breed in marshes
  • Animals that grazed there are without pastures
  • Fish supplies decreasing

drainage effects on land
Drainage Effects on Land
  • Drained marsh land is not economically beneficial
    • Land in areas on marsh already drained are rapidly decreasing in fertility

drainage effects on land24
Drainage Effects on Land
  • Crop profit is significantly lower than the price of sowing and harvesting land
  • Lands are registered as agricultural land and must be farmed otherwise a fine is issued
  • Farmers lose either way
drainage prevention
Drainage Prevention
  • The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) supporting projects to protect the area
  • International conference held to conserve Pripyat floodplains, marshes and lowland mires in the Polesie region
  • Local cultures tended to see wetlands as unproductive “swamp.”
historic buildings of belarus
Historic Buildings of Belarus

historic buildings of belarus27
Historic Buildings of Belarus