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4 May 2018

Minsk, EBRD launch Green City project

MINSK, 4 May (BelTA) – Minsk and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have officially launched the Green City project in a ceremony in the Minsk Town Hall on 4 May, BelTA has learned.

Minsk is interested in minimizing the negative effects of urbanization and is taking steps to make city life more comfortable, Minsk Vice Mayor Viktor Laptev said. The Minsk authorities hope that the cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will help reduce the impact on the environment. The priority areas of interaction are housing and utilities services, outdoor lighting, city transport, the development of water-green diameter of the city.

Head of the EBRD Office in Belarus Alexander Pivovarsky stressed that the project applies a systemic approach to city greening. The proposed mechanisms are applicable in all countries, with which the EBRD cooperates. “We are very pleased that Minsk was one of the first to have joined the international initiative to address the environmental issues and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The Green City status will give a signal to the international community that Minsk is open to cooperation towards improving energy efficiency, promoting a favorable environment for living,” Alexander Pivovarsky said.

Minsk is an environmentally conscious city, Chairman of the Minsk City Council of Deputies Vasily Panasyuk said. Minsk has approved the plans on environmental protection and rational use of natural resources which prioritize clean air, fight with municipal waste, implementation of resource-saving technologies.

The more the city develops, the more natural resources it consumes. The local authorities attach great attention to a systemic approach to the issues of environment and green urban development and do their best to make the city cleaner, greener and more comfortable for its residents. A special roadmap will be developed to accelerate the settlement of the above-mentioned issues and further reduce the impact of the capital on the environment. The document will include events to improve the quality of air, cleanness and accessibility of land and water resources, green zones.

The plan will be developed according to the original methodology of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, prepared by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability). Minsk will join a global network of green cities, including such capitals as Yerevan, Tbilisi and Tirana. It is expected that the document will be ready in May-June 2019 and approved before the end of 2019.

Attending the meeting were representatives of the Minsk authorities, the Minsk Council of Deputies, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, government bodies, consular institutions, and international financial organizations.

The green city status and the approved roadmap will attract attention of international financial organizations and donors to Minsk. This will help generate more funds for the implementation of investment projects such as the reconstruction of the Minsk sewage treatment plant, insulation of housing, reconstruction of urban lighting, development of electric transport, energy and resource saving and other major initiatives.

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