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    Supporting Sustainability and Environmental Action in Communities in Belarus and Moldova

    2012 - 2015

    Interakcia coordinated the project in Belarus.

    Budget: € 1,000,000 (500,000 in grant funding to the 10 participating local authorities);

    The project was implemented by the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC) and funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

    Development of Local Environmental Action Plans (LEAPs) was one of the two components of the STREAM Programme. Another component aimed to strengthen environmental NGOs in Belarus and Moldova.



    Thanks to the project, local authorities of ten Belarusian districts (Bereza, Braslav, Chashniki, Vileika, Glubokoe, Ivatsevichi, Oshmyany, Polotsk, Pukhovichi, Rogachev districts) developed Local Environmental Action Plans (LEAPs) to address the most important environmental challenges faced by each district. All ten LEAPs in Russian are available in electronic form on our website in the Publications section.

    While developing the LEAPs, local authorities consulted local NGOs and community members to discuss local environmental challenges and look for mid-term and long-term solutions.



    Project objectives:
    To improve environmental planning and management in ten districts of Belarus;
    To provide local authorities with access to knowledge, skills and investments for planning and implementation of local initiatives that aim to solve important environmental challenges;
    To contribute to active participation of civil society organizations and local community members in addressing local environmental challenges.

    When local LEAPs were ready, each participating district received a grant of EUR 50,000 from SIDA to implement one green initiative from the LEAP. For example, in Rogachev the grant funding was used to to conduct landscaping works in a park in Kisteni village where a famous Belarusian writer Uladzimir Karatkevic used to have his walks. Vileika authorities used the money to clean a local Plesnianka river, strengthen its banks and conduct landscaping works, and Polotsk authorities planted more than 5 thousand tree seedlings in three city districts.


    The list of all ten LEAP initiatives that got funding from SIDA (in Russian)


    Photo: cleaning and bank strengthening works on the Plesnianka river in the Vileika district (Sergey Gonchar for Kraj.by)

    Project results:
    Ten district authorities, together with CSOs, Belarusian specialists and REC experts, developed Local Environmental Action Plans (LEAPs) for their districts. Each plan includes 4 to 5 environmental priorities that each district should focus on.
    LEAP priorities were identified with the help of public opinion surveys in all participating districts. The surveys took place in 2013-2014. About 1,000 to 1,500 people took part in each survey.
    Each of the ten participating district authorities received a 50,000 EUR grant from SIDA to implement one environmental project from their LEAPs.