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30 Nov 2017

EU to implement new technical assistance program in Belarus to improve air quality

MINSK, 30 November (BelTA) - The European Union is preparing to implement a new technical assistance program in Belarus aimed at improving air quality in the country, Head of the EU Delegation to Belarus Andrea Wiktorin said at the final conference dedicated to the project “Supporting the Transition to a Green Economy in the Republic of Belarus”, BelTA has learned.

Speaking about the results of the long and very interesting project, Andrea Wiktorin noted its achievements and the fact that the cooperation between Belarus and the EU in the field of environmental protection and preventing climate change will not stop at this. “We are preparing for the new program with a budget of €14 million aimed at improving air quality in Belarus. This program involves the provision of technical assistance, equipment, awareness-raising activities. We also plan to continue to work with the authorities, non-governmental organizations within the framework of different initiatives. The European Union will continue to fund cross-border and regional projects in the Eastern Partnership region in the field of environmental protection and preventing climate change. Much remains to be done, and you are green economy ambassadors of sorts in the region,” Andrea Wiktorin noted.

UNDP deputy resident representative in Belarus Zachary Taylor also expressed the hope that the new projects will be supported by other partners, and that the Belarusian government will continue to invest in green economy. He called on all to adhere to a long-term principle in decision-making because the problems they are aimed to address are not short-term.

On 30 November Minsk summed up the results of the project “Supporting the Transition to a Green Economy in the Republic of Belarus”, funded by the EU (€5 million) and implemented by the UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Belarus. From 2015 to 2017 some 23 pilot projects and initiatives were implemented across the country, including in partnership with government bodies, the business community, farmers. The areas of application were many: water resources, phyto production, eco-tourism, biodiversity, organic farming. Some 50 new green jobs were created and 270 people received additional employment opportunities.

 

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