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Eastern Partnership countries are going GREEN

Eastern Partnership countries have spelled out their achievements and ambitions for their transition towards a Green Economy at a side event in the margins of the Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference.


“Paths towards a Green Economy remain challenging in every Eastern Partnership country,” noted Simon Upton, Environment Director at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), linking this to a lack of awareness of the benefits of the transition and cost of inaction.


Yet high-level representatives and stakeholders from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine presented an array of plans and results as part of their transition, and in particular those achieved under the EU-funded Greening Economies in the European Union’s Eastern Neighbourhood (EaP GREEN) programme implemented by UNEP and partners.


"Resource efficiency is one of the best ways to save money,” underlined Dmitry Matusevic – Head of the Agro-Industry, Forestry and Environment Administration at Belarus’ Ministry of Economy - giving the example of a chocolate company in the country which has cut annual expenses by €120 000 thanks to water savings.


After the Belarusian President approved the concept of further developing the organic agriculture sector, a draft law setting up the legal framework for the sector is being developed in the country’s Parliament.


Ukraine has meanwhile developed green growth indicators up until 2030, the Ukrainian Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources, Ostap Semerak, told participants. Through the EaP GREEN project, the country has furthermore established environmental labelling standards for two product groups and issued guidance for small and medium enterprises to become greener, he revealed.


Meanwhile, “EaP GREEN has held important added-value for promoting Green Economy principles in Moldova,” noted Alexandru Bostan, the country’s Counsellor to the Minister of Environment. An inter-ministerial working group on the topic has been formed and a roadmap is being developed for the Green Economy transition, while Moldova aims to purchase at least 15% of public procurements from sustainable sources, he added.


Thanks to UNEP support under the EaP GREEN project, organic producers from Moldova attending the international Natural&Organic Products fair in London this spring, concluded new contracts and already exported two tons of organic walnut kernel to the UK, Iuliana Palade, Vice-President of Pro Rural Invest stressed. In addition, contracts were concluded between organic producers ro provide schools and kindergartens in Moldova with organic fruits and vegetables.


In Armenia, 20 audits have been carried out on green production – allowing breweries for example to make significant water savings - and Green Economy indicators are under development. A technical centre will also be set up to support the transition, said Khachik Hakobayan, Armenia’s Deputy Minister of Nature Protection.


The EaP GREEN project is funded by the European Union and implemented by UNEP, the UN Economic Commission for Europe, the OECD and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation


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