The Belarusian green movement agrees upon a common environmental policy
Belarusian environmental organizations have made a common resolution after the Forum of environmental NGOs of Belarus 2009. In this resolution the organizations agrees upon a common environmental policy which is a giant leap for the Belarusian green movement. The forum gathered 122 members from 59 organizations.
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The goal of the Forum was to strengthen the public environmental movement in Belarus and to elaborate consolidated solutions on current ecological problems, and co-operative problem-solving mechanisms. The Forum served as a ground for public discussion on a number of currently important environmental issues, such as global climate change and energy sources, biodiversity, sustainable production and consumption, waste management, as well as an experience and information exchange ground.
Leading public ecological organizations of Belarus took part in organizing the Forum: the International Humanitarian Foundation “Living Partnership”, the Partnership of Environmental NGOs Green Alliance, the non-commercial establishment Center for Environmental Solutions, NGO BirdLife Belarus, NGO Ecohome, internaitonal NGO Ecoproject Partnership. Among the guests of the Forum were representatives of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus, the International Sakharov Environmental University, and members of Friends of the Earth Norway (FoEN).
In the frame of the Forum section “Participation of NGOs in search for ecological solutions”, discussions on following ecological issues were held: sustainable energy and global climate change, biodiversity, sustainable production and consumption, chemical byproducts and waste. The section on “Intersectoral collaboration development for ecological problem-solving” sparked great interest in all Forum participants; it provided the ground for discussion of the possibilities of effective collaboration among public organizations, state authorities, business structures and mass media. Also, the section “Education for Sustainable Development (ESD): the potential of public organizations” presented a great number of successful ESD practices existing in Belarus. In addition, attending activities and presentations took place. Participants of the Forum also adopted a number of resolutions and documents.
On the last day of the event, the Forum organizational committee presented selected individuals and organizations with special Forum certificates and prizes to honor their considerable input into the ecological movement of Belarus. Diplomas were obtained by: “Shumilino center for extracurricular education” organization and Shumilino regional branch of the NGO BirdLife Belarus - for effective collaboration in local-level ecological problem-solving; Alexander Levchenko, GEF Small Grants Program national coordinator, - for longstanding individual input in the development of ecological organizations in Belarus; Nina Polutskaya, eco-journalist and activist from Grodno, a member of NGO Ecohome – for her activity directed towards the Vilia river basin salmon preservation.
“It is of great importance, that all environmental organizations representatives were able to communicate and discuss their work” – said Eugeniy Lobanov, representative of the Forum organizational committee. “I believe this Forum gave additional motivation to people working on environmental problem-solving, especially to those from the provinces and local towns. It is crucial to feel you are not alone at what you do; there are people that do the same thing elsewhere. Another considerable result of the Forum, to my opinion, became understanding that we will not be successful at finding ecological solutions without collaboration among the community, governmental authorities, business and mass media – we cannot make it alone”.
Norges Naturvernforbund was one of the main donors of the Forum.