MPs without an official decision of the Committee on Environmental Policy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, an official position of the Ministry of Environment are trying to cancel the SEA – Strategic Environmental Assessment – for a number of programs in oblasts and local communities, which assesses environmental impact at the planning stage.
This will lead to a possible deterioration of the environmental situation in the long run perspective in the cities destroyed by russia and will deprive Ukraine of part of the investment funds for reconstruction.
Also, it will significantly weaken Ukraine’s position at the time when the European Parliament is considering the possibility to reduce the time of processing Ukraine’s application for the EU membership because the strategic environmental assessment procedure is a requirement within the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.
During just one month, a number of deputies partially have leveled the achievements of 15 years of long-term work of the expert community and international partners in the area of strategic environmental assessment.
They passed the draft law № 7282 on Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine Concerning Priority Measures for Reforming the Sphere of Urban Development, which indicate that comprehensive restoration plans of the area and territories of territorial communities are not subject to strategic environmental assessment (art.15-2 part 8).On May 13, 2022, the draft law was sent for signature to the President of Ukraine.
IMPORTANT: The draft law was considered by the Committee on Economic Development, the Committee on Ukraine’s integration into the European Union, and the Committee on anti-corruption policy.
Do @Наталуха, @Климпуш, @Радіна really support the rollback of environmental reforms, for which the public has been fighting for 15 years?
What’s next? Shall we cancel EIA? It is interesting to know the opinion of @Stefanchuk @Stefanishyna
Instead, this draft law was not considered by the Committee on Environmental Policy of the Verkhovna Rada, so there are no conclusions of @Бондаренко regarding the draft law.There is no official position of the Ministry of Environment and the Minister @Стрілець.We ask you to react and convey to the President that 7282 must not be signed in view of the declared green way of Ukraine’s restoration and fast implementation of the country’s European integration aspirations.
Why it’s important:
It is carried out before the start of projects and prevents harmful effects on the environment,
provides an opportunity for the public to participate in the process of developing draft plans and programs through public discussions of such projects,
introduces opportunities for authorities and regulatory bodies to
effectively prevent environmental risks and have alternatives to implementing programs
These things are crucial today when some cities have been destroyed by russian aggression, which has led to a shortage of drinking water, destruction of sewage facilities and significant environmental pollution.
Due to the fact that earlier there was no SEA in Ukraine, we witnessed terrible environmental disasters, including fires at the Hrybovychi landfill, systemic accidents at the Burshtyn TPP, Kalush contamination with hexachlorobenzene and hundreds of others across the country. To prevent this, the public has fought for many years for application of SEA and relevant law entered into force in 2018 as a step of Ukraine towards the Association with the EU.
In recent years, the SEA procedure has been improved at the legislative level, a unified register of SEA as well as enforcement mechanisms and liability for non-compliance with the procedure have been launched. However, some MPs were able to cancel in a speedy regime one of the key procedures for assessing the risks of implementing programs for oblasts and territories of territorial communities without consulting all stakeholders and thus depriving communities of the possibility to have a voice through public discussions, develop alternatives to implementing these programs based on human interests and environmental considerations.
The importance of the SEA procedure during the war and post-war reconstruction
It is at the stage of compiling the SEA report that it is necessary to assess whether the post-war state of territories and lands of the territorial community allows planning certain facilities and what impact the construction of new infrastructure facilities will have on the health of community residents. After all, the SEA means also consultations with environmental and health authorities, which can add important arguments for limiting or reducing the impact on the environment and health in the process of comprehensive restoration of the region, building waste management infrastructure, water supply and sewerage systems, planning the ways of using mined areas and the areas contaminated as a result of hostilities. Therefore, trying to circumvent the SEA procedure can be costly to the local community, investors and local governments, as well as to the environment and our children.
SEA cancellation and risks in the international arena
The Marshall Plan for the Reconstruction of Ukraine, which is currently being developed with the support of the EU and the G7 potentially means allocation of trillions of euros that will be available to Ukraine only if it declares and implements its European integration aspirations enshrined in the legislation. Therefore, such a ill-considered step could significantly complicate Ukraine’s access to international donor assistance in rebuilding the country. This is particularly true during the review by the European Parliament today of Ukraine’s application to join the EU.
We emphasize that on May 5 more than 50 Ukrainian NGOs supported the need for green post-war reconstruction of the country and compliance with European environmental standards in the development of Ukraine, including SEA.
Moreover, on May 11, the UN Global Compact, the largest business association supporting the Sustainable Development Goals in Ukraine (more than a hundred participants) and the world (more than 12,000 participants), published proposals and legislative initiatives for green recovery aimed at members of the Ukrainian Parliament, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and international partners and the document provides for support of the reform of environmental control, SEA and EIA.
In view of the above, we request the following:
1. The draft law №7282 should not be signed by the Presidnet and should be returned to the Parliament with proposals from the President.
2. The public should be informed about the decisions taken.
International charitable organization “Environment-People-Law”
Ukrainian Climate Network
National Ecological Center of Ukraine
SaveDnipro / SaveEcoBot
Center for Environmental Initiatives” Ecoaction” NGO
Ukrainian Nature Conservation Group
Kharkiv City NGO “EcoPravo-Kharkiv”
International charitable organization “Information center “Green dossier”
Bureau of Environmental Investigations