GEF finances 85 projects in Belarus as part of Small Grants Program

The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) has financed 85 projects in Belarus as part of the Small Grants Program (SGP), Alexander Levchenko, SGP National Coordinator in Belarus, said in Grodno on 25 January during a media tour of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of Belarus.

Since the program was launched in 2005, the GEF invested over $6 million into the projects in Belarus. As a result, about 7,000 hectares of wetlands were restored, over 600 hectares of degraded land were returned into use, and over 3,600 trees were planted. Over 30 projects involving the use of energy-saving technologies were implemented, which helped reduce carbon dioxide emission by 5,500-7,000 tonnes. The program made a considerable contribution to improving the environmental situation in Belarus. 
“It is important that these projects are meant for small towns and rural communities,” Alexander Levchenko emphasized. Most of them provided for bringing new technologies to rural schools and pre-school facilities. 
Alexander Levchenko informed that the GEF plans to earmark an additional $2.2 million by 2015 for the Small Grants Program in Belarus. Taking into consideration co-financing, the aggregate resources are estimated at about $4.5-5 million. 
The GEF/UNDP Small Grants Program was officially launched in Belarus in August 2005.

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