New project on energy saving and education in Belarus


Naturvernforbundet møter viseutdanningsminister Natalja Kovaleva i Minsk
Norges Naturvernforbund establishes a new project on development of educational program on energy, climate and environment in Belarus. Main cooperation partner is the Ministry of Education of Belarus, but also Ministry of Environment, UNDP, NGOs and various educational institutions participates in the project. SPARE, the international program on education on energy, climate and environment of Naturvernforbundet, will serve as basis for the new program in Belarus.
The interest in energy saving in general and in SPARE in particular is based on the current energy situation in Belarus, which has the potential of developing into a crisis for the country. Belarus is deptendent on Russian energy, which prices are currently increasing. The Presidential Directive No 3 was issued at June 14th, 2007, and gives the basis for national activity within energy saving. For example are all governmental leaders obliged to take special care about energy consumption of their unities. the decree also contains spesific goals on reduction of energy intensity (to be reduced by 31% by 2010, by 50% by 2015 and by 60% by 2020), and has the goal of substitution of 25% of national electricity production by local sources as waste and renewables by 2012. The energy consumption per GDP is 1.5-2 times higher in Belarus than in the developed countries with similar climatic conditions and economy’s structure.

The educational project SPARE has existed in Belarus since 2003, implemented by an environmental NGO. Information on SPARE was picked up by both the Minister of Ecology and a vise Minister of Education at the EfE conference in Belgrade autumn 2007. Both expressed great interest, and since then a common project is developed, and has now got confirmed financing from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UNDP in Belarus. Also the Ministry of Education of Belarus is contributing with financial means in addition to experts and trainings.

Goal of the common project is to adapt SPARE to Belarus conditions, and on basis of this develop an educational program on energy, climate and environment that will be spread to all schools in Belarus. National system of trainings of teachers will be organized. Education on pratical energy saving measures and public information are important parts of the project, and this activity will which mainly be lead by NGOs.

The project is planned for three years, with development and pilot testing of educational materials and trainings during the first year. Pilot regions for this is Minsk and Gomel oblasts. The project will now go through a process for official registration, and will be launched publicly before summer.

Naturvernforbundet also cooperates with the Norwegian organisations TEKNA (organisations for engineers)and Reinertsen (construction company). All three organisations have different approaches to energy efficiency - Naturvernforbundet with education, Tekna with training of engineers within Cleaner Production programme, and Reinertsen with expertice in energy efficiency in existing and new buildings. The three organisations made a common trip to Minsk and Gomel in the end of January 08, with very positive feedback from all we met. Gomel will be established as a pilot oblast where Naturvernforbundet, Tekna and Reinertsen will run joint activities within the energy field.

SPARE has an international website – www.spareworld.org

Contact person in Norges Naturvernforbund: Head of International Department Yngvild Lorentzen,
yl(a)naturvern.no, +47 92019454