More than 23 and a half tons of hazardous wastes were exported from Belarus abroad for disposal this year. We invite you to the online press conference on April 22 at 10.00.

 

 

We invite you to take part in the press conference “Outcomes of the environmental initiative“ Creation of a mechanism for the environmentally safe disposal of hazardous waste containing persistent organic pollutants (POPs) ”and the problem of hazardous waste in general, which will be held as part of the final seminar of the initiative on April 22, 2021 at 10.00 in the press -center of the Press House at the address: Minsk, st. B. Khmelnitsky, 10 A, 2nd floor.
It is planned to involve representatives of the Ministry of Natural Resources, the project management group “Involvement of the public in environmental monitoring and improvement of environmental management at the local level”, partner organizations and public organizations.

ATTENTION! Participation in the seminar and press conference is possible both offline and online. The live broadcast of the event will begin on April 22, 2021 at 10.30 am on the House of Press YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDoyKIop0fqy_hVQgvxIpwQ/videos

 

 

 

The environmental initiative “Adaptation to the conditions of climatic changes in the production of feed for livestock raising, reducing the negative impact on the environment” has been completed

 

 

The environmental initiative “Adaptation to the conditions of climatic changes in the production of feed for livestock raising, reducing the negative impact on the environment” has been completed

Due to climatic changes, such as dry weather in 2015 and 2019, the yield of perennial grasses decreased by 2 times, both in Belarus and in many European countries. This led to an increase in the prices of feed for cattle by 2.5-3 times, since they have to be transported from more climate-friendly, but remote areas or even countries. The problem of procurement of animal feed from farms and owners of personal subsidiary plots limited by small agricultural lands is especially urgent.

To solve this problem, there is a technology for the production of multicomponent feed, which allows you to preserve biological diversity and switch to sustainable use of biological resources and lands, in addition, improving the quality of the environment and atmospheric air.

In Smorgon district, on the basis of the Krevsky rural executive committee, in partnership with the Resource Center for Economic Development of the Smorgon District and a group of five partner farms, as well as with the involvement of the State Educational Institution «Secondary School No. 6 of Smorgon» and the State Educational Institution «Educational and Pedagogical Complex Trabsky nursery-kindergarten-secondary school «implemented the environmental initiative» Adaptation to the conditions of climatic changes in the production of feed for animal husbandry, reducing the negative impact on the environment » within the framework of the project «Public involvement in environmental monitoring and improvement of environmental management at the local level», funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Program in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus (hereinafter referred to as the Project).

During the implementation of the initiative, an innovative feed base for cattle was introduced, which consists of hay, haylage from wilted perennial natural meadow grasses, as well as Jerusalem artichoke (green mass, silage, dry granules, root crops) and hydroponic green feed. For this, the necessary agricultural machinery and equipment was purchased.

An innovative feed component is Jerusalem artichoke, or rather several types of products from it: green mass, silage, root crops and dry granules. Jerusalem artichoke products are enriched with inulin, pectin, multivitamins high in protein and fiber. They provide complete feed digestibility, improved palatability and high energy and nutritional value.

The ecological effect of this crop is impressive: one hectare of Jerusalem artichoke absorbs up to six tons of carbon dioxide per year (twice as much as one hectare of forest!) And releases oxygen. 15 hectares of Jerusalem artichoke planted on the territory of the implementation of the environmental initiative ensure the utilization of up to 90 tons of carbon dioxide per year. As part of the initiative, a special study of this environmental effect was carried out.

A study of the absorption of carbon dioxide by Jerusalem artichoke in the territory of the implementation of the environmental initiative

The results obtained for the absorption of carbon dioxide from the experimental sites from 3.13 tons to 5.55 tons per hectare per year are statistically reliable, do not raise doubts and are significant for improving the ecological and climatic situation in the region.

Jerusalem artichoke also prevents wind erosion of soil, reduces drainage of water runoff, which makes it indispensable for the reclamation of soils of waste lands, thus returning them to agricultural use, which allows the rational use of natural land resources.

The second innovative component of the multi-ingredient feed is the hydroponic green feed. As part of the environmental initiative, an automatic hydroponic system for growing crops has been installed, which makes it independent of climate change and does not release harmful substances into the environment. The essence of the technology is in uniform, year-round germination of grain crops in optimal conditions of temperature, humidity, illumination, aeration of the root system and liquid nutrient medium in closed rooms.

The use of equipment of a hydroponic system for germinating green feed with a capacity of up to one ton per day gives the same amount of feed for animals at the output, as six hectares sown with perennial grasses!

Well, the traditional ingredients of animal feed are hay and silage. They are harvested using agricultural machinery purchased under the Green Initiative.

Preparation of animal feed

 

The result of the implementation of the environmental initiative was not only adaptation to the conditions of climatic changes in the production of feed for livestock and reducing the negative impact on the environment, but also the involvement of the local community — heads of farms and owners of personal household plots, in the use of the proposed innovative feed base, which allows them to fully participate in the process of sustainable development, effective and inclusive environmental management, reducing environmental risks. Within the framework of the environmental initiative, educational events were also held for students of the State Educational Institution “Secondary School No. 6 of Smorgon” and for partners of the initiative.

 

 

 

The ecological initiative «Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by installing a heat pump at the sewage treatment plant in the city of Masty» has been completed

To achieve the goals of low-carbon development, the use of the potential of wastewater heat provides a huge and largely untapped potential for improving the energy efficiency of heating buildings. The idea of ​​wastewater heat recovery with heat pumps is certainly not new. Since the 1980s, centralized systems in Germany, Switzerland and the Scandinavian countries have been using wastewater heat, either collected in sewers or in wastewater treatment plants. The wastewater temperature is higher than most other regenerative energy sources such as water or geothermal energy and reaches an average of over 21 ° C when it leaves the building. Wastewater is a stable source of renewable heat throughout the year.

 So in the city of Masty, the administrative building and the air pumping station of the sewage treatment facilities are now heated and receive hot water by recuperating heat from the wastewater entering the treatment. This became possible after the installation of a heat pump and replacement of the heating system as part of an environmental initiative. Heat is removed from sewage, which is subjected to preliminary treatment. A special heat exchanger is placed in the settling tank. The incoming wastewater heats the heat carrier in the heat exchanger, and the resulting heat energy is fed to the heat pump and used to heat water for hot water supply and heating buildings. Additional thermal renovation of two buildings also allows for additional thermal energy savings.

The savings are at least 18.2 Gcal per year of thermal energy due to thermal renovation of buildings and 8760 kWh per year of electricity due to the use of waste water heat. The new system also improves the quality of ambient air due to the cessation of emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere by approximately 0.785 tons per year, including greenhouse gases — by 0.517 tons per year (compared to the old heating system). The system also allows to stop using 12.4 tons of peat briquettes and 39.3 sq. m³ of wood per year due to the creation of the possibility of heat supply with environmentally friendly heat based on alternative energy sources without the use of organic fuel.

But the result of the implementation of the ecological initiative was not only an economic effect. Within the framework of the project, the partner of the environmental initiative State Educational Institution “Center for Correction and Development Education and Rehabilitation of Masty” was equipped with multimedia equipment and educational videos that help to form the environmental consciousness of the younger generation.

  Children with special psychophysical development got the opportunity of visual «green» education in the framework of the curriculum «Man and the World», «Orientation in the outside world / Fundamentals of life» and extracurricular activities. Through the holding of information and training events, they will be provided with equal opportunities for active participation in the socio-ecological life of society, “green” learning will be adapted, attention will be focused on the necessary skills and abilities for the maximum possible independent life in harmony with nature.

 

  Within the framework of the initiative, lessons-disputes on environmental topics «Save energy — save the world» were also held at the State Educational Institution «Secondary School No. 5 of the city of Masty», State Educational Institution «Lunno Secondary School named after Hero of the Soviet Union Ivan Sheremet» . During the lessons, the children learned about the problems associated with climate change, got acquainted with the environmental initiative and went on a virtual tour of their city’s sewage treatment plants through a presentation.

 At the State Educational Institution “Pravomastovskaya Secondary School”, students were told about renewable energy sources, as well as energy and resource conservation within the framework of the information and training event “Alternative energy sources and environmental protection”.

 The ecological initiative Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by installing a heat pump at the sewage treatment plant in the city of Masty was implemented by the organization of the public association Belarusian Society of Disabled People within the framework of the project Civic engagement in environmental monitoring and improving environmental management at the local level, funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Program in Belarus in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus.

State Educational Institution “Center for Correction and Development Education and Rehabilitation of Mosty”

On December 29, 2020, an online meeting of the environmental monitoring club of the Mogilev region was held on the basis of the State Educational Institution «Secondary School No. 3 in Osipovichi».

On December 29, 2020, an online meeting of the environmental monitoring club of the Mogilev region was held on the basis of the State Educational Institution «Secondary School No. 3 in Osipovichi».

Representatives of educational institutions, local authorities, public organizations and environmental authorities discussed issues of interaction in the field of environmental protection.
Bukach Alesya Vladimirovna, chief specialist of the education department of the Osipovichi regional executive committee, spoke about the work carried out in the Osipovichi region on environmental education and upbringing, including within the framework of joint actions and events timed to coincide with international environmental dates.

Shpak Ilona Igorevna, deputy of the Osipovichi District Council of Deputies, member of the youth parliament at the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus as part of the commission on ecology, volunteering of the SDGs, noted the role of the youth parliament in solving environmental problems and familiarized with the results of monitoring on the ecology of the Mogilev region. Nina Vladimirovna Lapikova, a methodologist of the State Educational Institution of the Osipovichi District Methodological Office, noted the success of students in educational institutions of the Osipovichi district in research competitions and competitions of biological and ecological works.

Pakhomenko Andrey Nikolaevich, senior lecturer of the Department of Natural Sciences, Mogilev State University named after A.A. Kuleshova, head of the public association «ENDO», spoke about the initiative «Dnieper River Network in the Mogilev Region», its role, goals and immediate action plans. Schemelev Anatoly Titovich, director of the State Educational Institution «Secondary School No. 3 in Osipovichi», deputy of the Osipovichi District Council of Deputies and chairman of the cooperative partnership, reported on the problems of unauthorized dumps, burning plant residues, the problem of abandoned houses in garden associations, and also suggested ways to solve these problems.

Novikov Arkady Arkadievich, deputy head of the Osipovichi experimental forestry enterprise for ideological work, noted the positive experience of school forestry, spoke about republican actions and competitions. He also informed about the creation of two ecological routes. Ermolenko Valentina Pavlovna, methodologist of the biology and agriculture sector of the department of environmental education of the Regional Center of Creativity of the Mogilev region, told how to carry out research and monitoring of the environment with the help of simple equipment.

Shalypina Alla Vasilievna, Deputy Director for Academic Affairs of the State Educational Institution «Kamenichsky CPC d / kindergarten-secondary school», reported on her practical experience in research and environmental monitoring from 2016 to 2020 Sachenko Tatiana Vladimirovna, teacher of biology, head of the student association «Young ecologist» of the state educational institution «Gymnasium of the town of Gluska», in her report outlined the issues of the state of the environment in the Glusky district, shared her experience of involving children and the public in work on environmental problems, suggested some ways of solving environmental problems in the Glusk region.

Zaitseva Svetlana Vladimirovna, head of the environmental monitoring club, scientific director of EMOO «For Life on Earth», teacher of chemistry and biology at the State Educational Institution «Secondary School No. 3 in Osipovichi», summed up the results of the online meeting and proposed to approve the work plan for 2021. The event was supported by the international technical assistance project «Civic engagement in environmental monitoring and improving environmental management at the local level», funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Program in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus.

The project manager, Olga Mikhailovna Chabrovskaya, emphasized in her speech that only through joint efforts it is possible to ensure that citizens educate a respectful attitude towards nature and increase their ecological culture

Forest instead of a landfill: schoolchildren of the Lida district study the environmental aspects of waste disposal

  Schoolchildren and teachers, together with employees of the Lida State Unitary Enterprise of Housing and Utilities and representatives of the ecological initiative «Compacted Waste — Clean Air» planted young oaks and hornbeams on the former landfill in the Lida District. The children indicated the numbers of their schools on the pegs propping the seedlings. Sergei Lepesha from 8B grade of secondary school №6 in Lida explained why it was important to leave a commemorative mark: “I really enjoyed planting trees at the landfill. I believe that it will arouse the interest of other residents of the city. After all, trees purify the air, and it is not enough clean air in our gas-polluted cities.»

The Guda landfill was closed 4 years ago, as it exhausted its resources. After reclamation (soil recovery), the first trees were planted here. And this year, another 300 trees have replenished the plantations within the framework of the ecological initiative «Compacted Waste — Clean Air», led by the Grodno regional branch of the «Belarusian Peace Fund» with the support of the European Union and UNDP. And now, where mountains of garbage were used to be, a deciduous forest is growing.T

The ecological initiative “Compacted Waste — Clean Air” brought together very different educational institutions and organizations, including the Lida regional center of tourism and local history for students, the Sunday school of the parish of St. George’s Church in Lida. With the support of the initiative since 2019, ecology and waste management events are regularly held by educational institutions for residents and schoolchildren of the Lida district. For example, joint forest cleaning and excursions to the existing municipal solid waste landfill. The schoolchildren not only took part in the landscaping of the former landfill, but also learned how the district is solving the problem of efficient and environmentally friendly waste management, why it is important to sort waste and what happens to it at the landfill, how it affects the environment and the health of local residents.

“I think the ‘Compacted Waste — Clean Air’ initiative has allowed a lot of people to know how to sort waste properly, where to put what kind of waste. It became easier for me to navigate the issue of separate waste collection, — says Nikischenko Ulyana, a student of 7 «B» grade.

Eighth-grader Alexei Fomin learned a lot from his participation in the initiative. “In my opinion, this initiative showed people how huge the garbage problem is. It was a discovery for me that the garbage needs to be prepared for disposal: squeeze packages and boxes, the containers need to be washed before being sent to the trash can, ”he says.

During the excursion to the operating Khoruzhevtsy landfill, the children could observe the processes of sorting and disposal of waste. Thanks to the ecological initiative, modern equipment was purchased for the landfill. It increases the degree of compaction of waste during disposal. So the life of the landfill extends by several years.

The most important conclusion that Sergei Lepesha made for himself is that each person can reduce their «trash trail». “I began to think more about the fact that we consume more than we need. People do not really appreciate things: something is broken, torn, they throw it away and buy new ones, although it was possible to fix, tweak the thing. I will try to use resources sparingly and try to save my belongings.»

The ecological initiative “Compacted Waste — Clean Air” was implemented from April 2019 to September 2020 with the support of the project “Civic Engagement in Environmental Monitoring and Improving Environmental Management at the Local Level”, funded by the European Union and implemented by the UN Development Program in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus.

Study of the morphological composition of municipal waste at 20 test sites in Belarus in the summer season

The material composition of municipal solid waste (MSW) is studied in order to determine the resource value and develop a rational system for their disposal. For many centuries, organic components predominated in urban waste. This was not a big problem for waste disposal, the main thing was to remove the waste outside the city. Organic waste was subjected to natural decomposition in nature and did not emit any toxic substances.

The development of civilization gradually changed the composition of household waste. More and more non-degradable components appeared: glass, ceramics, metals, rubber, plastics. In the middle of the 20th century, due to the development of chemical industries and the emergence of a large number of artificial materials, the amount of waste began to increase like an avalanche, and the change in the composition of waste required new approaches to their disposal. In addition, hazardous substances began to appear in the waste: mercury, batteries, expired medicines, etc., even small quantities of which can cause serious pollution.

Today, the study of the composition of waste, its origin and the quality of sorting is a necessary step in the development of an effective strategy for the use of waste as secondary material resources and reducing their negative impact on the environment.

The results of the second stage of the study of the morphological composition of municipal waste in the Republic of Belarus, which is carried out in 2020 with the financial support of the Coca-Cola Beverages Belarus within the framework of the project “Civic Engagement in Environmental Monitoring and Improving Environmental Management at the Local Level”, funded by the European Union and implemented by the UN Development Program in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus are summed up. The work was carried out in July-August 2020 in Minsk (at 8 control sites) and 12 cities of the republic.

The purpose of the study is to assess the volume of waste generation and losses in the environment before they are involved in the collection system. For this, a specially developed experimental technique is used.

For the first time in Belarus, municipal waste is studied with a detailed breakdown by type and with reference to the type of settlement. A gradation of cities by population was adopted to obtain an objective picture. Among them, small, medium and large cities, including regional centers, were distinguished. The method of two-factor identification is used, when not only the material of the packaging is determined, but also its capacity, as well as the purpose — for the packaging of which goods it was used.

Waste types

According to the results of the study, in summer, as in winter, the composition of municipal solid  waste (MSW) in containers for mixed waste in all types of settlements is formed mainly due to the fraction of organic waste, which is 39% by weight of the entire contents of the container (in winter it was 30 %). The percentage of organic matter is significantly lower in separately collected secondary material resources (SMR), but reaches 8.3%, which is also higher than in winter (6%). The minimum organic content is observed in containers for small towns’ SMR.

Polymer wastes also make up a significant part of both mixed MSW and SMR — 8.2% and 18.9%, respectively. Which is much lower than in winter.

In the composition of the polymer fraction, the determining subfractions are transparent and colored PET bottles, which make up 68% of the total mass of polymers in MSW and 84% in SMR. The most common are transparent and colored bottles with a nominal volume of 1.0-1.5 liters.

Waste glass is present in MSW (9.25%), where it is represented by a sub-fraction of colorless glass container with a nominal volume of 0.5 to 1.0 liters. There is less glass in SMR — 6.7%. It is noteworthy that, compared to winter, the percentage of the fraction increased in MSW and decreased in SMR. This fact may be associated with unauthorized selection of glass from containers and its overflow into the system of procurement points.

The distribution of metal waste between containers for collecting MSW and SMR is due to the lack of specialized containers for aluminum and tin cans and the lesser use of such material for packaging products (compared to plastic). The content of metal containers was fixed at 1.78% in MSW and 0.89% in SMR.

The cities under study

Minsk

Mixed waste is represented by 39.61% of organic fraction, followed by waste of paper and cardboard (11.43%), polymers (7.55%). The leaders in SMR are the fractions of paper, cardboard and corrugated board (16.94%) and polymers (15.91%). The content of the organic fraction and potentially hazardous waste in the SMR is 11.62% and 11.46%, respectively (3rd and 4th places of the summer study). More than 1/3 of the mass of the polymer fraction in both types of containers is made up of PET containers, represented mainly by color and colorless PET bottles with a volume of 1.0-1.5 liters.

Polymers in a container for SMR in Minsk

Large cities (regional centers)

In the summer period, significant fluctuations in the morphological composition of waste were noted, depending on the studied settlement. The generalized data show that the leading role in MSW and SMR is played by the polymer fraction — 22% and 28%, respectively. Content of other fractions, incl. organic, is lower — 7.34% in MSW and 16.84% in SMR. In the regional centers, a significant role in the composition of MSW is played by the fraction of paper, cardboard and corrugated board (14%), as well as glass — 17%. The content of these fractions in SMR is significantly lower — 8.8% and 9.6%, respectively.

Medium cities

In medium-sized cities, the composition of MSW is formed by the fraction of organic waste — 52%. In SMR, the percentage of organic matter is significantly lower — 1%. The composition of the SMR is formed mainly due to the fraction of waste paper, cardboard, corrugated board (32%), polymers (22.35%), and also textile waste (16%). For these types of settlements, the minimum content of the organic fraction in the SMR was recorded — less than 1%.

Small towns

For cities with a population of up to 20 thousand people, the highest content of glass waste in separately collected waste was revealed among all settlements. More than half of the mixed MSW is organic waste. The content of polymers in small towns is 7% in MSW and 21% in SMR.

Glass waste, Glubokoe

Thus, in the summer period, an increase in the organic fraction in the waste is noted, which is largely due to the work on cleaning the grass and other vegetation from the courtyard areas, as well as the widespread use of fresh vegetables and fruits in food. Due to the small weight of the plastic packaging, with the clearly noticeable presence of this fraction in the MSW and SMR, its mass fraction, in comparison with the winter study, decreased. At the same time, the most massive component — PET — is actively sorted by the population into appropriate containers.

The data obtained will help in the preparation of proposals for improving the functioning of municipal waste collection systems in the Republic of Belarus within the framework of the National Strategy for Sustainable Socio-Economic Development of the Republic of Belarus, which provides for the maximum involvement of waste in civil circulation for the production of products and energy.

Teaching villagers to modern gardening contributes to the economic development of the districts of the Mogilev region

The idea of ​​the ecological initiative “Green Garden Economy for the Future of the Village” is to give villagers up-to-date knowledge about efficient and sustainable gardening, help them learn the necessary skills and breathe new life into the traditional occupation of villagers. The development of private household plots will contribute to the economic development of the regions as a whole.

In 2019-2020, the local development fund “Start-Vostok” is expanding the ecological initiative “Green Garden Economy for the Future of the Village” in four districts of the Mogilev region: Bykhovsky, Cherikovsky, Slavgorodsky and Krasnopolsky. A regional network of local resource centers (hereinafter LRC) was created for teaching ecological gardening and entrepreneurship. It includes 8 educational institutions and the State Environmental Institution “Slavgorodsky”. The main functions of the local resource center are: environmental education of the local population (children and adults), teaching families the principles and technologies of ecological gardening and the formation of a resource base, including the organization of a nursery for garden crops.

At the LRC, 7 new nurseries of garden plants will be created on an area of ​​20 acres each. In addition, 3 existing nurseries will be expanded. The development of a network of resource centers will deepen interaction at the regional level and open up opportunities for diversification of the participants in the network “Green Garden Economy for the Future of the Village”. Resource centers will be able to make a choice in favor of certain crops, berry, stone fruit, etc., depending on the needs and characteristics of each community and territory. The grown seedlings will become the basis for laying gardens on school grounds and in personal subsidiary plots of the local population.

The local development fund “Start-Vostok” as a regional resource center (hereinafter RRC) supports the “Green Garden Economy for the Future of the Village” network, providing training for specialists from local resource centers. Since the beginning of the implementation of the ecological initiative, 20 representatives of the LRC and RRC have been participating in specialized trainings and have been improving their competencies in teaching the population to gardening, creating and efficiently managing nurseries. In October 2020, representatives of the LRC and RRC made a study visit to the Institute of Fruit Growing and the Grodno State Agrarian University to study the range of garden plants available in the Republic of Belarus and familiarize themselves with advanced gardening technologies.

As a result of the trainings, ten LRC and RRC development plans were prepared. Representatives of each LRC also develop a draft of their own educational program for the population, taking into account the interests and capabilities of local residents, as well as the characteristics of soil fertility.

The next stage will be practice-oriented training of rural residents and schoolchildren in modern ecological gardening on the basis of the LRC. The first set of the educational program for the population will have about 280 students, regardless of education level, income and social status. They will have to draw up projects for gardens on their sites based on the results of 8 thematic sessions. The best of them, about 80 private subsidiary farms, will receive seedlings from nurseries of resource centers. At least 10 hectares of empty land plots in rural settlements will be used for gardens. In the future, resource centers will continue to provide support to private gardeners — to conduct consultations, practical master classes.

The number of plots involved in horticulture will increase thanks to the support of the RRC and LRC and the formation of the regional cluster “Green Garden Economy for the Future of the Village” for the successful promotion of the produced horticultural products in the local, regional and national markets.

The implementation of the environmental initiative is based on support and cooperation at three levels:

  1. The local level (village council) includes an educational institution, local non-profit organizations, the population, private business and local authorities that are interested in the development of the LRC to solve environmental problems and increase self-employment of the local population.
  2. The district level includes the LRC of one district, united by the Department of Education, Sports and Tourism of the corresponding district executive committee, with the aim of improving the quality of environmental education, adapting it to the needs and capabilities of the district, and also for developing new services, such as training for the adult population.
  3. The regional (interdistrict) level is represented by the RRC, which oversees the activities of the LRC in the districts for the implementation of a single program in the field of rural development.

The ecological initiative «Green Garden Economy for the Future of the Village» is supported by the Project “Civic Engagement in Environmental Monitoring and Improving Environmental Management at the Local Level”, funded by the European Union and implemented by the UN Development Program in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus.

Waste management improving helps residents of the Lida district to take care of nature and their health

The amount of municipal solid waste (MSW) and the conditions of their disposal at landfills significantly affect the state of the environment and human health in the region. To reduce their negative impact, it is necessary to involve as much MSW in recycling as possible, carefully sorting the waste. Non-recyclable waste should be compacted and disposed of in accordance with environmental legislation.

Solving these environmental problems requires the involvement of local residents and the formation of conscious behavior in waste disposal. To this end, from April 2019 to September 2020, the ecological initiative “Compacted Waste — Clean Air” was implemented in the Lida region under the leadership of the Grodno regional branch of the public association “Belarusian Peace Fund” with the support of the project “Civic Engagement in Environmental Monitoring and Improving Environmental Management at the Local Level”, funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Program in Belarus in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus (hereinafter — the Project).

The main activity of the initiative is information work with the local population on the issues of sorting and competent waste management and the impact of the conditions of the MSW landfill on human health. In parallel with this, cooperation was organized with the Lida State Unitary Enterprise of Housing and Communal Services to improve the system of solid waste disposal at the Khoruzhevtsy landfill using modern technology. By increasing the degree of compaction of MSW, the service life of the landfill can be extended by about 5 years. Accordingly, at this time there will be no need to create an additional landfill in the area. And also the amount of emissions into the atmosphere of harmful substances will decrease.

In addition to the Lida State Unitary Enterprise of Housing and Utilities, the Lida City and District Inspectorate of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, the State Educational Institution «Lida District Center of Tourism and Local History for Students» joined the initiative. Other partners also joined in the process, for example, the parish of St. George’s Church in Lida, institutions of additional education.

The main emphasis when working with the local population was placed on educational work with children and youth. With the support of the initiative since 2019, events on the topics of ecology and waste management are regularly held by educational institutions of the Lida District. For example, joint forest cleaning and excursions to the existing solid municipal waste landfill. The schoolchildren and the adults of the Lida District learned how the district is solving the problem of efficient and environmentally friendly waste management, why it is important to sort waste and what happens to it at the landfill, how it affects the environment and the health of local residents.

Photo courtesy of the environmental initiative

In addition to improving the MSW disposal system, it is important to take real measures to recover landfills (restore soil fertility). Within this direction, 4 years ago, the first trees were planted on the former MSW landfill near the village of Gudy. The ecological initiative «Compacted Waste — Clean Air» also joined the tree-planting campaigns in this area, involving the students as volunteers. About 300 saplings of red oak and hornbeam have been added to the forest plantations on the former landfill. All these trees were transferred to the department of the Lida forestry enterprise.

Since the start of the ecological initiative “Compacted Waste — Clean Air”, systemic improvements have been outlined in the work of the Lida Housing and Communal Services and in environmental education and upbringing in educational institutions of the Lida District. As a result, waste management in the area has been significantly improved.

Photographer Sergei Gapon

«Mom, Dad, me — an eco-friendly family.» The results of the regional competition of social videos were summed up in Soligorsk

Regional competition of social videos «Mom, Dad, me — an environmentally friendly family!» organized within the framework of the environmental initiative «Creation of a waste collection system for electronic and electrical equipment on the territory of the Soligorsk district of the Minsk region», implemented by the Belarusian public association «Environmental Initiative» within the framework of the project «Civic Engagement in Environmental Monitoring and Improving Environmental Management at the Local Level», funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Program in Belarus in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus (hereinafter the Project).
The purpose of the competition is to draw the attention of children and their parents to the problem of electronic and electrical equipment waste, to help form the skills of proper handling of such waste, to stimulate interest in children and young people and creative approaches to solving environmental problems in general.
Schoolchildren aged 6 to 17 years old, living in the territory of Soligorsk and the Soligorsk district of the Minsk region, prepared videos on the topic «Mom, Dad, me — an environmentally friendly family!», which meets the goals and objectives of the Competition. Any ways of filming were allowed (camcorder, digital camera, mobile phone, etc.). Also, animated videos were accepted.
The video submitted for participation in the Competition must draw attention to
the problem of handling waste of electronic and electrical equipment, for example, spent batteries, fluorescent lamps, out-of-order household and electrical appliances, etc. The topic should have been expressed in a positive, concise, intelligible and tolerant form.
Applications for participation were accepted from June 1 to August 31, 2020. On September 10, the jury selected the winners. The jury consisted of representatives of the Ecological Initiative, the Ecological and Biological Center for Children and Youth of the Soligorsk Region, the Center for Technical Creativity of Children and Youth of the Soligorsk Region, as well as P. Sachek, the Project Initiative Coordinator.
The winners who took 1st, 2nd and 3rd places were awarded with valuable prizes from the organizers of the Competition. The remaining 6 finalists also received honorable mentions.

First place — Matvey Brova, a student of the 3rd grade of the State Educational Institution «Secondary School No. 1 of Soligorsk»

Link to the winner’s video https://youtu.be/F00JhWdHXvs

Second place — Vitaliy Chechura, 11 years old, State Educational Institution «Gymnasium No. 1 of Soligorsk»

Link to the winner’s video https://youtu.be/eCXwXnQByJA

Third place — Yesenia Gordeeva, grade 3 student of the State Educational Institution «Secondary School No. 1 of Soligorsk»

Link to the winner’s video https://youtu.be/JqDsrlXDfEM

The EU and UNDP are not responsible for the content of the videos above. The information provided cannot be considered as an official position of the EU, UNDP or any person acting on behalf of the EU and UNDP.

Development of environmental education and upbringing, support of local ecotourism in order to preserve the «Babinovichi» nature reserve in the Vitebsk region

The republican landscape reserve “Babinovichsky” was created in 1998 in the Liozno district of the Vitebsk region. At present, the area of ​​the reserve is 11,514.72 hectares. The reserve is inhabited by populations of rare and endangered species listed in the Red Book of the Republic of Belarus — 11 animals and birds and 11 species of plants.

More than 2,500 people live in the immediate vicinity of the Babinovichi nature reserve. The way of life of the local community is inextricably linked with the state of the forests, which provide the population with mushrooms, berries, and medicinal herbs. More than a thousand of tourists and vacationers come here every year.
Residents of the district, public organizations and local authorities are concerned about solving environmental problems in the region and support the implementation of the environmental initiative of the Belarusian Red Cross Society (BRCS) to create a practice-oriented educational environmental center in the agro-town Dobromysli to preserve the unique Babinovichi nature reserve. An important area of ​​the BRCS activity is the organization of measures to improve the health of the population, which is directly related to the environmental situation, in particular, to the purity of atmospheric air, water, soil and the state of forests.
The Environmental Initiative aims to foster a conscious attitude towards environmental issues in the local community, motivates the population to a healthy lifestyle in harmony with the environment. To achieve this goal, the main areas of work have been identified:

  1. To create a system of environmental education and training for kindergarten pupils, secondary school students and adults, integrated into daily activities.
  2. Develop an ecological route and equip an ecotrail on the territory of the Babinovichi nature reserve for ecological education of children and adults.
  3. Implement a set of informational and practical measures to preserve forest plantations and unique natural biotopes of the reserve.

The creation of an effective practice-oriented system of environmental education is of great importance for involving the public in environmental monitoring and environmental protection. Indeed, a person forms a stable system of values ​​and stereotypes of behavior in the period from 2 to 16 years. This direction of the initiative is being helped by partners — institutions of school and preschool education.
On the basis of the Nursery-garden» Yalinka» of Lioznensky district 3 informational playgrounds were created. It teaches children for a careful attitude towards nature, the correct handling of waste. Small containers for separate waste collection (similar to generally accepted ones) are equipped. Kindergarten groups will be equipped with information and play areas, stands and posters.

On the basis of the educational institution «Dobromyslinskaya secondary school of Liozno
district” an ecological class will be equipped with thematic posters and stands, devices for environmental monitoring: air analyzers, dosimetry devices, microscopes. Students will be able to control the air quality in different parts of the reserve and in nearby settlements. The school has already equipped a studio for students to create videos and mini-films on environmental topics.

Students of the specialized ecological class will conduct raiding activities in order to promptly identify violations of environmental legislation and inform the specialists of the regional inspection of natural resources and environmental protection.
An important feature of the initiative is the prevention of child injuries. Under the leadership of the Liozno District Emergency Situations Department (DESD), the children learn safe behavior in nature, and also take part in the prevention of forest fires.
Students have at their disposal a lifeguard’s protective outfit, distinctive uniform, knapsack sprayers and 20 bicycles.

The ecological educational program of the kindergarten and the school will allow in the future to form a youth group of the Liozno DESD to participate in solving environmental problems in the region.

The next stage of environmental education and upbringing is to involve the population of the region in the development and implementation of measures for effective environmental management, monitoring the state of forests, soil and air. Liozno forestry together with partner organizations of the initiative conducts information and practice-oriented events for students and residents of the agro-towns Dobromysli and Babinovichi, teaching practical skills in environmentally friendly behavior. Thus, the formation of unauthorized dumps and the burning of garbage on the territory of the reserve is prevented, the destruction of plants and animals of the reserve is prevented, places for picking berries and mushrooms, and medicinal plants are preserved.

Environmental initiative «Creation of the practice-oriented educational environmental center in the agro-town Dobromysli to preserve the unique Babinovichi nature reserve» is implemented with the support of the project «Civic Engagement in Environmental Monitoring and Improving Environmental Management at the Local Level”, funded by the European Union and implemented by the UN Development Program in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus.

Photos are provided by the ecological initiative