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Closing conference Sharing lessons learned in Belarus WECF project

Closing conference Sharing lessons learned in the project “Developing Multi-stakeholder Co-operation in the Areas of Water, Waste and Energy Efficiency in Belarus“

24.03.2010 |Bistra Mihaylova

Closing conference Sharing lessons learned in the WECF project “Developing Multi-stakeholder Co-operation in the Areas of Water, Waste and Energy Efficiency in Belarus“

12-13 February 2010
IBB centre, Minsk, Belarus
A 2-day closing conference for the project “developing multi-stakeholder cooperation” took place in Minsk on the 12th and 13th of February 2010. WECF and its partner Ecoproject Partnership presented the results of the 3-year project: “ Developing Multi-stakeholder Co-operation in the Areas of Water, Waste and Energy Efficiency in Belarus“. The project is financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MATRA program.

A total of 108 participants took part in the conference and the field visits, including representatives from the national authorities, local communities, NGOs, state institutions, businesses and media, as well as the Dutch Consulate and Bulgarian Embassy in Minsk.
The first day the focus was on  thematic areas, starting with renewable energy and energy saving. National and international experts presented best practices in the area of technology and policies, – including the German feed in tariffs for renewables. Representatives of the 10 local communities which took part in the project, and which demonstrated alternative solutions, also presented their lessons learned. For example, high-school nr.19 in Minsk showed how energy was waste in school, making some class rooms too hot and others too cold, and with which measures, heating could be both optimized and heating costs reduced.

A Dutch water consultancy presented best practices in water source protection, and the economic benefits of such a preventative approach to water quality. The local project partners presented how they had addressed problems such as high levels of iron in drinking water, and pollution of water wells by pit latrines.
 The last session addressed the challenge of waste, and presented plans for new solid waste legislation in Belarus, the European waste hierarchy and long term strategy, and  look at lessons learned from the pilot projects in the 10 project partner locations. For example, experience with waste paper re-use and composting were presented. Each thematic session concluded with a panel discussions, which were very interactive, and where representatives of all sectors got involved in proposing ways in which to address the challenges through innovative technologies and multi-stakeholder cooperation.

 The highlights of the conference were the presentations by the 10 communities directly involved in the project. They explained how they had done a needs-analysis,  and how pilot projects were selected individually for each community. They also showed barriers they faced during development of project activities and the lessons learnt from the implementation of 3 years activities in their communities.
A draft document with policy recommendations from the lessons learned in the project  served as the basis for  discussions during the conference day. The final recommendations were included in a Conference Resolution, which was transmitted to several ministries as a consolidated position of Belarusian civil society. After the conference Ecoproject Partnership published the recommendations, disseminated through pilot communities and they will be used in the future projects and activities
At the end of the day, Yulia Yablonskaya presented during the festice closing ceremony, each pilot communitiy with a certificate for successful participation and conclusion of the project. The certificates were hand made  from recycled paper by  the pupils of School N 145 in Minsk.

On the second day, around 40 participants joined the study visit organized by Ecoproject Partnership to three pilot projects in Minsk and the city outskirts. The participants visited School N19 in Minsk, where an energy efficient classroom was implemented, the village of Smilovichy where an urine diverting toilet is constructed in a household and the centre for rehabilitation of children “Nadezhda“, where a composting and waste separation were introduced.
More information on the MATRA project in Belarus and information about the project results can be found at Belarus - Citizens Involvement
Contact: Dr. Anke Stock:
Bistra Mihaylova:
Tatiana Dereviago:
Yulia Yablonskaya:
Margriet Samwel:

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