About Us

Brief profile of Belarusian Public Association (NGO) Ecological Initiative

Belarusian Public Association “Ecological Initiative” is a registered non-governmental  organization (NGO) working in various spheres, such as hazardous waste management, biodiversity preservation, climate change mitigation, implementation of international  environmental conventions – Convention on Biological Diversity, Stockholm Convention on  Persistent Organic Pollutants, Ramsar Convention and the Aarhus Convention. The NGO was established in 2003 and since then has been successfully working on some of the major national and international environmental challenges

 The permanent staff of the organization is 9 people. Most of the permanent staff have considerable practical experience of dealing with various environmental and public issues on the national and international scale. More than 400 volunteer members are working across the country for a more efficient fulfillment of the tasks that the NGO is posing for itself.  

The members of organization are qualified experts in the related fields of activity, having  established contacts with partner NGOs, local administrative bodies of the regions of Belarus  and governmental organizations, such as the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental  Protection, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Industry and others.

The scope of activities includes practical actions, public information and involvement in decision making,  sustainable management of protected areas, chemical safety and biosafety. The  organization has implemented a number of projects related to information and empowerment  of the public on the issues of POPs management, involvement of local population in activities  on protected areas management and development, education of the public on biosafety  principles and their rights in this regard. 

Among the projects completed by “Ecological Initiative” are the following:

In 2005 “Ecological Initiative” participated in the implementation of the UNDP\GEF project “National Capacity Self-Assessment for Global Environmental Management”. In the framework of this project the NGO elaborated an Internet resource dedicated to Belarus’ participation in the implementation of the UN global environmental conventions (on biodiversity, climate change and combating desertification and land degradation); the NGO also organized and held workshops on the key issues of the three UN conventions implementation in the Republic of Belarus.

In 2006 “Ecological Initiative” took part in the implementation of the UNDP\GEF project “Conservation and sustainable management of Polessie through integration of globally important biodiversity into main areas of economic activity at key sites”. They organized workshops in Luninets and Pinsk on the issues of development of eco-tourism, prepared informational products (such as booklets, posters, calendars etc.) devoted to promotion of eco-tourism on these areas. A comprehensive analysis of future possibilities of eco-tourism development on the territories of the Luninets and Pinsk districts was also prepared by the specialists of the NGO.

In 2007 in cooperation with Ameco consultancy company (the Netherlands) and Matra fund in the framework of the project “Building capacity for Transboundary Water Management in the Zapadnaya Dvina River Basin the NGO performed the following activities:

  • Analyses of the existing regional hazardous waste management system regarding the Obsolete Pesticides management in the Vitebsk Region;
  • Elaboration of the Action Plan (Regional Strategy) for the Sound Management of Obsolete Pesticides in the Vitebsk Region of the Republic of Belarus;
  • Consultations with Government institutions, Vitebsk regional municipality, other Stakeholders.

In 2007-2008 the project “Capacity development of Republican hydrological reserve “Podvelikiy Mokh” territory and involvement of local population in practical activity for preservation of its biodiversity” was implemented. AS a result of this project implementation a number of informational campaigns were conducted in local mass media and on the Internet page of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus; parking lots on the territory of the reserve were reconstructed, special recreation tourist places in the reserve “Podvelikiy Mokh” were organized; ecological-tourist center was established in the Gantsevichi district; an ecological club in the local school was created and technically equipped; some local people involved in eco-tourism business were trained as guides of eco-tourist routes; some posters and booklets were designed and published; informational boards, warning (banning) signs and turnpikes were installed on the territory of the reserve.

In 2008-2009 the organization worked on the implementation of the project “Population informing and information exchange on POPs problem in the framework of the Stockholm Convention on POPs”.  Due to their effort an information center on POPs was established, a Internet site was designed and maintained. An informational campaign was held to ensure broader public information on the POPs effects and measures of POPs adverse impact mitigation.

In 2008-2009 the NGO “Ecological Initiative” implemented the project of the Council of Europe “Identification of the potential Areas of Special Conservation Interest (ASCIs) of the Emerald Network in Belarus”. The main outputs of the project are:

  • distribution per biogeographical region and populations in Belarus of all species and habitats of Resolutions Nos. 4 and 6 of the Bern Convention and Annex I of the Habitats Directive;
  • distribution maps of selected species and habitats in the Geographical Information System (GIS);
  • Sites database for all the sites to be listed with all ecological data filled in;
  • Digital boundaries for all sites listed in GIS;
  • Emerald data base completed and delivered to the Council of Europe and its consultant for checking and integration in the European database.

The NGO “Ecological Initiative” actively collaborates with partner NGOs in Belarus as well as various international organizations, it has also good partnership relationship with governmental bodies as well as with several regional municipalities of Belarus. Annually the members of the NGO take part in the meetings of the Public Environmental Council under the aegis of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of Belarus.  

Chair of the Council is Ms. Maryna Belavus
Deputy Chair of the Council is Ms. Olga Volkova
e-mail: ecoin@tut.by
telephone/fax +375 17 303 77 17