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Belarus signed an agreement on cross-border water protection with Poland on Friday 7 February 2020, in Bialowieza, western Poland.
This is Belarus's first agreement on transboundary water bodies with a European Union country.

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From left to right:
Mr Andrei Khmel, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection and Ms Anna Moskwa, Polish Deputy Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Waterways
©Embassy of the Republic of Belarus to Poland (www.poland.mfa.gov.by)

 

Improved protection and rational use of transboundary waters

The cooperation agreement was signed by the Polish Deputy Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Waterways, Anna Moskwa, and her Belarusian counterpart, Andrei Khmel, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. The Ambassador of Belarus to Poland, Vladimir Chushev, and a representative from the Polish Foreign Ministry also attended the signature.


The agreement will ensure good cooperation and coordination in risk management areas such as flooding and drought. The agreement also features investment planning to improve the quality of water by preserving or restoring aquatic ecosystems. In addition, it involves undertaking various projects related to rational water management, including sewage management.

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From left to right:
Mr Andrei Khmel, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection and Ms Anna Moskwa, Polish Deputy Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Waterways
©Embassy of the Republic of Belarus to Poland (www.poland.mfa.gov.by)

 

Another step towards Belarus’ alignment with the European Union Water Framework Directive


Belarus is one of the six Eastern Partnership countries participating in the European Union Water Initiative + for the Eastern Partnership (EUWI+), which aims at improving the sustainable and integrated management of water resources with a focus on transboundary cooperation.

The project’s country representative, Aleksandr Stankevitch, participated in the adoption procedure of this agreement.

The new pact between Poland and Belarus will facilitate the work of experts from the two countries and help them develop a common approach to sustainable and integrated water management based on the European Union Water Framework Directive.

“The main objective of the project is to study and apply the experience of the European Union and the Eastern Partnership in water management in Belarus,” said Belarusian Deputy Minister Andrei Khmel.


Work in process with Belarus’s other neighbouring European Union countries


As well as Poland, Belarus shares transboundary water bodies with two other European Union countries: Lithuania and Latvia.

Belarus and Latvia have agreed on a ministerial agreement and a draft document has been coordinated by the parties, although the domestic approval procedure has not been launched yet.

Cooperation between Belarus and Lithuania in the area is regulated by technical protocols which envisage the exchange of data on the water levels and quality of transboundary water bodies.