Very clean work
Belarus highly praised by international experts for eco-achievements
The UN Economic Commission for Europe has been working on its Third Environmental Performance Review, with almost a decade having passed since its last visit to Belarus. Since then, much has been achieved, notes Antoine Nunes, who heads the UN Economic Commission for Europe secretariat’s reviews programme. He helped compile the previous review and believes that Belarus has made significant progress. He has praised eco-related legislation, noting that it is contributing to environmental protection, and is pleased at the level of interaction between ministries and agencies.
“Following the results of our work in 2005, Belarus received ecological recommendations. We can now assert that these have been met in 80-90 percent of cases — and the true figure may be even greater. It’s an impressive result, especially since most other states only achieve 72 percent. Nature protection is being considered across various industrial sectors of Belarus, as a result of wider state strategy,” comments Mr. Nunes.
Belarus’ First Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Iya Malkina, tells us that nature protection issues remain to the fore for Belarus, although the same is not always true abroad. She underlines, “Ecological issues head our national development, being taken into consideration within all strategic programmes; sometimes, they are quite fundamental. Almost every economic branch is somehow related to ecology. For example, in promoting the achievements of our nature reserves, we are supporting future ecological tourism, aiming to attract visitors from abroad. Moreover, enhanced ecological measures at our production facilities aim to raise export volumes, since foreign consumers often wish to buy ecologically friendly products.”
The eco-programme is extensive, involving several ministries, the Gosstandard, and the Belarusian Steel Works (in Zhlobin). Their data will help inform the latest UN Environmental Performance Review.
By Veronika Artemieva