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15th National Environmental Forum due in Novogrudok on 7-8 June

 The 15th National Environmental Forum will take place in Novogrudok, Grodno Oblast, on 7-8 June. This year the forum will focus on the topic “Sustainable development of small towns: Global challenges and local solutions”.

The program of the forum will be centered around the president’s instructions to clean up and landscape communities, create a comfortable living environment in cities, develop an efficient waste management system, preserve biological and landscape diversity for generations to come and other instructions related to environmental conservation. 

Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Andrei Khudyk pointed out that the topic of the forum mirrors one of the most important tasks facing Belarus and the international community: to preserve natural resources for future generations.

“The international community has acknowledged that it is necessary to find a balance between human well-being, environmental sustainability and economic growth in order to achieve sustainable envelopment on Earth. Environmental issues are high on the government’s agenda in Belarus. The first national sustainable development strategy was developed in Belarus in 1997. At present work is underway to draft the national sustainable development strategy for the period of up to 2035. The country is working to mitigate the impact of global environmental challenges, like the climate change, increasing waste production and threats to biological and landscape diversity. We have already made much progress and we need to cement our gains,” the minister underlined.

It is time for Belarusian big cities and small towns to join efforts to find efficient ways to maintain sustainable development. This will be the keynote idea behind the 15th National Environmental Forum. This forum will bring together representatives of municipal authorities, the academic and research community, private sector, international organizations and the public who will get a unique opportunity to communicate best practices. Invitations to attend the forum were sent to representatives of environmental conservation authorities of a number of foreign states. All in all, over 1,000 delegates and dozens of thousands of residents of Grodno Oblast are expected to take part in the forum.

Novogrudok was chosen as the forum’s venue for a reason. The head of state set a task to promote small communities and create comfortable living conditions there. Novogrudok is one of the flagships of sustainable development of small and mid-size towns. In 2017 Novogrudok was the test venue for the Green Towns project and today the town is an example to follow. 

During his working trip to Novogrudok District on 15 March, Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Andrei Khudyk toured the locations that will host the 15th National Environmental Forum. The minister met with Chairman of the Novogrudok District Executive Committee Sergei Fedchenko to discuss the final program of the forum and the deadline for getting the venues ready to host the event. Organizational matters were also discussed with Grodno Oblast Governor Vladimir Kravtsov.

FOR REFERENCE: The National Environmental Forum was first held in 2003. The forum was hosted by Orsha, Gorky, Polotsk, Braslav, Myadel, Rechitsa, Grodno, Brest, Molodechno, Bobruisk, Mozyr, Minsk, and Vitebsk. Over these 16 years, the forum has developed its own traditions - it always becomes a significant event for the city that hosts it. The forum is organized by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection with assistance from local executive and regulatory bodies, international organizations and partners.

The goal of the forum is to involve people from all walks of life into addressing environmental issues, to encourage rational use of natural resources, to engage as many people as possible in the environmental agenda, to raise awareness of environmental issues, and to promote sustainable development principles.

Delegations that take part in the forum include representatives of environmental conservation authorities of the Republic of Belarus, the CIS member states and other foreign countries, representatives of various organizations and businesses, mass media and NGOs.

Taking part in the forum are government members of the Republic of Belarus, high-ranking officials, community leaders, journalists, performers and the public.
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