We describe the emergence of multilevel policy in biodiversity governance in Belarusöa country with a strongly hierarchical and centralized political system. We analyze the biodiversity protection policies from the collapse of the Soviet Union to the present day. Our evidence is based on document analysis and in-depth interviews with representatives of key stakeholder groups, includ- ing the Belarusian government and representatives of legalized as well as banned nongovernmental organizations. We observe that the importance of local government and nonstate actors in increasing, as the government enters and implements more international programs and agreements. Although the changes have contributed to an improved monitoring of protected areas and are in general seen as positive by the majority of stakeholders, the policy innovation process taking place in Belarus is still very different from those observed in Western democracies. Many changes are introduced on an ad hoc basis and they are not supported by the development of legal standards and procedures. Furthermore, a portion of innovative legislation exists only on paper and is never enforced. In the area of biodiversity governance, effective and urgent measures are most needed to support access to information, development of formal channels of cooperation between stakeholders, and sanctioning mechanisms in cases of mismanagement.
Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- Public Administration
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law