By Inessa Brodova
Novogrudok is to become the second city in Belarus taking part in the international UNDP Covenant of Mayors programme (joining Polotsk, which is currently the sole member from the Republic). A recent meeting was devoted to the city joining the ecological movement, with guests including those from the local authorities, the Energy Charter Secretariat and the Italian province of Chieti, alongside international experts in sustainable energy.
To ensure efficient implementation of sustainable energy development in the Novogrudok District, a working group has been set up comprising experts in the spheres of energy, industry, agriculture and construction. They are to monitor a pilot project and assess its results. Vladimir Kuzmich, a local programme expert with 20 years experience in international renewable energy projects, will be collecting and analysing data, to create a strategy for sustainable energy development, training and informing people, and promoting close co-operation with local authorities.
“I think that decision on the inclusion of our city into the influential Covenant of Mayors programme will be positive,” stresses the Chairman of Novogrudok District Executive Committee, Anatoly Markevich. “We hope to receive additional investments into the region’s economy, helping us implement the most urgent projects to ensure economic use of fuel and energy resources and maintain the balance of the environment. We’ve already begun work in this area, with solar panels being installed at a pre-school institution in the city to heat its swimming pool. Grodnoenergo has made significant investments into energy-efficiency, with the first wind turbine in the Novogrudok District showing serious results just one year after installation. The heads of major enterprises across the city can share their ideas on promoting efficient energy consumption.”
Further meetings are planned in Novogrudok and it is hoped that investors, interested in the UNDP project may soon come.