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Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine commit to further cooperation on air pollution abatement

Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine commit to further cooperation on air pollution abatement

Geneva
On 16-17 November 2010, representatives from Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Ukraine convened in Novopolotsk, Belarus, to discuss strengthening their cooperation and activities under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP).
The meeting also served as an official launch of the largest capacity building project under the Convention. The project aims to assist Belarus, Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation in implementing and ratifying the Convention’s 3 most recent Protocols, namely the Protocol on Persistent Organic Pollutants, the Protocol on Heavy Metals, and the multi-pollutant and multi-effect focused Gothenburg Protocol.
All 3 countries are parties to the Convention, but have faced challenges in developing their domestic policies and technical frameworks to adhere to the principles and instruments under each of the Protocols. The project focuses upon assisting them in developing these, and aims at reducing harmful emissions of pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, persistent organic pollutants, and heavy metals within the region.
At the inaugural meeting, the participating countries were joined by experts from Bulgaria, Germany and the UNECE Secretariat. Discussions focused upon assessing the current status of air pollution monitoring and reporting in their respective countries, and establishing the steps required for the first phase of the project—the completion of national strategies on abating air pollution. The joint project is one of a series of initiatives under the Convention aimed at assisting countries with economies in transition in developing the capacity to effectively monitor and reduce air pollutants.
The meeting resulted in representatives from the environmental ministries of the four participating countries establishing a series of joint recommendations and conclusions with respect to furthering their cooperation with the Convention for the first time. These conclusions and recommendations are to be presented at the Convention’s upcoming Executive Body meeting in December 2010. The further participation and cooperation of Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Ukraine under LRTAP compliments the Convention’s prioritization of assisting the countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia in developing capacities to address the detrimental effects of air pollution in their respective countries.
For more information, please visit:http://www.unece.org/env/lrtap
Note to editors
UNECE’s Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution is one of the first regional environmental agreements, and with over 50 member states, has played an influential role in the monitoring and abatement of air pollution for over 30 years.
Ref: ECE/ENV/10/P38

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