Water pollution in Belarus to be discussed in Minsk

On January 30, 2018, the conference “Towards Prevention Pollution of Water Resource by Introducing Innovative Solutions and Engaging Population at Municipal Level” will be held in Minsk, Belarus. The conference will be attended by the representatives of local authorities, housing and communal enterprises, NGOs and the media from Belarus. Experts from the NonHazCity project will participate in the event to share and discuss findings of the project.

“NonHazCity have an objective to test transferability to non-EU countries in the Baltic Sea Region and since one year we have had a Belarusian daughter project financed by the Swedish Institute, BEL-NonHazCity. It is really good that our Belarusian partner arrange this seminar, to get the opportunity to interact with Belarusian stakeholders, to disseminate our NonHazCity ideas and results even further. I find the agenda very relevant to our project,” said NonHazCity project manager Tonie Wickman.

The conference will look into “old” problems of water pollution, e.g. biogenic pollution, and also into new challenges, such as pollution by hazardous substances and micro-plastics. Furthermore, new innovative solutions at municipal level will be discussed: why and how to set up small scale water treatment facilities, water safety plans and chemical action plans, also how to raise awareness and engage population, and how international cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region can help tackling those problems.

The event is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

The agenda:

9.30 – 10.00 Registration of the participants; welcoming coffee
10.00 – 10.20 Opening of the event

Moderation: Alina Bushmovich, Executive Director, IPO “Ecopartnership”

Christina Johannesson, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Sweden to Belarus (confirmation required)
Mikhail Durkin, Executive Secretary, Coalition Clean Baltic
Elena Rakova, Project Manager (Energy and Environment; TAIEX and Twinning), Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Belarus
Heidrun Fammler, President of Baltic Environmental Forum, NonHazCity Deputy Project Manager
Tonie Wickman, City of Stockholm, Environment and Health Administration, NonHazCity Project Manager
Alina Bushmovich, Executive Director, IPO “Ecopartnership”

Session 1: Vital Problems of Water Resources Management
Moderation: Mikhail Durkin, Executive Secretary, Coalition Clean Baltic
10.20 – 10.50 Vital problems and policy feedback in the Baltic Sea Region

Mikhail Durkin, Executive Secretary, Coalition Clean Baltic

10.50 – 11.20 The problem of nutrient pollution of water resources in the Republic of Belarus: monitoring data, reasons and solutions

Elena Sanec, Ph.D., Head of the Geosystem Optimization Laboratory of the Institute of Nature Management of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus

11.20 – 11.40 Pollution of Water Resources by Hazardous Substances –  evidence of the problem in the Baltic Sea region (results of NonHazCity substance screening)

Tonie Wickman, City of Stockholm, Environment and Health Administration, NonHazCity Project Manager

11.40  – 12.10 Coffee break
Section 2: Actions at municipal level: examples from the international experience
12.10 – 12.30 Protocol on Water and Health: targets for the Republic of Belarus and local level approach (water safety and sanitation plans)

Elena Drozdova, Ph.D., Laboratory of Habitat Factors and Technologies for Health Risk Analysis of the Republican Unitary Enterprise “Scientific and Practical Center of Hygiene”, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus

12.30 – 12.50 HS Action Plan of Stockholm municipality

Tonie Wickman, City of Stockholm, Environment and Health Administration, NonHazCity Project Manager

12.50 – 13.10 Riga example. HS flow analyses. Determination of sources. Measures to HS reduction

Valters Toropovs, Baltic Environmental Forum, Latvia, NonHazCity partner

13.10 – 13.30 Questions
13.30 – 14.30 Lunch
Section 3: Actions at municipal level: thematic discussions in two groups

Group 1: Reducing pollution of water by hazardous substances and micro plastics in Belarusian municipalities:
What can be implemented at district level? What cannot be implemented and why?

Moderation:  Alina Bushmovich, Executive Director, IPO “Ecopartnership”

Group 2: Reducing biogenic load on water resources:
What are the preconditions for wide introduction of new technologies? What are the barriers and how to overcome them?

Moderation: Mikhail Durkin, Executive Secretary, Coalition Clean Baltic

14.30 – 14.50 Microplastic: the problem and actions needed in BelarusEugene Lobanov, Leader of the Working Area For Hazardous Substances And The Maritime Environment, Coalition Clean Baltic, Center for Environmental Solutions

Maria Suma, Project Manager of the “Green map”, Center for Environmental Solutions

14.30 – 14.50 Assessment of nutrient load and recommendations for reducing the risk of pollution of water bodies (example of Iūje)

Alexander Pachomov, Expert on Water Resources

14.50 – 15.10 Pharmaceuticals in waste waters: the results of the analyses and possible solutions for reducing pollution of water resources

Natalia Blyshchik, Specialist of the Chemical Safety And Waste Management Program, Center for Environmental Solutions

14.50 – 15.10 Small scale waste water treatment facilities. Soil and plant filters as an example of effective decentralized waste water treatment

Yegor Sapon,  Assistant of the Department of Industrial Ecology, Belarusian State Technological University

15.10 – 15.30 Green public procurement as an instrument to reduce the flow of hazardous substances into wastewater and the environment (to be confirmed)

(To be announced), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus

15.10 – 15.30 Assessment of small scale water treatment facilities in agro towns of Iūje and recommendations for their modernization

Vladimir Anufriev, Ph.D., head of the department of Water supply and Sanitation of Belarusian National Technical University

15.30 – 15.45 Discussion 15.30 – 15.45 Discussion
15.45 – 16.00 Feedback from Group 1 and  2
16.00 – 16.30 Coffee break

Section 4: Instruments of awareness raising and citizens engagement: What are the main challenges for citizen’s engagement in Belarus and how to overcome them?

Moderation: Heidrun Fammler, President of Baltic Environmental Forum, NonHazCity Deputy Project Manager

 16.30 – 16.50 What can all citizens do and how to motivate them to act?

Heidrun Fammler, President of Baltic Environmental Forum, NonHazCity Deputy Project Manager

16.50 – 17.10 Raising awareness of population: example of Gdansk water utilities:  “Gdansk – the city on detox”

Peteris Gailitis, Member of the Board, Gdansk water utilities Ltd., NonHazCity partner

17.10 – 17.30 Work of info center in Viliejka:  How to reach local population? What are the main challenges?

Volga Shliapo, Infocenter of Viliejka

17.30 – 17.50 Project “Water control”: the idea behind and challenges of engaging population

Natalia Parechina, Project Coordinator, Sustainable Water Resources Management Specialist, Center for Environmental Solutions

17.50 – 18.05 Discussion
18.05 – 18.15 Summary & Conclusions from the conference
18.15 -19.30 Dinner/reception