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EC and UNDP Launch Environmental Protection Project in Belarus

The European Commission (EC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed an agreement on July 16, 2008 to launch a joint initiative entitled “Support to environment and sustainable development in Belarus”

This project will be funded by the European Commission and implemented by UNDP, which has extensive experience in promoting sustainable development through policy advice, capacity–building in environmental matters and community–based approaches. This action was agreed with the Government of Belarus in the framework of 2005 Tacis National Action Programme for Belarus.

The action's duration is 27 months and its budget amounts to 1 670 000 EUR made up of a 1 500 000 EURO contribution from the EC and 170 000 EURO from UNDP. The overall objective is to promote environmental protection and sustainable development at central and local levels, by supporting: (i) institutional capacity, (ii) active involvement of communities’ in local decision–making and (iii) public awareness initiatives.

The action is aimed at developing Belarus’ national capacity in the field of strategic environmental assessment (SEA) and implementation of key international environmental conventions (e.g. convention on biodiversity conservation, convention to combat desertification and land degradation), and will support creation of mechanisms to sustain and expand this capacity in the long term. At the same time the action’s recommendations are expected to improve the legal basis for the implementation of local sustainable development strategies (the so–called Local Agendas 21) in the country. At least ten LA–21 are to be developed and agreed with major stakeholders for further implementation; a mobile information centre and local information centers in five regions will be created to promote the LA–21 activities.

One of the action's major goals is to facilitate improvements in public services and the local economy through support in implementing community–led sustainable development actions designed in the framework of LA–21, including those related to establishment of Belarusian Greenways network. The programme will raise environmental awareness among young citizens through the creation and development of the Green Schools concept. Environmental education centres for children in two specially protected nature areas will be established.

Creation of an Environmental Conventions Centre to coordinate implementation, monitoring and reporting on international environmental conventions ratified by Belarus, as well as developing an on–line database and informational materials on the three key environmental conventions, are also planned under this action.

The Belarusian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection will be responsible for supervision of the action’s activities, monitoring and reporting. The Green Schools component will be implemented by an NGO to be selected on a competitive basis.

UNDP Office in Belarus will be in charge of overall management of the action, including provision of expertise in related areas, organising implementation of all activities, recruitment of personnel and other experts, procurement of goods and services in accordance with UNDP rules and procedures.

Contact information: 

Delegation of the European Commission to Ukraine and Belarus 
Mr. Volodymyr Kondrachuk  
United Nations Development Programme 
Ms. Valiantsina Stalyho  


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