Over the last several years, Ukraine has considerably progressed in implementing European reforms in the environmental legislation, but there is still a lot of work on their practical implementation. These issues were discussed by domestic and foreign experts at the round table "European Reforms in the Environmental Legislation of Ukraine: to be or not to be?"
During the event, the experts discussed issues such as the conservation of wild birds and subsequent timely implementation of the National Emission Reduction Plan in Ukraine.
In particular, Deputy Minister for European Integration of the Ministry of Ecology Mykola Kuzio informed that the ministry intends to widen special protection areas and enhance their efforts to protect birds. Moreover, the Ministry of Ecology intends to include measures related to environmental protection in the priorities of the government for the next year: "Our task as the ministry is to include the issues of environmental protection and conservation of its diversity in the priorities of the government."
Anastasiia Drapaliuk, a representative of the Ministry, in her turn, said that currently, Ukraine has environmental legislation that increasingly complies with the relevant European legislation: "We have well developed legislation, but the question is how we comply with it."
Bohdan Prots, an expert of WWF Carpathian Programme, said that the public played one of the key roles in the implementation of European rules in the field of environmental protection: "Civil society participation is crucial to the implementation of the laws that meet European standards."
As to the National Emission Reduction Plan, a draft resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on approving the draft plan has been developed.
According to Hlib Stryhunenko, Deputy Head of the Strategic Planning and European Integration Department of the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine, the latest version of the document took into account all comments of the Energy Community Secretariat: "In October 2016, we received the latest editorial comments from the Secretariat: they are insignificant for the plan to be approved and for its implementation to be started."
"The issues of funding and competitiveness in the new market conditions have not been resolved yet. Of course, the ministry will be very active in this respect and maintain the position that would satisfy all the parties. Society needs not just visa-free regime, but also European living standards, and clean air is one of its grounds," said Hlib Stryhunenko.
Peter Vajda, an expert on environmental issues of the Energy Community Secretariat, said that energy is a competitive business worldwide: "Ukraine must also realize that. Energy sector in your state should develop and have realistic and long-term development plans. However, you must remember that it is the responsibility of all parties: state authorities, the government, and society."
Materials of "Ukrainian Energy"