Anger over shelving of important environmental plan
The environmental-humanitarian association Zeleny Svit [Green World] has issued an open letter to President Yanukovych expressing concern at the Cabinet of Ministers Resolution from 22 June 2011 No. 704 “On reduction in the number and consolidation of State targeted programmes”.
Item 4 of the Resolution instructs the Environment Ministry to submit by 15 July 2011 a draft law on declaring void the Law on a Nationwide Programme for the Creation of a National Ecological Network in Ukraine for 2000-2015 [the Programme]. The authors believe this draft law to have been drawn up already.
“The decision to terminate the Programme demonstrates a regrettable lack of professionalism by the leadership of the Cabinet of Ministers which has proven incapable of understanding its importance for preserving our natural heritage, the principles of sustainable environmentally balanced development, as well as the consequences of its outrageous decision on the health and prosperity of the present and future generations. This Cabinet of Ministers decision is an attempt to destroy Ukraine’s last natural oases and a further assault on Ukraine’s image as a European country. This is an additional obstruction on the road to European integration since in accordance with the General guidelines for the development of the Pan-European Ecological Network (1995), the process of creating a Pan-European Ecological Network as a single system for the territory of Europe has been underway now for well into a second decade”.
Zeleny Svit points out that the 13 May 2011 Cabinet of Ministers Resolution “On the main directions of budgetary politics for 2012” included the Programme in the list of targeted programmes for implementation as priority.
Members of Zeleny Svit fully endorse the predictions of the Environment Ministry regarding the consequences of adopting the above-mentioned Law. It will lead to the elimination of a single State targeted programme aimed at preserving the biological and landscape diversity and at creating an ecological network.
“The adoption of this Law will have an adverse impact on planned nature protection work which will cause irreparable damage to Ukraine’s natural environment. The Programme is the only State targeted programme providing financing for environmental protection measures aimed at preserving Ukraine’s nature, its biological and landscape diversity. [These measures include] keeping a cadastre of animal and plant life, issuing Ukraine’s Red and Green Books, and creating areas and objects within the natural reserve fund with national significance.
The cancellation of the Programme will have an extremely adverse impact on Ukraine’s international image and demonstrate its failure to implement its international commitments and the decisions of the UN General Assembly which it endorsed. The Programmes ensures implementation of Ukraine’s international commitments with regard to more than 20 UN conventions and multilateral agreements. In addition in December 2010 the UN General Assembly, including Ukraine, declared the following decade to be the decade for preservation of biological diversity”
Zeleny Svit calls on the President to cancel the Cabinet of Ministers Resolution and asks for a written response in accordance with the Law on Citizens’ Appeals. The letter is signed by Zeleny Svit’s Executive Director, Oleksandr Stepanenko.