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After the signature of the Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) by Ukraine in 2003, SEA has been applied in the country’s strategic planning by several national and local authorities on a pilot basis. The Protocol on SEA entered into force in Ukraine on 1 March 2016, after its ratification by the country on 2 December 2015. Despite the increasing recognition of the SEA as a tool for sustainable development, SEA is rarely used in the country. This is due to a number of reasons, including:

  • Weak legislative and institutional framework for its application;
  • Low level of awareness of SEA and its benefits among public authorities responsible for preparation of the plans and programmes;
  • Lack of understanding of the roles and responsibilities of various authorities in the SEA process.

In responses to these challenges and to better prepare for the practical application of the recently ratified Protocol on SEA the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine collaborates with various partners, including the UNECE Secretariat, in order to develop the national SEA system in accordance with the Protocol on SEA and EU SEA Directive.

Since 2013 Ukraine has been developing a new legislation on SEA in the framework of the EU funded project ‘Complementary Support to the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine for the Sector Budget Support Implementation’. Pilot SEAs for Development Strategies of Lviv and Dnipropetrovsk Oblasts’ were carried out by a project ‘Building Capacity in Evidence-Based Economic Development Planning in Ukrainian Oblasts and Municipalities’ (EBED) funded by the Canadian Government. EBED has also supported development of a Practical guide on application of SEA in Ukraine.

UNECE in the framework of the EaP GREEN Programme compliments this process by:

(a)   raising awareness among national, local and sectoral authorities about SEA process and its benefits;
(b)   building national and local capacities on practical application of SEA;
(c)    assisting the country in defining roles and responsibilities of various authorities in the SEA process.

In October 2013, EaP GREEN organised a training workshop to support practical application of SEA in the country and to provide a step-by-step guidance on application of the SEA as a tool in the strategic decision-making and greening the economy.

In June 2015, the EaP GREEN programme organised a series of seminars devoted to raising awareness in SEA for sectoral ministries (10 June), high-level officials (11 June), and environment authorities (12 June). Over sixty participants took part in the events. They represented Verhovna Rada of Ukraine, national and local authorities responsible for environment, energy, economy, industry, regional development and civil defence, as well as civil society organizations. Authors of the draft law on SEA discussed with the participants the new law; experts from the EBED project presented the experience of the SEA pilots in Lviv and Dnipropetrovsk Oblasts; UNECE experts and representatives from the EU Commission shared their experience in building the efficient national SEA systems and organised a discussion on SEA benefits.

These events as well as bilateral meetings between the project staff and high level representatives from the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources facilitated the approval of the draft law on Ratification of the Protocol on SEA to the Espoo Convention by the Verhovna Rada of Ukraine. 

In spring 2016, the EaP GREEN programme in collaboration with the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine and with support of NGO ‘Law-Making and Information Technologies Institute’ initiated the preparation of the recommendations for practical application of SEA. The SEA recommendations are based on the draft Law of Ukraine on SEA (that was adopted by the Parliament of Ukraine in the first reading on 12 July 2016), and aim at providing practical guidance on how to apply the SEA procedure set out in the draft Law. For the purpose of developing the guidelines the working group was established by the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources encompassing the representatives of other ministries that are closely engaged in reviewing and discussing the draft recommendations. The first draft was prepared in August 2016, while the second version was prepared in October 2016 based on the Law of Ukraine on SEA adopted by the Parliament on 4 October 2016. The second draft is currently under review by the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine. The final draft of the document shall be available in December 2017.

Within the framework of the EaP Green programme, the Ukrainian version of the UNECE SEA brochure ‘Protocol on SEA: facts and benefits’ was prepared. It is an important informational publication intended to raise awareness of national stakeholders on SEA and its various aspects. The brochure was released at the end of October 2016 and can be downloaded here.

A training workshop on practical application of SEA in Ukraine, with reference to the adopted Law on SEA, was delivered in October 2016. It was organized by the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine in cooperation with the UNECE and the project "Partnership for Local Economic Development and Democratic Governance" (PLEDDG) in Ukraine, which is the international technical assistance project funded by the Global Affairs Canada. The two-day workshop gathered about 35 participants, including the representatives of the regional (Oblast) and local (city) planning authorities of four Oblasts of Ukraine, i.e., Vinnytska, Zaporizhska, Ivano-Frankivska, and Poltavska Oblasts, that are part of the PLEDDG's SEA sub-project, as well as at the environmental and health authorities from the regional administration of these four oblasts.

A high-level round table for the officials from sectoral ministries to promote the benefits of efficient application of SEA took place on 28 February 2017. The second training workshop on practical application of SEA for representatives of central and regional executive authorities in Ukraine was organized in March 2017, and gathered the middle-level officials from the sectoral ministries directly engaged in the strategic planning process.

The objectives of the final event (Kiev, December 2017) are defined as follows:

  • To present the outcomes and results regarding SEA and EIA achieved within the EaP GREEN in Ukraine;
  • To summarize the key principles of efficient SEA and EIA practice and its benefits;
  • To discuss priorities and needs regarding further development of SEA and EIA system in the country.

The conclusions from the discussion will be integrated in the SEA/EIA capacity development roadmap which will be drafted in order to outline next steps and actions towards national SEA and EIA system meeting the requirements of international legal framework - especially the Espoo Convention and its Protocol on SEA, and EU SEA and EIA Directives.

Besides facilitating development of the national SEA system in Ukraine, in 2013-2014 UNECE in collaboration with UNEP and UNDP supported implementation of a joint pilot project between Belarus and Ukraine on post-project analysis of the exploitation of the Khotislavskoye quarry. The project was implemented in close collaboration with the national authorities of Ukraine and Belarus and in consultation with the public in the frameworks of the Environment and Security Initiative and EaP GREEN Project. The following results were achieved: 

(a)   a bilateral Working Group for the environmental monitoring of the Khotislavskoye quarry was established and dialogue between experts of Belarus and Ukraine was initiated;
(b)   data on the Khotislavskoye quarry was collected and analysed, and
(c)    recommendations for improving the transboundary EIA procedure and post-project analysis in Belarus and Ukraine were prepared by the international and national experts on EIA. 

The report by a bilateral Working Group, as well as the draft recommendations on improving post-project analysis were discussed at a meeting of a task force, consisting of national authorities of both countries, in Minsk on 17 December 2013. The public had the opportunity to provide comments during a public participation workshop held on 21 February 2014 in Malorita. The evaluation of the pilot project, including the recommendations, was finalized based on comments received during and after the final conference in April 2014.

In addition to the national activities, representatives of Belarus had an opportunity to participate in the regional events. In December 2014 five national experts took part in the in the Study Tour on Sharing Best Practices of the Czech Republic in the field of applying SEA. National experts learned about the Czech SEA system by discussing challenges and success factors.

In November 2015, five national experts from Ukraine representing the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine, State Ecological Academy, National Academy of Public Administration, and NGO “Institute of Green Economics” took part in the EaP GREEN regional conference to share experience in drafting the SEA legislation and to take part at the SEA training of trainers workshop that took place in Lopota Lake Resort, Kahkheti, Georgia from 2 to 6 November 2015. The regional conference and the training have equipped the national experts with knowledge as to how to provide training to the national stakeholders and carry out SEAs with the minimum involvement from the international experts.

Ukraine hosted the second sub-regional workshop 'Sharing experience with introducing SEA and EIA in selected countries of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus' (31 October - 2 November 2017) organized in order to further enhance participants' knowledge on SEA and their abilities to subsequently conduct SEA training in their respective countries. The event built on the first sub-regional workshop, organized in Kakheti, Georgia in November 2015.

Should you have any question, please contact Mr. Martin Smutny, Project Coordinator, Espoo Secretariat, at martin.smunty@un.org, or Ms. Natalia Trofymenko, the National focal point of EaP GREEN Programme, Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, trofimenko@menr.gov.ua.

The EaP GREEN programme aims to help the Government of Ukraine establish an integrated policy framework for the transition to a green economy through: reforming policy instruments, adopting new analytical tools, improving access to finance, supporting capacity development, and rolling out pilot projects in the public and private sectors.