On December 7th, a technical webinar on the topic «Criteria and prospects for green financing of water projects in Russia» was held by the World Bank with the financial support of the German Corporation for International Cooperation GmbH (GIZ). Various experts on the protection and rational use of water resources and facilities, sustainable development of the water management complex of Russia were invited to take part in this webinar.
As part of the event, the participants reviewed the features of the taxonomy of green and adaptation projects in the Russian water sector in terms of criteria, the verification process and the possibility of financing water initiatives under the relevant Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation. Moreover, the experts defined barriers to the implementation of these activities, as well as proposed steps to mobilize funding for these projects.
In particular, Anastasia Tsvetkova, CEO of Lake Baikal Foundation, presented a report on the topic «Liquid household waste management and engineering protection from the negative water effects in the context of Lake Baikal protection: problems and prospects». In her presentation, Anastasia outlined the problems existing around treatment facilities in the Baikal Natural Territory (BPT). So, today there is an insufficient number of treatment plants, the level of their technological development does not correspond to the current requirements of legislation and the specifics of wastewater, and there is no comprehensive approach to the construction of treatment plants either, which, inter alia, would take into account the peculiarities of ecosystems of affected water bodies.
At the same time, there are a number of obstacles to attracting financing for municipal water supply and sanitation at the BPT. As an example, Anastasia drew the lack of funds for the preparation of design estimates by many municipalities, the focus of the public procurement system on the lowest price at present, without taking into account the costs throughout the life cycle of the purchased equipment, as well as the lack of coordination between public authorities at different levels. These barriers currently do not allow for the construction and modernization of wastewater treatment plants at the BPT with due efficiency, despite the existing state support programs.
Following the results of the technical webinar, the participants presented a number of comments and suggestions on the taxonomy and requirements for verification of sustainable development projects in general and on the nomenclature of water projects included in it, in particular. So, among others, there was a recommendation to add to the nomenclature water projects in the field of non-centralized household water supply and safe solid waste management, reduction of the pollutants discharge as part of diffuse runoff from industrial sites and residential areas, etc. In addition, the experts called for the creation of a permanent platform for open discussion and collective solution proposals in order to prepare and promote sustainable development and green financing projects.
We thank the World Bank for the opportunity to take part in the expert discussion and in the development of proposals and comments on the provisions of the taxonomy and the requirements for the verification of sustainable development projects!