Jeepers in the swamp area. Test drive in the Boloto Mokh reserve

On May 4, 2016, the Belarusian-German automobile plant MAZ-MAN held a test drive of a new German SUV “overcomer” (Husky) on an upland swamp located on the territory of the Boloto Mokh Republican hydrological reserve. As a result, the fans of extreme sports have broken the regulations on the reserve prohibiting the transportation in a vehicle, destroyed a part of the live ground cover, and damaged 94 trees to the extent of growth cessation.


  • compensation of damage for violation of environmental legislation;
  • prevention of the re-destruction of natural ecosystems by public events.

Participants:Bahna NGO, APB BirdLife Belarus NGO, the State Nature Protection Institution “Yelnya Republican Landscape Reserve”.

Duration: 1 year

Target audience:Miory District Inspection of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Institute of Experimental Botany named after V. F. Kuprevich of NAS of Belarus, the State Forestry Institution “Disnensky Leskhoz”, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Prosecutor’s Office of the Miory district, the Office of the Investigation Committee of the Vitebsk region.


  • appeals to the government agencies;
  • monitoring the scene of the event on the delegation;
  • drafting proposals for amendments to the legislation.Communication:
  • articles and press releases in the media;
  • a video clip from the scene of the event (

Decision-making bodies:Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Ministry of Sports and Tourism, the Office of the Investigation Committee of the Vitebsk region.


1) The campaign managed to achieve bringing criminal charges against the perpetrators under art. 264 of the Criminal Code. Equal to the harm caused to the environment, the damage amounted to 60,900 BYN. However, in 2017, we got to know about the termination of the criminal case due to the failure to prove the implication in the crime.

2) Together with the public, experts from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection added the article 54-1 “Environmental protection regulations for sporting, sporting and mass participation, cultural and entertainment, and other mass participation events, as well as tourist trips” to the Law of the Republic of Belarus “On environmental protection”. It provides that it is not allowed to hold any mass participation events or tourist trips, “if they cause a harmful impact on natural complexes and objects, or if there is a threat of such an impact being caused”. The provision elaborates that this restriction also applies to events during which vehicles are used in not specifically designated for these purposes places located in natural ecological systems. The article went into effect on January 22, 2017.