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EU to promote Belarus’ green economy

MINSK, 27 March (BelTA) – Belarus is expected to launch a new “green economy” project in cooperation with the European Union this year, head of the department for projects and programs of the EU Office in Belarus Llewellyn Edwards said in a roundtable meeting “Water management and quality assessment of surface waters in Belarus and the European Union” on 27 March.

“This year we plan to launch a new bilateral “green economy” project in Belarus,” said the expert. The EU is ready to support new joint projects in Belarus including those related to international river basin management, combating climate change and expansion of public environmental awareness.

According to the official, over the last decade environmental issues have been at the forefront of the country’s policies. Belarus has developed and has been implementing a wide range of national programs, making focus on waste treatment, biodiversity protection and water management. “Belarus and the EU enjoy close cooperation ties. Belarus partakes in the EU regional projects including waste management, the development of the single information system and many more,” Llewellyn Edwards said.

In turn, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in the Republic of Belarus Antonius Broek stressed the importance of cooperation with international organizations in the field of water resources management. “The EU has a positive experience in this area. The EU views river basins as separate management objects; they are awarded some environmental status,” he said. According to Antonius Broek, the EU places a strong emphasis on the participation of the public in water resources management. This is extremely important because people must understand the value of water and feel responsible for its management, he said. Belarus’ studying of the EU experience in water management can greatly help the country because there are a lot of transboundary water objects on its territory. The expert expressed confidence in fruitful cooperation between the UNDP and the EU in the area.