“Green Belarus will be a place that values cultural, ethnic, racial, sexual, religious, and spiritual diversity and encourages respectful relationships with all people. It will be a country open to new ideas and people contributing to the development of culture, society, and the economy,” reads the introductory text of the new Green Belarus web portal launched by the NGO Ekodom with the support of Arnika.
Although Belarusian civil society is under great pressure and still faces repression from the regime of President Lukashenko, NGOs are not giving up. They are coming up with a comprehensive proposal for the future modernization of the country in line with the EU-wide Green Deal strategy.
“The future of Belarus is a land of opportunity and high quality of life, where there is no place for hatred, despair, and fear. You may find it strange that I did not mention ‘ecology’ or ‘green’. We try not to single out the environment as a separate area. All economic and government processes must include the protection of biodiversity, the correct use of resources, adaptation to climate change, and green cities. If we talk about a green Belarus, our dream, green principles must be cross-cutting,” explains Irina Sukhy, founder of the NGO Ekodom.
We must be prepared
Ekodom, with the support of Arnika, has assembled a large working group to develop a green vision. The material was developed gradually over two years. Dozens of active NGO representatives - those still operating in Belarus and those whose leaders were forced to flee the country and continue their work in exile - have repeatedly gathered to discuss it.
“It may seem strange that during the political crisis and war in Ukraine, we are talking about the green future of Belarusians, but this topic is very important. We are sure that a transformation will start in Belarus sooner or later. We cannot say how the changes will come about - whether there will be a revolution, whether Lukashenko will die, or something else will happen. If we want to influence the direction in which our country will change and rebuild, we must be prepared for that moment. We need to know what to change, what laws to rewrite, what reforms to propose,” said Irina Sukhy.
The new portal is available at: https://belarusgreen.vision