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31.01.2007

UN: Ukraine endangered by toxic waste

   

The UN Special Rapporteur on toxic wastes has warned that Ukraine faces serious environmental problems due to the amount of toxic and dangerous products and wastes on its territory.

Okechukwu Ibeanu, who visited several western Ukrainian regions, said that a major problem was now the import of toxic wastes from abroad.

“Ukraine is facing serious environmental challenges resulting from the presence of significant quantities of toxic and dangerous products and wastes a consequence notably of the large Soviet era industrial sector as well as from huge stockpiles of obsolete pesticides. Imports of toxic wastes, the issue which I examined most closely, while posing significant challenges only add to the existing problems the country is facing in the area of protection of the environment.”  

Mr Ibeanu also stressed that Ukrainians needed better access to information about environmental problems and their potential danger to health.

“I believe that access to information regarding environmental issues and their potential consequences for human rights requires some improvement. Furthermore, I believe that providing full information on these issues will contribute to further improving the existing trust and understanding between the Government and civil society on environmental issues.”
The UN Special Rapporteur believes that Ukraine urgently needs to to limit the quantity of toxic and dangerous products and wastes present on the territory of Ukraine and to take “all the necessary measures to put an end to any further import”

 

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