Ecology dictates its own rules of behaviour for everyone

Possibilities of ‘green economy’ development studied with active participation of ministries, agencies, enterprises and businesses

By Anastasia Levkovich

The Deputy Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Minister, Galina Volchuga, has attended a round table discussion in Minsk, stating that — while moving towards sustainable development — Belarus is forming a ‘green economy’. She notes that these are only the first steps and, in line with the Prime Minister’s order, a working group has been established to define national policy — for use at international talks relating to eco matters. A strategy is also being formed to guide the economy’s technological development, taking into account ‘green principles’. “We’ve already reached the formation of Belarus’ position on the issue,” Ms. Volchuga tells us.

Among our ecological priorities is the attraction of businesses to projects designed to protect sites of natural beauty and to use ecologically friendly technologies. “Certain progress is evident,” she explains, adding, “We’ve formed a database of the best available technical methods; any businessman can use them — proceeding from nature protection goals and economically feasible technologies.”

Ms. Volchuga is convinced that, besides efforts made by ministries, agencies, state and private companies, every Belarusian citizen can contribute to protecting the environment. “Recent polls conducted in Germany indicate that 65 percent of its residents take part in eco-activities — such as recycling waste materials,” Ms. Volchuga notes. “In Belarus, only 5 percent of people do so.”

The Head of the International Co-operation Department at the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry, Alexander Rachevsky, notes that, at present, each country is independently choosing its approach to the development of a ‘green economy’. Some focus on energy issues and climate protection, while others view the use of eco-technologies in industry as a priority, or highlight organic farming. No shared strategy exists. Rachevsky explains that some attempts have been made — such as in South Korea, where a governmental document was adopted to implement the principles of this economy.

The main aims of eco-policies are to soften the effects of climate change and save energy via ecologically friendly transportation and power generation and use. The processing industry is receiving attention, as is the healthiness of our food sources. High-tech infrastructure is being formed, including business-incubators and innovative clusters.
Belarus needs to adopt an action plan for its ‘green economy’, with the necessary legislation drawn from the best global experience. A campaign is needed to inspire interest among businesses and the public. Mr. Rachevsky believes it would be useful to introduce a system of ecological purchases by the state sector. “We should set an example to the community, buying ecologically friendly products — such as paper, machinery and other things for daily use.”

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