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Belarus seeks to foster cooperation with EU on climate change

Society 18.07.2019 | 13:04
During the meeting. Photo courtesy of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry
During the meeting. Photo courtesy of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry

MINSK, 18 July (BelTA) – Belarus seeks to foster cooperation with the EU on climate change, Belarus Natural Resources and Environmental Protection minister Andrei Khudyk said as he met with outgoing Head of the EU Delegation to Belarus Andrea Wiktorin, BelTA learned from the the press service of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry.

The parties reviewed the cooperation between Belarus and the EU in the field of environmental protection, examined the possibility of early lifting of the EU ban on sale of glass eel larvae to Belarus.

Andrei Khudyk outlined the priorities for the further development of cooperation between Belarus and the EU Delegation: improving the national system of environment monitoring, waste management, climate change, biodiversity, including the conversation of the European eel, renewable energy and low carbon economy, electric transport. The head of the EU Delegation to Belarus confirmed the EU's willingness to foster cooperation with the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry on the basis of synergy of the national priorities of the state and the European Union.

The European Union has provided financial support to a number of international technical assistance projects to address the challenges facing the ministry and the state as a whole. Together with the EU Belarus is implementing three joint projects totaling almost €9 million. The first one seeks to attract organizations to the participation in environmental training in “green schools” across the country, to promote their cooperation with local organizations that are responsible for environmental monitoring, to hold contests of environmental initiatives. The second project “European Union Water Initiative Plus for Eastern Partnership Countries” provides for development of a management plan for one of the five key Belarusian river basins: the Pripyat river basin, enhancement of the laboratories participating in the monitoring of surface and ground waters. The third is about the development of legislation on air quality management and monitoring, taking into account Belarus' commitments under the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution and also the EU legislation.

Two more projects are in the pipeline: European Union for Environment and European Union for Climate. The first one is aimed at providing assistance to the six Eastern Partnership member states (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) in the conservation and more rational use of natural capital, raising environmental well-being of people, stimulating the economic growth and creating mechanisms for more effective management of environmental risks and environmental impacts. The second project aims to contribute to the implementation of political measures in climate change in the Eastern Partnership countries and to facilitate their transition towards a low-emissions development model and to help them fulfill their obligations under the Paris climate agreement.

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