Will Slovakia become greener? The government has approved a new strategy

The government aims to better protect national parks, reduce coal-produced energy and invest in green public procurement.

State Secretary of the Environment Ministry Norbert Kurilla (l), Environment Minister László Sólymos (centre) and Green Group's co-founder Constantin Damov announce the new investment.State Secretary of the Environment Ministry Norbert Kurilla (l), Environment Minister László Sólymos (centre) and Green Group's co-founder Constantin Damov announce the new investment.(Source: TASR)

Better air quality, waste management, protection of water and forests, as well as climate change are the biggest environmental challenges Slovakia must tackle. To achieve this goal, the government has approved a national environmental strategy, entitled "Greener Slovakia – The Strategy for the Environmental Policy of the Slovak Republic", or EnviroStrategy 2030, at its February 27 session.

"We have succeeded in finding ways in which we can face the biggest challenges of the environment in Slovakia to the maximum extent," said Norbert Kurilla, state secretary of the Environment Ministry, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

Will ministries follow it?

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The strategy was authored by the Institute for Environmental Policy (IEP), running under the Environment Ministry. It collaborated with 160 experts from other ministries and fields over the course of two years.

The document sets concrete and measurable goals which should be met by 2030, as well as new goals, Kurilla added.

"For instance, where it is concerned with the recycling rate of 60 percent by 2030 and the amount of emissions, we should go beyond our current commitments," he said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

However, former environmental activist and member of the non-parliamentary party Progressive Slovakia, Martin Hojsík, criticised the strategy. It does not express the commitment of the ministries to respect the goals and measures included in the strategy, for example, he claimed, as reported by TASR.

Three parts

Many of the measures detailed in the document have been put into practice, or are being implemented, Environment Minister Lászlo Sólymos (Most-Híd) claimed, as reported by TASR.

The document covers three areas, including the protection of water, biodiversity and the like, climate change and air protection, as well as the green economy.

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"The air protection strategy, for example, includes our intention to support more efficient heating systems and reduction in the production of energy from coal," said IEP head Martin Haluš, as quoted by SITA.

Regarding waste management, the strategy aims to promote waste collection, prevent waste creation and resolve the issue of illegal dumping.

Moreover, the strategy proposes to strengthen the powers of national parks and pursue sustainable logging. 75 percent of the area of the national parks should become territory without human intervention by 2030.

The strategy also mentions green public procurement, which is expected to increase to 70 percent by 2030. Environmental education should also become part of formal education, reported SITA.

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