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Slovakia launches new environmental strategy

Slovakia has approved a new national environmental strategy, called Greener Slovakia – The Strategy for the Environmental Policy of the Slovak Republic.

“The document covers three areas, including the protection of water, biodiversity, climate change and air protection, as well as the green economy,” explained Martin Haluš, director of the country’s Institute of Environmental Policy (IEP) which is running the programme.

By 2024, Slovakia’s protected areas will be reviewed so that by 2025 non-intrusive areas of national parks will be extended to 50 per cent, and up to 75 per cent by 2030. Mining will be prohibited and organic farming will account for at least 13.5 per cent of the total agriculture sector.

“The environmental challenges that Slovakia is facing require a long-term vision and a strategic direction,” said the Slovak Minister of the Environment László Sólymos.

Slovakia will also gradually green its economy. By 2030, the rate of recycling of municipal waste will be increased to at least 60 per cent and by 2035 the landfill rate will be reduced to less than 25 per cent. The production of food waste will be limited by 2030 as restaurants and supermarkets will be required to continue sending food which has passed its best-before date to charitable organisations. In energy production, a preference will be given to energy from renewable sources, in order to get closer to the EU average.

“Particular attention will be paid to environmental education, in which we also introduce monitoring and evaluation of educational activities. We will also improve the quality of data collection, particularly in the area of water, air and waste, and we will make them available to the public,” added Norbert Kurilla, state secretary at the environment ministry.