Green is always in fashion

Ecologists have recently reported on damage caused by man

Some scientists predict that, under the current rate and form of manufacture and consumption, within just 30-40 years, the world could lose two-thirds of its flora and fauna (in comparison with the beginning of the 21st century). Meanwhile, 7.5 million square kilometres of natural territory may be irreversibly damaged: equal in size to Australia.

Such forecasts aim to encourage change: a wealth of legislation exists to promote countries shifting to ‘green’ production, marketing and communications, construction and agriculture, including the use of ‘pure technologies’. We must achieve a balance between business success and protecting the fragile ecology of our world.

Belarus is implementing several ‘green’ projects, including one financed by the EU and realised by the UNDP, in co-operation with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. It should show how principles can work in practice. The Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Iya Malkina, notes that various spheres are becoming involved: from developing ‘green’ transport (on the Radziwiłł family estate) to highly-effective organic fertilisers (via the deep processing of non-waste sapropel, in the Zhitkovichi District). Brest is recycling wooden waste into biofuel while Borisov is manufacturing recycled paper. Belarus is examining the potential of wind energy and there is a project to breed black grouse.

Some projects aim to reduce harmful emissions and increase energy efficiency by employing the latest technologies. Zhitkovichi has been purchasing modern equipment not only to raise quality but to reduce its emission of harmful gases. The move is even creating new workplaces at the enterprise.

Alexey Kashin, chief engineer at Goznak Paper Mill, is convinced that new ecological technologies are important in terms of saving natural resources. He underlines, “Our enterprise has begun preparing designs and is tendering for purchase of equipment. It will take almost a year but, by 2016, we’ll be able to lower water costs considerably, while doubling our waste paper recycling volumes.”

Ms. Malkina comments believes that understanding of the necessity of moving to ‘green rails’ will soon become the norm, not only because of tax preferences for ecological production but to enable Belarus to compete on foreign markets, where eco-goods are much sought after.

By Vera Arteaga
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