STATE OF ENVIRONMENT IN UKRAINE 1998
(National Report)

PREFACE

Independence of Ukraine, building of the open democratic society and market economy have revealed the whole depth of the environment crisis and gave our country chance to take the normal civilized path of development.

The environment policy of Ukraine as whole has been formed for the years of independence. In March 1998 the Supreme Council of Ukraine approved «Main Trends of the State Policy in the Environment Protection, Utilization of Natural Resources and Guarantee of the Environment Safety». This document has declared the long-term strategy of solution of the environmental problems in Ukraine at the state level.

The declared policy is based on the unified solution of the economical and environmental problems, on creation of motivation and conditions for the decision of the environmental problems at the national, regional, local and object levels.

Under the considerable number of environmental problems of different level of complicacy as well as rather limited resources for their solution the establishing of priorities is one of the key tasks of the state environmental policy. In accordance with «Main Trends of the State Policy in the Environment Protection, Utilization of Natural Resources and Guarantee of the Environment Safety» (1998) the long-term priorities of the environmental utilization of the natural resources are as follows:

· guarantee of the environmental safety of the nuclear objects and radiation safety of population and environment, reducing to minimum the harmful influence of the Chernobyl NPP catastrophe after-effects;

· improvement of the ecological state of the Dnieper river basin and quality of drinking water;

· stabilization and improvement of the environment state in the cities and industrial centres of the Donets-dnieper area;

· construction of new municipal sewage purification works and reconstruction of those in operation;

· prevention of pollution of the Black and Azov Seas and improvement of their environmental state;

· formation of the balanced system of nature utilization and the adequate restructurization of the economy production potential, ecologization of technologies in industry, power generation, civil engineering, agriculture and transport;

· protection of biological and landscape diversity, development of nature-reserve science.

Practically new nature-protection laws have been enacted for the years of our independence.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety, Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine have developed and the Supreme Council of Ukraine adopted the Land (1992), Forest (1994), Water (1995) Codes and Code on Bowels (1994), Laws of Ukraine «On the Environment Protection» (1991), «On Nature-reserve Fund» (1992), «On the Animal World» (1993), «On Environmental Examination» (1995), «On Utilization of Nuclear Power and Nuclear Safety» (1995), «On Handling Radioactive Waste» (1995), «About Waste» (1998), «On the Plant Kingdom» (1999) etc.

The basic elements of formation of economic mechanism of nature utilization and nature protection activity have been developed and introduced at present in Ukraine.

Introduction of ecologo-ecomonical factors has created stimuli for the rational utilization of natural resources as well as real sources of financing of nature-protective activity.

A separate section «The Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety» has been created in the State budget, beginning from 1994, for financing the nature-protective expenditures connected with recreation and maintenance of natural resources in proper condition. The section estimates the expenditures for protection and rational utilization of the water, mineral, land resources, creation of forest stands and forest-shelter belts, protection of the nature-reserve fund, maintenance of local nature-protection bodies.

A system of State target funds for environment protection at the general state and local levels has been created in Ukraine beginning from 1992. In 1998 they were included into the corresponding budgets (they were above the budget before). Rather important experience concerning the activity of environmental funds, has been accumulated for the time of introduction of the system of the environment protection funds in Ukraine.

As regards the future, the only productive way to prevent the ecotechnogenic threats is to go over from the pattern of reacting to the events (accidents and catastrophes) to creation of the system of preventive safety control, reorientation of scientific-and-technical potential to creation of the objects with new equipment with guaranteed level of safety, introduction of programmed modes of safety control and legal rules of the control of technogenic environment.

The conception of national security of Ukraine distinguishes among the priority national interests the ensuring of the environment safety and introduction of ecologically safe technologies in all the spheres of the society life and activities. The Ministry for Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety has to play its own and rather important part in realization of the above conception.

There are no national environment problems. When solving the environment problems of Polissia, Ukraine favours the recreation of the «green lungs» of Europe. When improving the sanitary conditions of water environment of the Azov-black Sea area, when working over the ecological recreation of the Dnieper and its basin our country favours the lessening of tension in solution of the regional and global problems. Democratic Ukraine with clean environment and stable economy is not only dream of our people but the future full-right member of European and the whole world community.

Following main ideas and principles announced at the UN Conference on the Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), Ukraine has declared the intention to sustainable development which provides for the balanced solution of socio-economical tasks, problems of securing the favourable state of the environment and natural-resource potential with the purpose of meeting the vital requirements of the present and future generations.

The parity of relations in the triad: man_economy_nature, which provides for the transition to such way of interrelations between nature and society which is characterized as the epoch of noosphere is the basis of sustainable development.

The sustainable development generalizes the process of revival and recreation of the nation gene pool, activation of the part of certain person in the society, guarantees the persons rights and freedoms, environment protection, formation of conditions for recreation of the biosphere and its local ecosystems, orientation to the decrease of the level of anthropogenic impact on the environment and harmonization of development of people and nature.

Ministry of Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety has developed draft of the Conception of sustainable development of Ukraine. The Conception declares that Ukraine can provide for sustainable development exceptionally by the efficient utilization of all kinds of resources, structural-technological restructurization of production, use of creative potential of all members of the society for construction and prosperity of the state.

The environmental protection and rational use of natural resources with the purpose to go over to the sustainable development of Ukraine shall not be considered as the end in itself but the inseparable part of the development process.

The idea of sustainable development concerns not only the present _ it is addressed both to the present and future generations. That is the idea of equal rights of all generations and all people of every generation, efficient use of potentialities, balanced character of the society development and nature protection.

I hope that the objective representation of the environment processes in the «National Report on the Environment State in Ukraine» will favour the nature-protective activity, comprehension of the necessity to realize its priorities in all the spheres of our life.