Science plays a special role in environmental activities and rational use of natural resources.

The latest scientific studies allow the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of Belarus (hereafter the Ministry of Nature) reaching a new level of task solving. Introduction of new science-intensive, resource- and energy-saving technologies in various sectors of the national economy promotes innovation development and ensures ecological safety of the state.

Since 2011 scientific research have been done in line with the priority areas of sci-tech activities “Rational management of natural resources in the Republic of Belarus 2011: resource-saving and emergency preparedness” (Presidential Decree #378 of 22 July 2010) as well as in accordance with the priority areas of fundamental and applied scientific research of the Republic of Belarus for 2011-2015 “Ecology, natural resources, resource-saving, rational use of natural resources and emergency preparedness” (resolution #585 of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus of 19 April 2010).

Tasks and specific projects that have been implemented since 2011 in accordance with the approved programs were elaborated by the Ministry of Nature taking into consideration sci-tech priorities of the Republic of Belarus for 2011-2015, solutions of specific problems, research, scientific and human capacity, competitive selection of projects.

The Ministry of Nature research teams in close cooperation with institutions of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (NAS) have been working on implementation of the programs listed below.

The Ministry of Nature was selected by the government of Belarus as the main state coordinator and manager of the comprehensive target sci-tech program “Natural resources and ecology 2011-2015”.

The main goals of the comprehensive program are as follows:

  • Scientific and sci-tech support of the sustainable cost-effective management, preservation and reproduction of natural resources based on the comprehensive, allround evaluation of the country’s natural resources capacity;
  • Environmental improvement; raising the level of protection of humans and biota from a number of natural factors;
  • Cost-effective and eco-friendly use of own mineral recourses and raw materials, reduction of dependency from imported mineral resources;
  • Development of science-intensive, export-oriented and import-substituting productions by using energy-saving and eco-friendly technologies.

The main measures to achieve these goals include:

  • Widening knowledge about nature in accordance with the global scientific trends and priority areas of the socioeconomic development of Belarus;
  • Application of sci-tech and innovation achievements (eco-friendly, energy- and resource-saving technologies);
  • Effective environmental monitoring;
  • Sustainable management of natural resources;
  • Raising export capacity of Belarus.

The comprehensive program includes:

Three state sci-tech subprograms, namely “Natural resources and environment” (coordinators: Ministry of Nature, NAS), “Belarusian forests: productivity, sustainability, efficient management” (coordinator: Forestry Ministry), “Housing maintenance and utilities” (coordinator: Ministry of Housing and Utilities) and state program “Natural resources capacity” (coordinators: NAS, Education Ministry, Ministry of Nature) consisting of four subprograms “Natural resources”, “Biodiversity, bio-resources and eco-technologies”, “Radiation, ecology and technosphere”, “Geological models”.

The main goals to be achieved in 2011-2015 by implementing the programs are:

  • in the area of development and application of innovation technologies of the rational management of natural resources and improving environment – efficient resource-saving and low-waste technologies to process natural and secondary resources, reduction of man-caused environmental impact;
  • in the area of rational forest management – increasing productivity and sustainability of forests, improving their quality, building up natural resources capacity to ensure uninterrupted operation of the forest industry;
  • in the area of development and introduction of new technologies, equipment and machines in the housing and utilities sector – water supply and disposal, urban sanitation, recycling of hard waste, communal heat power engineering;
  • in the area of scientific research program “Natural Resources Potential” under the following programs:

“Management of natural resources 2” – creation of highly efficient fertilizing and meliorating materials based on organic and mineral dispersive products (peat, slime, brown coal, etc);
“Radiation, ecology and technosphere” – evaluation of the impact of the ionizing and electromagnetic radiation of various diapason on bio-systems at molecular, individual and population level;
“Geomodels” – scientific support of projection of new mineral resources deposits, strategies and tactics of state geological surveying of the territory of Belarus based on geological and genetic models of tectonic structures and structural and compositional complexes that may have mineral deposits;
“Biodiversity, bio-resources and eco-technologies” – laying scientific foundation for economic sectors related to rational use of natural resources and environmental protection (forestry, game husbandry, fishery, plan cultivation, municipal services and landscape gardening, food and pharmaceutical industries, eco-tourism and recreation, healthcare).

The Ministry of Nature is a coordinator of Program II “Increasing sustainable use of biospheric resources and preservation of sound environment” of the state sci-tech program “Natural resources and environment” for 2011-2015 (resolution #116 of the Council of Ministers of Belarus of 1 February 2011).

The main implementer of Program II is Belarusian Scientific and Research Center Ecology. The program is aimed at achieving priority targets of the sci-tech activities related to rational and economical use of natural resources, solving ecological and environmental tasks.

The main goals of Program II are:

  • ensuring efficient and biosphere-friendly environmental management (use, reproduction and protection of bio-resources, landscape and biological diversity);
  • development of modern evaluation methods of the environmental and resource capacity and the environmental quality rating system;
  • scientific support of the process of implementation of international conventions and agreements in the area of environmental protection, preservation of biological and landscape diversity.

In accordance with resolution #669 of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus of 26 May 2011 “On the state program of innovation development of the Republic of Belarus for 2011-2015” the Ministry of Nature has developed (and coordinated with the deputy Prime Minister V. N. Ivanov) and has been gradually implementing seven innovation projects (five in geology and two in hydrometeorology).

The Ministry of Nature is a state coordinator of the “Program on exploration of mineral deposits and development of mineral resources and raw materials base of the Republic of Belarus for 2011-2015 and up to 2020” (resolution #431 of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus of 4 April 2011).

This program aims to meet the country’s demand for mineral resources and raw materials and reduce its dependency on imported energy carriers.

The main targets are:

  • Boosting exploration of existing deposits of mineral resources;
  • Preparation and development of new deposits of mineral resources;
  • Geological prospecting and exploration for increasing capacity of the mineral resources and raw materials in 2011-2015.