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Belarus to develop legislation for adaptation to climate change by 2019

MINSK (BelTA) - The legislative framework in the area of adaptation to the climate change will be developed in Belarus in 2016-2019, Sergei Zavyalov, the head of the department of air quality and water resources at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection, told media, BelTA has learned.

“Legislative and institutional framework in the area of adaptation to the climate change will be developed 2016-2019. We will develop the mechanisms for collecting and transmitting information, rapid response to emergency situations, register of current and future risks associated with the climate change, integrating adaptation measures into sectoral programs and the programs for social and economic development of Belarus and its administrative-territorial units,” Sergei Zavyalov said.

In 2017-2030 Belarus will draw up a program of measures on adaptation actions and practices in territorial development, transport infrastructure planning, development of urban projects of general, special and detailed planning.

“There are plans to increase the forest cover of the country's territory from 39.4% in 2013 to 41% by 2030, to carry out ecological rehabilitation of not less than 10,000 hectares of degraded peatlands, increase the area of restored peatlands to 60,000 hectares by 2030 and reduce the area of degraded drained lands with peat soils to 190,000 hectares,” Sergei Zavyalov said.

In addition, Belarus will take measures on the conservation of the main habitats of rare and endangered species of wild animals and wild plants that live and grow in wetlands, on the area of not less than 30,000 hectares of open lowlands, 40,000 hectares of floodplain grassland, 160,000 hectares of peat bogs and transitional bogs.

“Efforts will be focused on the conservation of natural ecological systems, biological and landscape diversity, ensuring the ecological balance of natural systems and sustainable use of the protected natural territories on the area of not less than 8.8% of the territory of the country,” Sergei Zavyalov noted.

Climate change is one of the major economic, environmental, social and energy problems of humanity. “Belarus is also aware of the importance of this issue. The country is making its contribution, along with the rest of the developed and the developing countries. Issues associated with the climate change are one of the main areas of work of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection. Active work started in 2000 as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was ratified,” Sergei Zavyalov said.

The international seminar “Development and implementation of the plans for adaptation to the climate change at the local level” was held on 22 July with the participation of the Belarusian Red Cross Society and the international public association Ecoproject.