Belarus' Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Protectioт signed the agreement with the European Union on cooperation in strengthening air quality and environmental management.
“Today we signed the agreement with the European Union on cooperation in strengthening air quality and environmental management which implies the allocation of €14.5 million on environmental measures. It includes such aspects as new technologies, eco-tourism, waste management, renewable energy (solar, wind),” Belarus' Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Protection Andrei Kovkhuto told reporters.
The minister noted that this cooperation between Belarus and the EU is not only about the financial assistance but also about the provision of modern equipment and technologies, BelTA informs.
According to Andrei Kovkhuto, in addition to the funds allocated by the EU, the funds of local budgets and enterprises implementing projects are widely used too. He added that the European Union's initiative is welcomed in the regions that are working to improve the environment and quality of life.
For her part, the head of the EU Delegation in Belarus Andrea Wiktorin noted that cooperation always implies the work on an equal footing. “This program involves both interaction of experts both from Europe and Belarus to exchange experience and the supply of equipment worth about €7 million, including mobile and stationary stations for air pollution monitoring,” she said.
Andrea Wiktorin also explained that air pollution knows no borders and this is why the EU is interested in implementing this program which will benefit Belarus and its neighbors.
Andrei Kovkhuto stressed that many joint projects have already been implemented. “With the help of the EU we have built waste treatment plants in Kobryn and Mosty and thus doubled the recycling of waste which is secondary material resources. Other projects include the creation of the nurseries for grouses in the Naliboki Pushcha National Park, which is very important for biodiversity conservation, and also 16 projects in the regions of Belarus,” the minister said. According to Andrei Kovkhuto, the cooperation between Belarus and the EU involves both interaction at the state level to address major challenges and also at the regional level when the EU funds are used to strengthen the environmental protection.