Belarus goes green. According to the Belarusian Telegraph Agency a plan of action on Belarus’ green economy development through 2020 has been approved by Council of Ministers’ resolution on 21 December. The document is available on the website of the Belarusian government.
The number one priority of the plan is to improve the people’s quality of life through increasing economic competitiveness, investment and innovative development. “Taking into account the national context and global challenges, the state determines green economy as a strategic priority. The plan of action should result in a gradual transformation of the national economy based on the green economy principles, the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, and the harmonization of economic, environmental and social interests”.
Belarus’ commitment to the green economy approach is laid down in the government’s main program documents, including the national strategy for sustainable social and economic development through 2030. The main objective of the strategy at the first stage of its implementation (2016-2020) is to switch to a high-quality and well-balanced economic growth through the structural and institutional transformation of the economy taking into account the green economy principles, the focus on high-tech manufacturing that will make the foundation to enhance the country’s competitive ability and the people’s quality of life. The major goal of the second stage (2021-2030) is reach sustainable development and high-quality human potential based on green economy and advanced high-tech manufacturing. With the current social and economic conditions, prospects, and international obligations in mind, the priority areas of the green economy approach will include the development of electric transport (infrastructure) and urban mobility, implementation of the ‘smart city’ concepts, further construction of energy-efficient housing and better energy-efficiency of the housing stock, reduction in energy intensity of GDP and better energy efficiency, improved capacity of renewable energy resources, new conditions for organic production, sustainable consumption and production, and also eco-tourism development.
The plan of action will be implemented as part of the state programs envisaged for implementation in 2016-2020 with available funding, including extra-budgetary resources, foreign funds and other resources.
The Project is part of the EU Annual Action Programme 2012 for Belarus and contributes to the delivery of its overall goals and objectives laid down in the financial agreement on the AAP (Affirmative Action Plan) implementation between the Government of the Republic of Belarus and the European Union. The project supports local pilot initiatives aimed at the economic empowerment of local entities based on green growth principles in the areas of waste management, water management, biodiversity conservation, and ecotourism. These initiatives focus to demonstrate key principles of a green economy, obtaining economic benefits while reducing risks to the environment and preserving natural resources.
National government bodies and other state organizations subordinate to the government, oblast executive committees and Minsk City Hall, the National Academy of Sciences and other organizations taking part in the implementation of the plan have been instructed to provide annual reports on their results to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment not later than 25 January of the year following the reporting period. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has been ordered to provide annual summary reports to the Council of Ministers before 10 February of the year that follows the reporting period.
by Henry McWolf