2009-09-12 12:08:00

Ukraine needs "green" national idea

Ukraine should become a country where every citizen is proud of his personal contribution in the revival of Ukraine and its formation as one of the most developed countries of the world. This is possible by a common spiritual principles that unite the nation and direct people’s energy into a single channel — creativity and true patriotism.

We therefore need national idea that meets the challenges of time, cultural and historical traditions. In my opinion, the Ukrainian national idea is environmental safety and harmonious coexistence with the environment. The universality of this principle is expressed in the merging of global realities and national archetypes and the needs of the country. «Green» national idea will resonate in the soul of every man because ecology regards all, independently of nationality, wealth and social status.

Ecology and Global Challenges

Everyone agrees that nature and man are one whole. But human activity reduces and in some cases eliminates the ability of the environment to support human life.

We see that nature was unprecedently loaded in the XX–XXI century, because of a fourfold increase in world population and a 20-fold increase in world production. Natural disasters, which have destructive force, and the threat of a global catastrophe which aspects are climate change, deterioration of air, water and soil quality, are the consequences. All of this is displayed in the economical and social indicators, as well as in human lives. Therefore, the ecology is international trend of XXI century and the starting point for decision-making at the international, national and local levels. Ukraine needs to take this into account from the perspective of integration into the world community.

National level

The issue of environmental safety should be a priority for Ukraine, because of several factors. First, the Chernobyl accident, a tragic event in the history of the Ukrainian people which took away hundreds of thousands of lives, affected millions of lives and left a dead area on the «body» of Ukraine. We know that management features were the reason of accident at the nuclear power plant, on the other hand, perhaps this is a warning to the whole world that we need to stop and change our attitude of consumption to nature. Ukraine took over the entire strike for humanity. Therefore, overcoming past mistakes, our mission is to be an example of environmental well-being, to restore the natural balance and to become literally the cleanest country in the world. Priority of environmental issues is determined by the fact that the environment and health of the nation are inextricably linked. Ukraine now faces a demographic crisis, the population is rapidly declining. Further predictions are disappointing, up to 2030 the total population of Ukraine will be reduced to 37.5 million, and by 2050 — to nearly 29 million people. The mortality rate of the male population is 4 times higher than in Western Europe. Cancerous tumors, cardiovascular diseases are caused by consequences of industrial accidents and environmental pollution. Human health depends on its habitat, therefore, having improved the ecological situation in the country, level of mortality in the productive age will be reduced. Clean air and water, natural food, safe living conditions are indicators, which define the demographics and quality of life. The majority of the issues that are often discussed are secondary.

Thirdly, I think the economically beneficial may be only that what is environmentally safe. I fully agree with the position of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that the green economy is a solution to the global economic crisis and climate change. Currently, Ukraine’s economy is not competitive because of its energy andresource-intensity, that is why the greening is needed, because it means transition to renewable energy sources, the introduction of innovative technologies and rational approach to the use of resources. Reforms in this area will probably solve the problem of unemployment and the outflow of labor force to abroad already in the near future. It is important that environmentally friendly Ukraine will become attractive for investments and competitive country.

Fourth, for the revival of Ukraine we should return to our spiritual roots. Respect for the environment, for nature as something sacred, inalienable of human nature is inherent in our historical traditions. Not only man built monuments of history and culture are admirable, but first of all the creations of nature. Popularization of unique natural landscape of Ukraine and unique recreational areas will help spiritual rise of the nation. Thus, the ecological security as a national idea will help Ukraine reach a whole new quality level. Becoming the most «green» country in Eurasia is a goal that will help Ukraine consolidate all constructive forces and realize its potential. Good geopolitical position, transit and tourism potential, cultural heritage of various civilizations — all this can turn Ukraine into communication and cultural center of Eurasia. And this is not an abstract goal, it is a reality that can be achieved over ten years. The strategy of sustainable development which can be interpreted as a practical implementation of «green» national idea will be a mechanism.

Sustainable development.

Sustainable development is an approach that is based on environmental, social and economic principles focused on global benefits. The main idea is that satisfaction of current needs must not conflict with the interests of future generations and shouldn’t detriment the environment. Paradigm of sustainable development is the result of the activities of scientists and representatives of the public and political circles around the world. Stages of its development show not the conjunctural approaches but focus on the general human interest. Thus, in 1972, at the UN Conference in Stockholm, a special structure — United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was created which was given the task to bring environmental issues on the international level. In 1987, the World Commission on Environment and Development set a vector to find a new model of civilization, by publishing a report by Gro Harlem Brundtland «Our Common Future». In 1992, in Rio de Janeiro at the UN Conference on Environment and Development, the «Agenda 21» was adopted which integrates the basic tasks of humanity at the turn of the millennium. Further at the Millennium Summit in 2000, at the Monterrey Conference and the Johannesburg Summit in 2002, sustainable development was defined as a strategy for mankind survival in the XXI century. Progressive mankind has come to the conclusion that only a harmonious coexistence of the economy, ecology and social development will allow for qualitative life of present and future generations.

Synergy of economical, environmental and social spheres is successfully applied in the Nordic countries (Denmark, Norway and Sweden) and all the European Community is oriented at the principles of sustainable development which allows us to use international experience and enter the number of countries — leaders in the quality of life and the human development index over ten years. Therefore, Ukraine must adopt the strategy of sustainable development at the legislative level, then the state will have a holistic vision and consistency for the development of the country. And regardless of political balance authority will work in accordance with a «plan», and society will be able to monitor if the authority is effective, which certain points of the plan were implemented and which were not.

The lack of long-term development strategy not only inhibits the Ukraine, but also creates chaos in the management, thereby causing losses to the state. Next, there must be profile changes in each area of public policy, but they all must be coordinated on the basis of a common strategy. I think that priority must be given to integrated and coordinated solution of socio-economic development and environmental protection questions:

— accounting performance of economic evaluation of natural resources in the system of socio-economic relations;

— carrying out eco-tax labor reform consistent with the principle «polluter-pays» and shift of the tax burden from work and income to resource flow;

— cardinal revision of environmental standards and standards of economic activity;

— unification of environmental legislation with the EU legislation;

— technical modernization and energy audits of industrial facilities;

— improvement of the overall environmental audit and control of nature management;

— establishment of the environmental certification of products, goods and services;

— legislative encouragement of technological modernization of production;

— waste recycling correlated with financial viability;

— improvement of the legislative base for the introduction of renewable energy sources and government programs to support the renewable energy sources at the regional level;

— introduction of administrative responsibility for the irrational usage of resources;

— closure of essentially unprofitable nuclear industry and strengthening of security measures at operating nuclear power plants;

— accelerated development of environmentally oriented business;

— formation of the market of environmental technologies and environmental services;

— development of organic agriculture and carrying out land reform in the interests of the people working on it, the development of agro-industrial complex in order to provide Ukraine with its food resources and establish export of agricultural products;

If the national consciousness is based on the fact that clean environment is a condition of prosperous society and competitive country, Ukraine certainly will have the prospect.

At this critical moment, we need to do everything for the qulitative life of present and future generations — create an atmosphere of trust and respect in the society, develop and implement systemic reforms, build a truly civilized and advanced nation of the world.

See also: