Belarus to implement five environmental projects in 2013

In 2013 the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Belarus is set to implement five projects of international technical aid at the total sum of $18.4 million, First Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Vitaly Kulik said at the ministerial meeting on 30 January.

According to the official, Belarus is interested in maintaining global environmental balance. In 2012 the country implemented 13 projects of international technical assistance of more than $18 million. “The projects covered different areas including harmonization of the national legislation with the European laws, preservation of biodiversity, waste and POPs treatment, water management, and the implementation of the Aarhus Convention,” Vitaly Kulik said. This year the work will be continued with the implementation of five more projects with the international technical assistance at the total amount of $18.4 million.

According to Vitaly Kulik, a move towards Europe’s new model of economic development, Green Economy, is of high priority for Belarus. In 2012 the country started preparations for signing an agreement with the European Union to finance a project of international technical assistance Green Economy in Belarus (the total cost of the project is €12 million).

Vitaly Kulik noted that in 2013 the Ministry needs to defend Belarus’ interests in the consideration of Lithuania’s claims on Belarus’ nonobservance of the Espoo Convention regarding the future Belarusian nuclear power plant and establish cooperation with Austria, Latvia, Poland, and Ukraine in the issues related to the NPP project. The ministry will conduct consultations with Poland on the projects to recover the melioration systems on the Belarusian part of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha and to construct a CHP plant in Brest. Consultations with Lithuania will cover the construction of two hydro power plants at the Neman River, consultations with Latvia – the hydro power plant chain at the Western Dvina. One more project will pertain to environmental monitoring at the Khotislavsky pit in Brest Oblast and the development of the second stage of the pit. 
Speaking about the performance of the national hydrometeorology in 2012, Vitaly Kulik stated that the Hydrometeorology Department develops and implements cooperation action plans with the national meteorological and hydrological services of Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia and Ukraine.

The official also talked about water management in the country. In his words, the condition of water bodies is estimated as satisfactory. In 2012 water was of good quality in 86% of the total water bodies, with 14% being at the satisfactory level. The situation of the Svisloch and Uzda rivers improved considerably.


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