Cooperation with Russia and Belarus
The UBC Sustainable Cities Commission has been working closely with the cities of St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad for many years, but also other cities, such as Vyborg and Novgorod, have been involved. The cooperation has mainly been focusing on environmental awareness, waste management, integrated management and water management.
An important element of the cooperation has been the activities in connection to the “Environmental cooperation between Finnish cities and St. Petersburg” programme. This cooperation started in 2004 under the Finnish City Twinning programme. The overall objective is to support the capacity building of the environmental administration in the city of St. Petersburg in order to further strengthen the level of environmental planning, management and monitoring. The programme is funded by the Finnish Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with participating cities. The Finnish UBC cities, Turku, Helsinki, Lahti and Tampere, have been active within this ongoing programme.
Since 2008 UBC Sustainable Cities Commission has been operating in Belarus together with project partners from the Baltic Sea Region. The cooperation has been focusing on improving waste water management in urban waste water treatment plants. Cooperation and investments in Belarus are important for the work to reduce eutrophication of the Baltic Sea. The city of Grodno has an observer status in UBC.