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PROTECTION OF BIODIVERSITY IN UKRAINE
 
01.11.2008 11:47
Автор: Nastechko Kateryna, post – graduate Koretsky Institute of State and Law
[Екологічне право. Земельне право. Аграрне право]
Historically, the first mention about biodiversity protection was found in the Russian Truth (the first written Slavic legislative document dated XI – XII centuries). According to the document, reserves were established and the felling of trees or passing such territories by selected persons was prohibited.
Many centuries had to pass before Ukraine became an independent country with a developing economy and legislative frameworks producing change for the better. Today, Ukraine has very well developed environmental protection legislation. Since the country became independent in 1991 the Parliament has passed necessary laws, most international environmental conventions have been ratified, and the necessary steps to bringing national related legislation to the requirements of the European Union were taken.
The main environmental law of Ukraine, On Environmental Protection N 1264-XII, was passed on June 25, 1991. Article 61 of the law stipulates that land plots of water space, natural complexes and objects which have a special ecological, scientific, esthetic and national economic value and aimed at preserving the diversity of nature, genetic pool of animals and plants, preserving of general ecological balance and background monitoring of the environment, should be excluded from commercial use in full or in part and declared a territory or an object of a natural – reserve fund of Ukraine. Thus, the natural - reserve fund of Ukraine includes state reserves, natural national parks, game reserves, memorials of nature, botanical gardens, deontological and zoo parks, parks – memorials of a garden-park art, reserve tracts. Special attention should also be given to natural territories and objects which require special protection. Therefore, special attention should be given to natural territories and objects which have a high ecological value as unique and typical natural complexes aimed at preserving a favorable ecological situation, warning and stabilization of negative natural processes. Also, the law stipulates the regime of recreational zones as well as resort and treatment - sanitary zones.
The other necessary law adopted by the highest legislative body of Ukraine is entitled On Natural - Reserved Fund of Ukraine N 2456-XII. It was passed on June 16, 1992. The natural –reserve fund of Ukraine is divided into natural territories and objects and artificially created objects. Both of them can be of state or local importance. It should be noted that the legislative body of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea can set up additional categories of territories and objects of natural – reserve fund that are stipulated for the rest territory of Ukraine. The territory of natural reserves, reserve areas of biosphere reserves, lands and other natural resources which were given to national natural parks belong to the people of Ukraine. The other reserve areas belong to the people of Ukraine and can also be in other types of ownership.
As to approaching EU standards, the Ukrainian Parliament ratified the Biodiversity Convention on November 24, 1994. Also, the Whole - Europe Strategy of Preservation of Biological and Landscape Diversity approved in 1995 in Sofia (Bulgaria) was introduced into Ukrainian legislation by means of basic principles and use of requirements in the Concept of Preservation of Biodiversity in Ukraine (hereinafter – the Concept) № 439 adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on May 12, 1997. The Concept stipulated the main areas of preservation of biodiversity: preservation of sea, river, lake and marsh, steppe, forest and mountain ecosystems; agricultural landscape and other territories of intensive commercial activity sanitation; creation of the national ecological network (hereinafter - econetwork); preservation of species and populations. Thus, it was decided to develop and implement programmes and measures aimed at preservation of separate species of animals and plants and their groups, including species included in the Red Book of Ukraine as well as in the international list of rare and threatened species. Also, it was necessary to guarantee the participation of institutions and organizations in implementation of the Ramsar and Bonn Conventions and other international groups aimed at preservation of lake and marsh ecosystems.
The financing of preservation of biodiversity was provided at the expense of money of enterprises, institutions and organizations, the state budget of Ukraine, the budget of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, local budget funds and other sources. The main source of expenditure was identified as payment for use of natural resources.
It should be noted that coordination of the implementation of the requirements of laws is carried out by the National Commission on Preservation of Biodiversity and the Ministry of Environmental Protection of Ukraine. In 1998 the Chair of Protection of Nature and Biodiversity was founded in the State Ecological Institute of the Ministry of Environment of Ukraine.
The Programme of Integration of Ukraine into the European Union (hereinafter –the Programme) was approved by a Decree issued by the President of Ukraine (1072/2000 ) on September 14, 2000. Section 11 of the Programme is entitled ‘The quality of life and the environment’. This section stipulates that the most important documents of the EU for Ukraine are Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) and Bird Directive (79/409/EEC), Convention on trade in wild species threatening flora and fauna ( 995_129 ) etc.
The most important Ukrainian legislation with relation to protection of biodiversity are the On Fauna (3041-12 ), On Flora ( 591-14 ), On Natural Reserve Fund of Ukraine ( 2456-12 ), On Red Book of Ukraine ( 3055-III) Acts of Ukraine.
It should be noted that Ukraine became a member of the following international agreements: Biodiversity Convention (995_030 ), Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats ( 995_032 ), Convention on Conservation of migratory spicies of wild animals ( 995_136 ) etc.
The key points of the Programme relate to the development of Ismerald network in Ukraine according to the decision of the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention (It is a continuation of the initiative Natura 2000 which covers only the members of the European Union) and execution of plans which relate to the preservation of species of wild flora and fauna etc.
The other important document is the On the Econetwork Act of Ukraine. The law was adopted in 2004. An econetwork is an equal territorial system established with the aim of developing conditions for restoration of the environment, increase of the natural – resources potential of the territory of Ukraine, preservation of landscape and biodiversity, places of settlement and vegetation of valuable flora and fauna, gene pool, ways of migration of animals through the joining of territories and objects of natural – reserve fund, and other territories also requested special protection in accordance with international obligations undertaken by Ukraine. The coordination councils on formation of the econetwork are advisory bodies which are established under the aegis of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (the highest government authority of Ukraine), the Council of Ministers of Autonomous Republic of Crimea as well as regional, Kiev and Sevastopol city state administrations with the aim of coordinating the formation of the national econetwork of Ukraine in the period from 2000 to 2015.
On 22 September 2004 the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved the Concept of the Whole – National Programme of Preservation of Biodiversity for 2005 – 2025. The Concept stipulates that biodiversity is a national capital. Thus, the level of its preservation will define the fortune of the state in the future. The aim of the Programme is to destroy the trend of degradation of the living component, the ecologization of all spheres of social activity as well as maximum restoration of the initial conditions of natural complexes. The programme shall be carried out in 3 stages.
The first stage (2005 – 2010) intends to ensure a reduction in the worsening conditions of natural ecosystems; finalize the work connected with development of legislation and bring it into compliance with the requirements of international law. There is a need to develop a system of regulation of inexhaustible use of bioresources taking into account the interests of different sectors of economy as well as continue to develop the econetwork as part of the Whole - Europe Econetwork. Thus, the process of loss of biodiversity will be halted at the end of this stage.
The second stage (2010-2015) is devoted to improving the mechanism of econetwork management and creating a network of centers of artificial breeding and acclimatization of rare species. In addition, the foundation of a modem system of professional education and environmental enlightenment should be finalized. The basic institutions should be established whose aim will be to ensure preservation of biodiversity.
The third stage (2016 - 2025) provides for fulfillment of restoration of species as well as their groups and ecosystems, the development of the infrastructure, adjustment of the aims of the Programme and control over their implementation.
The financing of the programme will be fulfilled at the expense of money from the state budget, state and local environmental protection funds and other sources. The amount of money necessary for implementing the programme comes to approximately 50 million UAH (~7 million EURO) per annum.
And to conclude, it should be noted the regulation of protection of species in Ukraine.The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine passed Regulations N 953 aimed at setting up the order for issuing permits for the export and import of specimens of wild flora and fauna, certificates on crossing exhibitions, re-export on introduction from a sea of specified specimens which are subject to regulation of the Convention of International Trade of Species of Threatened Wild Flora and Fauna (hereinafter - CITES) on July 25, 2007. The problem relates to the rise in the level of trade in wild animals because Ukraine is the single transit country between the European Union and countries of Central Asia and Caucasus. Thus, the state border service didn’t inform representatives of ecological control about the presence of animals and did not carry out controls either. Also, the regulations stipulate requirements of zoos and scientific institutions which have a right to import animals into the territory of Ukraine. The administrative authorities responsible for implementation of CITES in Ukraine are the Ministry of Environmental Protection of Ukraine (the Ministry issues permits and certificates for specimens of all species of animals and plants included in the annexes of CITES, with the exception of sturgeon) and the State Committee of Fish Economy (the State Committee issues permits and certificates for all sturgeon). The administrative authorities of Ukraine take stock of certificates and permits too.
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