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22 May 2024, 17:05

Belarus urges UNESCO to prevent politicization of Polish border fence in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Photo courtesy of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry
Photo courtesy of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry
MINSK, 22 May (BelTA) – Once the country becomes a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Belarus will make a significant contribution to environmental protection efforts. Belarusian Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Minister Sergei Maslyak made the statement during the fifth conference of heads of the ministries and government agencies in charge of environmental protection of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states, the press service of the Belarusian Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry told BelTA.

In his report the minister noted that Belarus views the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as an important international platform and speaks in favor of enhancing the organization’s ecological dimension as one of the most important factors of stability in the Eurasian region.

“In turn, Belarus is ready to make a contribution to the work of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization by promoting interaction in the sphere of environmental protection and rational use of natural resources,” Sergei Maslyak stated. “It is worth noting that environmental protection efforts in our country are systemic and comprehensive. They cover not only natural components and ecosystems but all spheres of activities of the state and the individual.”

Sergei Maslyak told participants of the conference that Belarus pays significant attention to the development of the green economy and to reducing the energy intensity of the gross domestic product. Belarus also faithfully honors and even exceeds all the international commitments the state has undertaken. As an example the natural resources and environmental protection minister mentioned that greenhouse gas emissions dropped by 57% in 2022 taking into account the absorption sector, which is 1.5 times bigger than the commitment Belarus has undertaken to meet till 2023 (35%).

In his report the minister drew attention to the negative impact the Polish border fence has on ecosystems of the unique natural complex – Belovezhskaya Pushcha, which is a Belarusian-Polish transboundary object on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

“We are primarily concerned about disruptions of the hydrological regime, the cutting down of old-growth forest, the blocking of animal migration paths and further loss of biological diversity,” the Belarusian natural resources and environmental protection minister stressed. “This is why I’d like to address members of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, who are present here, with an appeal not to allow the politicization of the process for the benefit of Polish authorities during the committee’s 46th session, which will take place in India in July 2024. I invite anyone who feels like it to come to Belovezhskaya Pushcha in order to see and evaluate the real state of affairs with their own eyes.”

In conclusion Sergei Maslyak expressed confidence that once Belarus becomes a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, it will make a significant contribution to the environmental protection efforts of the international organization for the sake of ecological security of the Eurasian continent.

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