intro 175On 12 March, in the premise of Ukraine Crisis Media Center, a briefing "Without visas and borders: how to protect wildlife in Ukraine in accordance with EU standards?" took place with participation of:

  • Ostap Semerak, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine
  • Jose Manuel Hernandez, First Secretary, EU Delegation to Ukraine, Competition Policy and Energy Markets Program
  • Mykola Kuzio, Deputy Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources for European Integration
  • Nastassia Drapaliuk, chief specialist of the Department of Ecological Network and Nature Reserve Fund of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources
  • Ralph Jülich, Team Leader of the EU "Support to Ukraine in Approximation of EU Legislation in the Sphere of the Environment"
  • Andriy Andrusevych, Senior Analyst, Resource and Analytical Center "Society and the Environment"
  • Olexiy Vasylyuk, ecologist of the ICO Ecology-People-Law

Participants reported that a draft law had already been developed, the main idea of which is the transition from nature protection to nature conservation. It states that not a certain territory will be protected, but specific species and natural habitats. According to the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, Ukraine should adopt two directives in the area of protection of flora and fauna - bird and natural habitat. Ukraine is also required to comply with the Berne Convention, which provides for the harmonization of standards for biodiversity conservation.

Recently, the European Union has granted the status of candidates for the Emerald Network of Europe to 271 nature protection objects in Ukraine. The next step is that Ukraine should officially assign such status to these territories. "We hope that due to the bill, we will be able to clearly define what next steps should be taken to ensure that these territories are properly protected in the long run," said Jose Manuel Hernandez, First Secretary of the EU Delegation to Ukraine.

The Emerald Network of Europe is an international network that includes special protected areas. The official launch of the network is expected in 2020. To date, NATURA 2000 has been operating in Europe. The European Union annually allocates EUR 5.8 billion to the program and develops management plans for the areas concerned - about EUR 65 per hectare. Ostap Semerak, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine, stressed that in Ukraine the cost of developing management plans is much smaller. Thus, the costs will be no more than 2 million euros a year - about 3 euros per 1 hectare.

For each species and each habitat, a plan for how to preserve it will be developed. The goal is to achieve a favorable conservation status of each protected species.

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