MINSK, 20 April (BelTA) - The international environmental exhibition-forum Ecology Expo 2021 and the 16th national environmental forum "Civic Engagement in Environmental Decision Making" will be held in Minsk from 3 to 5 June, Elena Meleshkova, deputy head of the analysis, science and information department at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, said at a press briefing in BelTA's press center.
The events are dedicated to the Year of People's Unity. The organizers are the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, the BelExpo National Exhibition Center, and the Minsk City Hall.
"Ecology Expo will showcase Belarusian and foreign innovative production and technological achievements in the field of environmental protection and sustainable use of natural resources. The exhibition will highlight green technologies in the field of renewable energy and alternative energy sources, energy efficient construction, green transport, efficient use of waste, biopacking, organic and environmentally friendly products, eco-tourism, best practices of green schools," Elena Meleshkova said.
According to her, the national environmental forum aims to bring together all sectors of society in solving environmental problems, maximize the involvement of citizens in the environmental movement, raise environmental awareness, promote the principles of sustainable development and cultivate an environmentally friendly lifestyle.
The environmental forum was launched in 2003 in Orsha. Until 2014, it was held annually, then once every two years. The forum has been hosted by many regions of the country: Gorky, Bobruisk, Vitebsk, Polotsk, Braslav, Myadel, Molodechno, Rechitsa, Mozyr, Grodno, Novogrudok, Brest and Minsk. The capital city will host the forum for the second time.
“The forum will focus on involving the civil society in environmental decision making. Belarus holds various campaigns, events, and contests dedicated to this topic, lays out parks, organizes volunteer movement to create green spaces and pick up rubbish. The business program of the forum will include meetings to discuss ways to improve environmental policy, green economy development, sustainability of eco-systems, and the role of the society in addressing environmental problems,” Elena Meleshkova.
Belarus' sustainable development prospects are closely linked with its commitments under 23 international conventions and agreements on environmental protection, Elena Meleshkova noted. “In view of this, these events attracted a lot of interest from out foreign partners. Taking part in the forum will be representatives of government agencies and public associations, diplomats, the academia,” she said.
According to her, the exhibition and the forum are seen as a unique platform for shaping the country's development with the help of the “government-business-society” system. “This is reflected in the logos of the events. For example, the logo of the expo resembles the Earth. Two letters ‘e' facing each other stand for environment and economy,” Elena Meleshkova explained.
The environmental forum will also feature the roundtable “Improving the waste management system”. The event is scheduled for 4 June. Creating an effective waste management system and introducing new waste reclamation technologies are very important activities for Belarus, Olga Sazonova, the head of the waste management, biological and landscape diversity department at the Belarusian Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry, said. “During the roundtable, we will discuss regulations on hazardous waste management in the European Union and Slovakia's experience in creating a waste collection and reclamation system. We hope that the event will pave the way for a major decision about improving the waste management system in Belarus and will give an impetus to further efforts in this field, including with the help of international best practices and technologies that will be presented during the roundtable,” she said.
Such events are very timely and important, because a lot of organizations, including foreign companies, have shown interest in them, Viktoria Agafonova, the head of the exhibitions and fairs department of the BelExpo exhibition center, added. “The lineup of exhibitors is in the works and will be unveiled soon. It includes dozens of Belarusian companies that make products and provide services for ecology, environmental protection, and waste recycling, big companies that introduce effective technologies at their facilities for emission reduction and sustainable waste management, and manufacturers of eco-friendly transport, bicycles, eco-friendly food products. The expo will also feature representatives of national parks,” she said. Foreign participants will include companies from Poland, Germany, Slovenia, Turkey, Sweden, Ukraine, and Russia.
The events will be organized with the support from the Council of Ministers, the national government agencies, and the project “Civic engagement in environmental monitoring and improving environmental management at the local level” financed by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Program in association with the Belarusian Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry and other stakeholders.