Environmental Policy Reforms for Sustainable Development of Ukraine
The Issue Coordinator — Ganna Golubovska-Onisimova, the President of MAMA-86 Ukrainian National Environmental NGO
In the Ukrainian society, the third sector historically has established itself as the warrior of environmental values. As a result, development policies and practices in our country fairly closely depend on development of the civil society in general and on environmental NGOs in particular. Notwithstanding systemic obstacles and lack of enabling institutional conditions, democratic processes in Ukraine continue to develop, NGOs continue to operate and enhance their activities, managing to advance a new generation of people with a new mentality, necessary for a normal functioning of a country in 21st century.
The majority of processes that substantially influenced democratisation and promotion of environmental values in the Ukrainian society were materialised due to unpaid efforts of NGO leaders, including members of MAMA-86. Willingness of members of a citizen's association to work as volunteers serves as a some sort of indicator of "genuine" nature of the association, that cannot be accused of being a merely "grant-eater".
With time, new challenges somehow altered MAMA-86 priorities, however two key components still remain unchanged: the environmental imperative and mandatory public participation in decision-making and implementation of these decisions — the concepts are declared in numerous documents, but our national authorities still tend to ignore them.
Today — as 20 years ago — MAMA-86 promotes democratisation of the Ukrainian society and transparent development and implementation of environmental policy, accounting for public opinion and stakeholders' considerations. The organisation conducts topical research studies and broadly disseminates their findings, conducts public dialogues and lobbying campaigns for cross-cutting integration of environmental concerns into policies of socio-economic development, and implements technical solutions to address specific problems and demonstrate best practices. We consider production of specific results to improve people's quality of life as an important objective.
Objective 1: Public lobbying and monitoring for environmental policy integration.
Objective 2: Promotion of environment-friendly ways of life among citizens.
Objective 3: Capacity building for enhancement of Ukraine's roles in relevant international processes: UN CSD, the Marrakesh process, Environment for Europe, etc.
- lobby for a higher priority of the environmental component in the national decision-making system;
- participate in development of strategic policy documents;
- conduct independent assessments of policies, pre-election programs, legislative acts, health and environment quality, etc.;
- initiate and support NGOs associations to lobby for environmental and democratic decisions;
- lobby for public participation in discussions and decision-making on matters of environmental significance at local, regional and national levels;
- represent public interests in international environmental processes, in councils under ministries, agencies, local authorities, etc.;
- disseminate information and engage the general public into participation in addressing environmental problems;
- protect environmental interests of individuals and groups whose environmental rights were infringed;
- promote introduction of sustainable production and consumption in political, production and household sectors of the Ukrainian society;
- develop best practices of application of sustainable technologies and use them for broad information campaigns;
build capacity of citizens and the Government for participation in modern international processes on environment and sustainable development.