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Regional Newsletter "Development and Transition


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Two first Infocentres for sustainable development and ecotourism opened in Belarus

Two information centers for sustainable development and ecotourism, established within EU/UNDP joint project “Sustainable development at local level”, were inaugurated June 11-12 in Navapolack and village Zaborje (Rasony district, Viciebsk region).

The activities of both centers include research, information and training seminars and workshops, rendering of library services for sustainable development. The centers will facilitate the exchange of experiences with partners from Belarus and neighboring countries, and will support the Belarusian regions in the development of Local Agendas 21 and Greenways.

In his speech at the opening of the Centre in Navapolack UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus Mr. Antonius Broek said that “the creation of the center is the result of fruitful cooperation between UNDP, European Union and the Ministry of Natural Resources with the local authorities and residents of the city, devoted to the principles of sustainable development and environmental protection.” Mr. Broek also said he hoped that the Centre will become an instrument of partnership and common resource mobilization for the implementation of Local Agendas 21.

In her turn, the mayor of Navapolack Ms. Natalia Kochanova confirmed the high interest of local authorities and residents to ensure that the Centre would become the catalyst for sustainable development in the region and a platform for discussion of new perspective projects.

Opening of the Infocentre in Navapolack was accompanied by a demonstration of local initiatives in the sphere of sustainable development, supported by the EU and UNDP. One also could see the presentation of local craftsmen works and Children's Fashion Show – so called “environmental collections”, as well as performances of children's environmental theater “Ant hill”.

In the village of Zaborje opening of the Centre coincided with the national festival of rural tourism “Zaborski fest”. This year the festival has received additional funding from the EU/UNDP project. That helped to fill the program of mentioned Fest by new and exciting activities.

It is expected that by the end of the year three more similar centers with be opened in Belarus with the assistance of the EU/UNDP project "Sustainable development at local level" – in Čavusy, Belaaziorsk and Žaludok.

For more information please contact Viachaslau Smirnou, PR Specialist of the project, tel. 8 029 875 5102, or Uladzislau Khilkevich, UNDP Communications Associate, tel. +375 17 227 3817.

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