The Second Environmental Performance Review (EPR) report of Belarus was launched in Minsk at two special events organized with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection and the UNDP local office (7-9 September) together with the UNECE secretariat. The First Deputy Minister, Mr. Alexandr Apatsky, commented on the value of the recommendations in the report. He confirmed Belarus’ commitment to implementing them and described the steps already undertaken by the government since these recommendations were adopted in October 2005. He also commented on the main directions in the environmental policy of Belarus, and the practical steps envisioned in the short and medium term.
During the meeting at UNDP for donors and other international organizations, the focus was on Belarus international cooperation in the area of environmental protection, with a particular emphasis on where international organizations could assist the country in achieving its environmental and sustainable development goals. Mr. Aleksandr Rachevsky pointed out the efforts by the Ministry to implement Belarus international commitments in environmental protection over the past 6 years, and on the role that international organizations may further play in this. These events preceded the 4th national EcoForum organized by the Ministry on Environmental Protection in Miadel, Minsk oblast. There, the EPR report in Russian was also widely handed out to representatives of environmental authorities from all six oblasts of Belarus, representatives of other ministries and governmental agencies, media, NGOs, educational institutions, and local residents.