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Grants under a new fund for naturalists distributed

A total of 250 thousand zlotys was awarded to scientists from the region for the implementation of 6 grants under the newly established “Fund for Environmental Research and Activities in the Lublin Coal Basin Area.” Yesterday, on 7 May, ceremonial signing of agreements with grantees took place at the headquarters of the Polesie National Park in Urszulin.

This is the beginning of a new path in scientific work to protect the valuable environment of the Polesie Lubelskie region. The fund was established thanks to a cooperation agreement signed by Lubelski Węgiel Bogdanka and the Polesie National Park in late 2023.
The “Fund for Environmental Research and Activities in the Lublin Coal Basin Area” is a pilot project that is a pillar of the cooperation agreement between the Polesie National Park and LW Bogdanka. The partners invited local scientists to submit their research and implementation projects for nature conservation, in the area geographically closest to the company, namely the Lublin Coal Basin.  

This is not only the first edition of the Fund, but the first such cooperation nationwide between a mining company and a national park. Our intention is to engage scientists from Polish universities to study and then cooperate in implementing measures to minimize the impact of mining activities on the ecosystems of the Polesie National Park. It's also an element that supports the implementation of the protective measures facing the Park, which result from the Polesie National Park Protection Plan established by the Minister of Environment,”

- explains Agata Kostarz, Deputy Director for Strategy and Sustainable Development at LW Bogdanka.

We put a lot of hope in this fund. We hope that the selected research and implementation projects will fit substantively into our pro-environmental activities. And these activities must, above all, be effective, given the industry's proximity to the area subject to highest protection.

- adds Agata Kostarz.

For LW Bogdanka, cooperation with the National Park is a challenge resulting from the ESG Strategy being implemented. The document assumes that each year the company will improve its environmental efficiency, thereby reducing its impact on the natural environment. To ensure that environmental projects have real effects, Bogdanka has established, among other things, a Scientific Council for Environmental Protection, which includes 14 independent scientists, most of them from the Lublin Region. Experts from the Council provide free opinions and recommendations to the Management Board on the most important directions and initiatives that affect the environment.

Conservation of Polesie National Park’s resources has been a challenge for local business for years but, more importantly, a concern for many scientists conducting research and implementation in the field of life sciences. It is also a remarkable source of information on the mechanisms taking place in the most valuable natural ecosystems, especially peatlands. And conducting research in such areas is not easy and in most cases is very costly and time-consuming. Many times it also requires special permits. Not only from the Park authorities, but also from the Minister of the Environment. This is another of the premises that guided the Fund's originators.

In carrying out its mission, the Polesie National Park cooperates with the scientific community on a daily basis. The Park is also obliged by law to submit its conservation action plans for opinion to the Park's Scientific Council, whose core consists of representatives of Lublin's scientific community. This shows that management of the highest form of protection in Poland without the participation of science is not possible. It is clear that in order for science to develop and respond to the dynamic environment, it is necessary for it to be adequately funded, to which the established Fund undoubtedly contributes.

- says Jarosław Szymański, director of the Polesie National Park.

The call for grant applications under the first edition of the Fund lasted until 15 March this year. The submitted projects, prepared mainly by scientists from the University of Life Sciences and the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, were subjected to formal and substantive evaluation, which was carried out by a committee consisting of representatives of the Polesie National Park’s Scientific Council and the Park’s substantive employees. The projects were evaluated for their rationale, feasibility, cost-effectiveness and innovation.

The second element of cooperation between the Polesie National Park and LW Bogdanka is the support of active conservation activities in the Park, implemented within the framework of the protection plan.

Active protection activities carried out by the Park are costly and require new sources of funding. Tasks carried out in non-forest terrestrial ecosystems, aimed mainly at preserving low, high and transitional peatlands, optimizing water relations, active protection of valuable species such as the pond turtle and aquatic warbler, or environmental education in the broadest sense, are among the Park's primary activities. What we also care about is the buyout of naturally valuable private land within the Park's boundaries, which directly affects the possibility of conducting proper active protection on it. Since 2024, LW Bogdanka, allocating PLN 250 thousand, participates in the implementation of these tasks, which we very much appreciate and are sincerely grateful for.

- adds Jarosław Szymański.


LW Bogdanka S.A. highlights

Lubelski Węgiel Bogdanka S.A. is a leading hard coal producer in Poland that stands apart from its peers in terms of its modern and efficient mining. It is one of the largest Polish hard coal mines. Lubelski Węgiel Bogdanka S.A. chiefly conducts mining operations in terms of hard coal extraction, enrichment and sales. It supplies this raw material mainly to industrial offtakers. Supply contracts are long-term, and the product is sold to the commercial power sector and the industrial power sector.

The company has been listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange since June of 2009. In August 2022, Lubelski Węgiel Bogdanka S.A. returned to listing on the WIG-ESG Index.

Since October of 2015 Bogdanka has been a member of the Enea Group, the second largest player on Poland’s electrical power market in terms of the generation of electricity, which manages the entire value chain on the electricity market ranging from fuel to the generation of electricity, distribution, sales (supply) and customer service.