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23 Oct 2017

Belarus to carry out sustainable POPs management project

Belarus to carry out sustainable POPs management projectMINSK, 23 October (BelTA) – The international technical assistance project “Sustainable management of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and chemical substances” will be carried out in Belarus, BelTA learned from Yelena Meleshkova, spokesperson for the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry.

The project is aimed at destroying stockpiles of obsolete pesticides and equipment containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in an environmentally safe way. According to the project, a number of essential practical measures will be undertaken to reduce and mitigate the effect of POPs on the environment. In particular, all the storage facilities with obsolete pesticides will be cleaned up. As of today, there are some 2,000 tonnes of such waste stored there, along with 2,300 tonnes of Class 1 PCB-containing equipment and waste. The project is estimated at around $8.5 million.

The project has been worked out by the Belarusian Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry and the UNDP in Belarus. It will lay the groundwork for further cooperation between Belarus, the UNDP, and the Global Environment Facility in addressing the problem of POPs and observing the Stockholm Convention.

Belarus joined the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in 2004 and since then has been consistently fulfilling the obligations assumed. Thanks to joining the convention, Belarus has been granted access to international financial and technical resources allocated by the global community to solve the problem of POPs.

Belarusian Deputy Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Minister Alexander Korbut underlined at the project’s presentation that Belarus has undertaken a whole set of measures to manage POPs. In particular, it has formed a legal framework regulating the management of POPs and taken stock of POPs. Belarus has ensured that obsolete PCB-containing pesticides, equipment, and waste are re-packed, and their ecologically safe storage is secured. The third National Implementation Plan under the Stockholm Convention was adopted in Belarus in 2007 under the coordination of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry. The project receives considerable financial resources from budgets of different levels.

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