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Environmental Monitoring in the Republic of Belarus. Analytical Control in the Area of Environmental Protection

Environmental monitoring is a system of planned long-term systematic observations over the environment, evaluation of its state, analysis and forecast of its changes due the impact of natural and man-caused factors.

Environmental monitoring is being conducted under the National Environmental Monitoring System (NEMS) established in 1993.

Now NEMS includes 11 independent environmental monitoring types based on the same principles:

  1. Land monitoring;
  2. Surface water monitoring;
  3. Underground water monitoring;
  4. Air monitoring;
  5. Ozone layer monitoring;
  6. Flora monitoring;
  7. Forest monitoring;
  8. Fauna monitoring;
  9. Radiation monitoring;
  10. Geophysical monitoring;
  11. Local environmental monitoring.

NEMS is a complex system that is constantly evolving. In order to provide a legal framework regulating NEMS operation and development in 2011-2015 the head of state adopted Decree #244 of 13 June 2011 “On State Program to ensure operation and development of the National Environmental Monitoring System in the Republic of Belarus 2011-2015”.

NEMS has an information system that ensures information exchange between all the monitoring types, analysis and generalization of information about the state of the environment and forecast of its changes due to natural and man-caused factors as well as its provision to governmental agencies, entities and individuals and international organizations in accordance with international agreements.

NEMS information system unites information and analytical centers of other monitoring types and the main NEMS information and analytical center (http://ecoinfoby.net).

Analytical Control in the Area of Environmental Protection is carried out to evaluate qualitative and quantitative characteristics of emissions and release of pollutants into surface and underground waters as well as to determine the level of land contamination (including soil contamination) and the waste composition.

The Republican Centre for Analytical Control in the Area of Environmental Protection (hereafter the Republican Centre for Analytical Control) and its laboratories are responsible for analytical control.

The main purpose of the Republican Centre for Analytical Control is implementation of the state policy on environmental protection by fulfilling the following tasks:

  1. State analytical control in the area of environmental protection;
  2. Environmental monitoring;
  3. Environmental measurements and testing;
  4. Guidelines for environmental measurements and testing, management measurement and testing laboratories;
  5. Collection, processing, analysis of information and maintenance of monitoring and analytical control databases.

To provide information about methodological base used for environmental measurements the Republic Centre for Analytical Control keeps record of measuring methods, state standards of the Republic of Belarus and interstate standards applied during measuring indexes of composition and properties environmental elements (air, precipitation, surface and underground waters, soil, bottom sediments) as well as natural and man-made elements (sewage, waste).