By Oksana Bogomazova
The Environmental Performance Index — compiled by scientists from the universities of Yale and Columbia — embraces 163 countries. It uses 25 criteria to assess people’s health, related to the state of the environment and eco-systems. The purity of water and air, as well as state policy to preserve biodiversity, is taken into account, alongside farming practices.
Belarus occupies 53rd position, followed by Russia (69), Armenia (76), Azerbaijan (84), Moldova (86), Ukraine (87), Kazakhstan (92), Tajikistan (111), Uzbekistan (144) and Turkmenistan (157). Among our neighbours, Latvia is placed highest (21st position) while Lithuania is ranked 37th. Poland is in 63rd place and Estonia is 57th.
The Belarusian Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry notes that Belarus is ahead of the USA (61st place). Iceland, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Sweden top the rating.