As the largest landlocked country in Europe, the Republic of Belarus boasts a diverse landscape, from vast forests and wetlands to pristine lakes and rivers.
However, the conversion of vast natural areas to human economic use, primarily for agricultural purposes, the draining of wetlands, and the clearing of forests for road construction continue to pose threats to the country’s biodiversity.
Despite these problems, the Republic of Belarus has made commendable efforts to protect its biodiversity, as outlined in the Strategy for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity. The strategy, approved by the Government of the Republic of Belarus in 2010 (revised in 2015), is a roadmap consisting of 4 goals and 13 objectives that will serve as a guide for the country in biodiversity conservation by improving the management of protected areas, improving sustainable forestry practices , improving the living environment. restoration efforts and institutional capacity building for biodiversity management.
Andrei Kuzmich is a leading specialist of the National Coordinating Center for Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing (ACC NCC) of the Institute of Genetics and Cytology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.
In his current role, he seeks to raise institutional and public awareness of the Nagoya Protocol of the CBD and the national legal framework for the management of genetic resources. His office also publishes information related to Belarus in the ABS Clearing House (as the National Publication Authority), monitors the use of genetic resources and develops proposals for improving national legislation in the field of genetic resources management.
From 2011 to 2021, Andrei worked at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus, where he participated in the development of national environmental legislation in the field of specially protected natural areas, prevention of land degradation, flora. Working alongside his colleagues, he played a key role in developing the country’s entirely new legislative framework for the protection and sustainable use of peatlands. The result of their efforts was the adoption of the Comprehensive Strategy for the Conservation and Rational (Sustainable) Use of Peatlands in 2015, the Law of the Republic of Belarus “On the Protection and Use of Peatlands” in 2019, additional regulations and technical codes, all of which are currently in force. for the protection and restoration of peatlands.