Environmental standards receive great extent of consideration
UNDP ready to assist Belarus in transition to ‘green economy’
By Olga Belova
Speaking at the scientific-practical conference Sustainable Development of Belarus on the Principles of ‘Green Economy’, the UN Resident Co-ordinator/ UNDP Resident Representative in the Republic of Belarus, Antonius Broek, noted that, for several years, the UNDP has been successfully liaising with the Belarusian Government to promote eco-projects.
Projects to rehabilitate Belarusian peat lands and preserve biodiversity have been implemented in partnership with the Global Environment Facility. With assistance from the EU, energy efficient projects have been carried out, including improved waste management. International experts have also helped Belarusian specialists in preparing a national report for the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development: Rio +20. “All these projects will help Belarus to move to a ‘green economy’, reducing production costs and developing new types of import-substitution goods,” Mr. Broek asserts.
The First Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Vitaly Kulik, stresses that Belarus is interested in ecological production. The country has already taken steps in this direction, allowing GDP to grow without raising environmental pollution. Belarusian companies are now working with innovative technologies to upgrade facilities and develop new products, while reducing their impact on the environment.
“Money is being invested in developing water and air purification systems, while tax concessions are a good stimulus to firms reducing harmful emissions. This promotes a more eco-oriented economy,” emphasises Mr. Kulik. The Deputy Minister notes that a working group under the Ministry of the Environment has been created to promote the re-equipment of Belarusian production to meet environmental standards. He adds, “We hope that countries with advanced ‘green’ technologies will share their experience with Belarus.”
Belarus is also developing partnerships with international organisations in the field of nature conservation, including the Global Environment Facility; a wind-power engineering project is being prepared. Mr. Kulik explains, “We’ll continue developing projects with international technical assistance.”