Belarus plans to raise $9mn from GEF for new environmental projects

Belarus expects to raise about $9 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for new environmental projects, said Alexander Rachevsky, the chief of the international cooperation department of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

The expert noted that Belarus has already filed an application to the GEF to raise funds for a big project in wind energy. “Within the framework of the project we are planning to develop rules and regulations relating to the use of wind power plants in Belarus. We need to develop a regulatory framework regarding wind energy, namely where to deploy these facilities, how far from population settlements, the impact on human, animal and plant life,” Alexander Rachevsky said. 

Another project is aimed at improving energy efficiency in residential buildings. Besides, Belarus plans to attract funds from the Global Environment Facility for the development of management systems of wetland ecosystems. “Overall, this year we will request about $9 million from the GEF," the expert said. 

Alexander Rachevsky added that international organizations vigorously support many environmental projects in Belarus. For instance, the Global Environment Facility under the aegis of the World Bank has granted $5.5 million to tackle the hazardous waste management problem in the country. The funds will be used first of all to liquidate the Slonim pesticide burial. “Nearly 1,800 tonnes of pesticides and up to 800 tonnes of equipment containing hard organics will be transported outside Belarus for destruction. Western companies have committed to destroy them in specialized facilities,” he said. 

This project is extremely important for Belarus as persistent organic pollutants, or initial by-products of industry, are chemical compounds which can remain in the environment for a long time. These substances may accumulate in the fatty tissue of humans or animals and lead to various disorders of immune and reproductive systems.

The UNDP and the European Union also support projects on waste management in Belarus. Shortly they will finance a project to improve the municipal waste treatment systems in Kobrin and Mosty. Moreover, they will sponsor projects to preserve biodiversity and improve water resources management.

According to