Local people will lose one of the few remaining places where they can swim, picnic and pick mushrooms and berries. Besides, the wetland is home to a rare species of amphibian, which is listed in the Red Book of Belarus among the country's endangered species. With the destruction of its habitat, this amphibian would disappear from the region.
These are very valid arguments. While it’s true that people will lose access to a natural area for leisure, they should also consider the potential loss of fauna and flora. National legislation and the Red Book include a number of measures to protect biodiversity.
It is unlikely that people looking forward to purchasing and moving into a home in this new development will be greatly concerned about the fate of frogs and newts.
Many birds of prey, including birds listed in the Red Book, feed in these woodlands on the birds that nest there. Cutting down the trees would force these birds to move elsewhere and put them under further pressure.
Birds of prey are “top predators” and need large territories for hunting. This may be a more compelling argument, as people tend to feel greater concern for larger animals, such as eagles and other large birds of prey.
Locals may have a negative view of predatory animals, including birds of prey.
The wetland supports a colony of migrating birds during part of each year, providing one of only a few suitable habitats in Europe. Also, the forest protects the neighbouring lake from shore erosion.
Because of the limited number of suitable resting places, migratory waterfowl are very vulnerable when crossing densely populated areas. It may be possible to gain international support for your campaign, as the birds migrate through other countries that do protect their habitats.
The local authorities are likely to be far more concerned about housing problems and revenues from the development.