Civic engagement in environmental monitoring and improving environmental management at the local level (Ecomonitoring)
About of project:
Period: 30.03.2018 — 30.03.2022
Budget: EU contribution: €3,500,000
Implementing Agency: United Nations Development Programme
Partner: Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus
Environmental monitoring means regular integrated observations of the state of ecosystems and the processes taking place in them. These observations provide for record changes in the environment, providing for making forecasts and taking safeguards against negative consequences. Environmental monitoring is essential in mitigating the increasing impact of human activities on the environment.
Involvement of community activists in ecomonitoring takes it to a new level, shapes environmental consciousness and fosters civil society development in general.
This project is a component of the EU-funded Strengthening Air Quality Monitoring and Environmental Management Programme (SAQEM). Its total budget is €14.5 mln.
Goals and objectives: The project is aimed at effective and inclusive (with extensive engagement of the civil society) environmental management, ecological risk monitoring, environmental data exchange, in particular, on air quality. The project priorities include ecomonitoring development, expansion of the civil society engagement in environmental decision-making, establishment of green schools.
Interim outcomes: A contest of local initiatives has been held in order to involve civil society organisations in efficient local-level environmental management. Organisations from 93 Belarus districts have taken part in the contest, and the contest committee is currently processing the results. The selected initiatives will facilitate nationwide ecotourism development, diversity preservation, effective waste management and air quality improvement.
Development of a network of environmental monitoring clubs will foster the civil society’s more active role in environmental policies. The contest winners for establishing seven new ecomonitoring clubs and six new green school-based resource centres have already been identified.
It is planned to step up the operations of the Public Environmental Steering Committees accessible for participation for all and any residents of Belarus.
The UNECE Aarhus Convention is a key international instrument in the ecological law. A survey held under the project showed that Belarus residents are hardly aware about opportunities to get consultations on environmental issues. It is planned to take the awareness-raising activity of the three national Aarhus centres to a new level.
About 150 educational institutions are currently engaged in the green school network development. It is planned to raise their number, and introduce programmes developed under this project into the Belarusian education system. A web resource of the Belarus green school network, greenlogic.by, has been launched and developing. It will continue to function after the project.
A year later, it is planned to launch an electronic platform for environmental monitoring, where school students, supervised by their teachers, could enter air quality monitoring data v an electronic diary (special hardware is installed in the resource centres and clubs).Belgidromet staff provide assistance with the platform development.
The project also provides for arranging ecological summer camp shifts, building an energy efficient children’s smart home in Zubrionok summer camp, and a pilot green kindergarten.
Points of Contact: Volha Chabrouskaya, Project Manager
+375 17 360 29 12, +375 29 684 69 63, firstname.lastname@example.org
Web links: http://pgs.greenlogic.by/