K. Navickas discusses common problems and their solution with Baltic Minister of Environment2017-04-06
On 5–6 April of this year, Minister of Environment Kęstutis Navickas is taking part in a meeting of the Environment Ministers Committee of the Baltic States Council held in Estonia. This year the meeting is discussing the most relevant issues of the waste management and water sectors. The Minister of Environment has reminded his Estonian and Latvian counterparts about the problems of the Astravets Nuclear Power Plant, stressing that Belarus has evaded constructive cooperation.
The Environment Ministers of the three states have paid a visit to the Estonian packaging management company Pandipakend and been introduced to its activities that cover waste collection and recovery (Estonian Packaging Deposit Organization), and shared their experience in implementing the requirements for waste and the EU circular economy package. K. Navickas has stressed that the circular economy implementation measures are provided for in the Government Programme of the Republic of Lithuania, and include the promotion of waste re-use, a review of the landfill taxes and the reduction of waste volumes entering landfills.
Presenting the beverage packaging deposit system successfully introduced in our country in 2016, K. Navickas expressed his delight with the return of about 75% of packaging to the reverse vending machines already in the first year. Lithuania intends to expand this successful practice by including the packaging from strong alcoholic beverages and wine in the deposit system.
The Minister had an opportunity to see the Sillaoru fish passes installed in the Ida-Viru County and share good practice. He also visited Sillamäe Port. In the discussion on water management questions, the Minister of Environment mentioned the Water Sector Development Programme for 2017–2023 approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania in February of this year, which foresees to improve the status of surface and ground water bodies, achieve and retain the good environmental status of the Baltic Sea, reduce the flood risk and flood effects throughout the country, provide the population with the drinking water supply and wastewater management services of good quality, and reduce environmental pollution by wastewater.
“We think that we have chosen the right path, and integrated water management will help us to achieve our environmental objectives. Our main objective is to improve pollution prevention. We plan to reduce pollution from agriculture, set forth stricter requirements for wastewater management and enhance control”, said K. Navickas speaking on work in the water sector. He stressed that this meeting of the Environment Ministers of the Baltic States would be sort of a way to look at one’s own country from another perspective. “Only cooperation and consultations will allow us to avoid mistakes, and drawing on the experience of other countries we will improve ourselves as well”, says Mr. Navickas.
Next year Lithuania will hold the presidency of the Environment Ministers Committee of the Baltic States Council.