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Реализация Стокгольмской конвенции о стойких органических загрязнителях в Республике Беларусь
Measures taken by the Republic of Belarus with regard to POPs
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Measures taken by the Republic of Belarus with regard to POPs

Measures taken by the Republic of Belarus with regard to POPs

Protection of the public health is one of the most important priorities of the social policy of Belarus. Therefore measures to minimize and prevent harmful impact of POPs on human health and environment are crucial.

In accordance with Presidential Decree #594 of 26 December 2003 “On accession of the Republic of Belarus to Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants” Belarus expressed its agreement to fulfill obligations stipulated in the Stockholm Convention. The next step was formation of the National Coordination Council pursuant to decree #237 of the Council of Ministers of 5 March 2004 “On implementation of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants”. The National Coordination Council is a permanent entity responsible for coordination of activities of the state agencies and other organization in terms of implementation of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.

Provisions of the Stockholm Convention are reflected in the legislation of the Republic of Belarus. Issues related to POPs are covered by the Concept of the National Security of the Republic of Belarus, national strategy of sustainable socio-economic development till 2010, program of the socio-economic development of the Republic of Belarus, etc. Other legal acts regulating implementation of the Stockholm Convention in Belarus include the law “On environmental protection” of 26 November 1992, law “On waste treatment” of 7 June 2007, law “On hazardous cargo transportation” of 6 June 2001, law “On sanitary and epidemic welfare of the population” of 23 November 1993, etc.

In 2004-2006 and 2008-2009 the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of Belarus in partnership with the World Bank realized an international project GEF TF 053865 “Priority activities related to the implementation of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Republic of Belarus”. An inventory of persistent organic pollutants in the Republic of Belarus was carried out, as well as the evaluation of the current legislation and institutionary potential of the country in the sphere, assessment of the negative impact of POPs on public health and environment, and number of other measures ensuring efficient implementation of the Stockholm Convention by Belarus.

The main result of the project was development of the Belarus’ National Plan of Meeting Obligations under Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants for 2007-2010 and up to 2028 (first stage). The plan was endorsed by Presidential Decree #271 of 12 June 2007 as the main policy document on POPs treatment.

According to the National Plan, the priority areas on POPs treatment in the country in the period 2007-2010 and by 2028 are as follows:

·       Improving legislation of the Republic of Belarus and building institutionary potential in the area of POPs treatment;

·       Ecologically sound storage and disposal of waste containing persistent organic pollutants;

·       Detection, examination and purification of territories contaminated with POPs, environmental rehabilitation;

·       Building up domestic analytical, technical and human potential in the sphere of monitoring and analytical control over POPs in the environment, POPs-related public health surveillance;

·       Reduction and elimination of unintended release of POPs by using best available practices in the area of environmental protection;

·       Restriction, regulation and control over production and processes generating persistent organic pollutants. 

 

The above-noted National Plan reflect the national priorities on purification of territories contaminated by POPs and restoration of the damaged environment as well as promotes creation of an information exchange mechanism between the Parties to the Stockholm Convention; raises public awareness of POPs; improves POPs-related information exchange; promotes international sci-tech cooperation. Therefore the plan helps address the most urgent POPs-related issues more efficiently and rapidly both domestically and internationally.  

On the whole, the first-stage goals of the National Plan have been reached. Due to the lack of funds some goals have been underachieved and will be addressed in the second stage. Presidential Decree #271 of 26 June 2011 endorsed a National Plan of Meeting Obligations under Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants for 2011-2015 (National Plan 2011-2015)

With a view to reaching the main goals of the plan Belarusian authorities developed measures on implementation of the National Plan of Meeting Obligations under Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants for 2011-2015.

As before, the main strategic goal of the National Plan 2011-2015 remains protection of human health and environment from exposure to persistent organic pollutants. 

To implement the National Plan 2011-2015 Belarus expects to get international technical assistance to fund a number of projects, including elimination of the Slonim repository of obsolete pesticides; collection, removal and ecologically sound disposal of PCB-containing equipment and waste; establishing and updating a unified database of persistent organic pollutants, pesticides, facilities and territories contaminated by pesticides; PCBs; POPs sources; POPs concentration in the environment.

Public associations play an important role in mitigation and prevention of the negative impact of POPs on human health and environment. They are involved in the development of environmental programs and various POPs-related international projects. In 2008, Belarusian public association Environmental Initiative launched an international project “Raising awareness and exchanging information related to POPs in view of implementation of provisions of Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants”. The main objectives of the project is to set up a public information centre and a national network for information exchange, launch a website and e-catalogue of international and national information resources about POPs. Apart from that they organize various events, publish brochures, leaflets and posters to inform people about POPs.

The biggest public associations raising awareness of POPs in Belarus are 21st Century Development, Environmental Initiative, Ekodom, Ekopravo, Ekosfera international organization,Mogilev-based ENDO, Molodechno-based Krinitsa Eco-Centre.