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Lukashenko: Nature is of absolute priority

MINSK (BelTA) – Belarus will continue to pay close attention to environmental protection, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Belarus' Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Andrei Khudyk to receive his report on 1 February, BelTA has learned.

“Nature is an absolute priority for me. It is the priority of priorities. There is nature, there is life. No nature, no life. The worse we treat nature, the worse we live. I have always paid and will continue to pay the most serious attention to environmental protection. Our water resources, forests, lowlands, which supply most of the oxygen in Belarus, and so on - we have to conserve it and guard it as the apple of our eye. Most importantly, we should live in harmony, no matter how pompous it may sound, but it is true,” the president said.

The head of state said that the world has been barbarously exploiting and destroying nature. Belarus maintains order in this respect, although there are cases of inappropriate behavior of people here as well. For example, when people leave litter in forests. Such an attitude is unacceptable, the president said.

“We all visit forests, lakes, rivers and admire the beauty. This beauty must be preserved,” said the president. According to him, much attention is paid to the preservation of natural resources in Belarus. “I am not saying it on camera. It is my inner conviction: nature is the number one issue. A person cannot live a normal life if everything around is polluted. I look at cities, towns and Minsk and want them to be clean, to see more trees planted,” said the president.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also commented on the work of the weather forecast service. He recalled that he had previously criticized the service for insufficient reliability of weather forecasts and instructed to remedy the situation. “I see that the service has made progress. I am watching it very carefully. The forecast for three days is absolutely accurate, and they are almost never wrong even for a week's forecast. A striking change,” the president said.

According to the ministry, Belarus was among the top 50 countries (49th position out of 180) in the index of environmental efficiency in 2020, ahead of all members of the Eurasian Economic Union. Air pollutant emissions are on decline every year. Over the past five years, their volume reduced by 4.5%. Nine out of 10 water bodies are rated as having an ecological status of “good” or higher. The area of specially protected natural areas has reached 9% of the country's area.