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New Project to Help Conserve Biodiversity Outside the Boundaries of Specially Protected Natural Areas

The new UNDP/GEF project “Mainstreaming Biodiversity Conservation into Territorial Planning Policies and Practices”, an inception seminar of which was held in Minsk yesterday, is designed to ensure environmentally balanced land use at the district level.

Land use is environmentally balanced if production activities outside the boundaries of protected natural areas are conducted without distorting the normal operation of ecosystems and their components. On the one hand, the project objective will be attained through the development of regulatory and institutional frameworks for land–use planning with due consideration of biodiversity conservation requirements outside the boundaries of specially protected natural areas (SPNAs), and on the other hand – through the testing of those models and the application of those land–use plans that are compatible with biodiversity conservation requirements.

The project intends to work on improving ecosystem conservation outside the boundaries of SPNAs in 10 administrative districts of the country: Rechitsa and Rogachev districts (Gomel Region), Ivatsevichy District (Brest Region), Volozhin District (Minsk Region), Korelichy and Slonim districts (Grodno Region), Klichev and Bobruiskdistricts (Mogilev Region), Rossony and Glubokoye districts (Vitebsk Region) – a total of about 2 million hectares. The Global Environmental Facility has allocated approximately a million US dollars to implement the project.

“The United Nations Development Programme pays much attention to the issue of environmental conservation and sustainable development,” said UNDP Programme Officer for Environmental Projects Igor Tchoulba. “Today, 7 UNDP projects are underway in Belarus in this area, and a few more are being developed.”

The new biodiversity conservation project envisages that staff of the following organizations join their efforts: the bodies of state administration (the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, the State Property Committee, the Ministry of Forestry, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Stuffs), science and research institutions, non–profit and international organizations. An important task of the project is to raise the awareness of the public and authorities about its outcomes.

As Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Anatoly Lis pointed out at the inception seminar, it is symbolic that such a project should start this very year that has been declared the International Year of Biodiversity by the UN General Assembly.

For further information please contact Project Manager Vladimir Koltunov at 656–6377 (mobile) or email him at .


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