Republic of Belarus
9,724,723 (2007 census)
207,595 sq km 80,153 sq mi
Minsk 1,780,000 (2006 estimate)
Population growth rate
-0.06 percent (2006 estimate)
GDP per capita (U.S.$)
GDP by economic sector
Agriculture, forestry, fishing 11 percent (2004)
Industry 39.5 percent (2004)
Services 49.5 percent (2004)
Forests, peat deposits, small quantities of oil and natural gas.
Educational project SPARE and NGO involvement in Belarusian energy and climate issues
Partnership project between Ministry of Education, educational institutions and environmental NGOs for development of environmental education within energy and climate issues. Promotion of educational sector as pilot sector for energy saving.
Promotion of sustainable energy policy, increase the capacity on environmental issues, with focus on nuclear energy, climate, energy saving and capacity building.
Center for Environmental Solutions -
Ministry of Education in Belarus - .by
International Sakharov Environmental University -
Republican ecological center for children and youth - .by
Radiotechnical college -
The current energy situation in Belarus has the potential of developing into a crisis for the country. Dependence on Russian energy can make the region unstable. Belarus has few national energy sources and depends on import, mainly from Russia. Belarus has inherited the Soviet style of energy management, with focus on large-scale heat and electricity production and central distribution of energy. Old and inefficient systems for production and distribution of energy are combined with very poor building condition. The energy consumption per GDP is 1.5-2 times higher than in the developed countries with similar climatic conditions and economical structure. Material consumption in the domestic manufacturing sector is also high. Secondary resources and production waste is used insufficiently.
Governmental subsidies for energy are high, and constitute very high expenses on the national budget. Climate gas emissions from the Belarus energy sector constitute almost 60 % of the total emissions. Local nature and population suffers from the energy production. Action will have to be taken in all sectors.
Lack of knowledge and awareness of the connections between energy, climate and environment is persistent throughout the society. Improved education is regarded as an important factor to raise awareness about this in all parts of the society. Education in Belarus has traditionally been very poor on environmental issues like energy and climate, and focus has been mainly on nature protection issues. NGOs can play an important role to promote education on sustainable energy in all parts of the society, but are not active on a sufficient level, as they lack knowledge, experience and financial resources to work. Århus convention gives now room for Belarus NGOs to take part in relevant processes, and there is space opening up for this within the educational sector that the NGOs now should get the possibility to utilize.