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17 Jun 2015

Belarus, Latvia to create new transboundary nature reserve

MINSK, 17 June (BelTA) – The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of Belarus and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia are mulling over the establishment of a new transboundary nature reserve, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of Belarus Igor Kachanovsky said at the session of the Belarusian-Latvian commission for the coordination of protection and sustainable development of transboundary nature reserves on 17 June, BelTA has learned.

“The main objective of our cooperation with Latvia is the establishment of transboundary nature reserves. The first territory of this kind Augsdaugava - Braslav Lakes was created. Now we are mulling over the possibility to set up a new transboundary nature reserve. This issue should be included in our plan of cooperation for the next two years,” he said.

Igor Kachanovsky stressed that it is also necessary to focus on Braslav District. “There is a wonderful lake, Richi, in the region. It is located on the state border. Experts from both sides of the border should do their best to protect such places,” he stressed ands explained that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection is now working out a plan of managing this territory which will be discussed with Latvian colleagues. “It is worth saying that this is a protected territory both in Belarus and Latvia. The national hydrological area Richi has been established in Belarus, the protected natural landscape Silene has been founded in Latvia,” Igor Kachanovsky said. Experts are currently working on the project application as part of the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument for 2014-2020.

Speaking about the nature reserve Augsdaugava-Braslav Lakes, Igor Kachanovsky noted that it is a good example of Belarus-Latvia cooperation. “We will continue our work in this territory in the future, organize the exchange of information, joint research and inspections,” the deputy minister said.

Natalya Minchenko, the head of the biological and landscape diversity department at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, said that over €200,000 was allocated for the project to establish the transboundary nature reserve Augsdaugava-Braslav Lakes. The project was sponsored by the European Union.

The Belarusian-Latvian commission for the coordination of protection and sustainable development of transboundary nature reserves was founded in 2010. The first official session of the environmental protection agencies of the two countries took place on 17 June.

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