2008-09-13 12:16:00

Ecological security: Tactics and Strategy for Ukraine

Ecological security should become the basis of national security of Ukraine. Participants of the Kiev International Ecological Forum KIEF-2008 substantiated this thesis for a number of days. The forum was held in the capital on April 25–26, when the world was recalling the Chernobyl disaster which had happened22 years ago.

From Kyoto to Bali

The event was organized by the Green Party of Ukraine. In fact, it was a real chance for our country to jump on the bandwagon of train to global security, which is rapidly gathering pace. Indeed, while Ukrainian politicians cross swords around selling Ukrainian emission quotas under the Kyoto Protocol, the world is already getting prepared for life after the expiration of the protocol.

We have a lack of time — the Kyoto Protocol terminates in 2012. And the international community is working actively on a new procedure for the settlement of global environmental and energy issues. Back in December of last year the conference on climate change was held under the auspices of the United Nations, the main objective of the conference was the establishment of a new international treaty to combat global warming, the so-called «Bali Roadmap." This Agreement will be the successor of the Kyoto Protocol. The conference was attended by about 10,000 people from 190 countries.

It seems that in Ukraine only GPU is aware of the importance of the process launched in Bali. Other leading politicians of the country are entirely passionate about the redistribution of national authoritative powers. They completely ignore the fact that all the other countries are actively engaged in setting rules of life for the whole world. And Ukraine will have to live under these rules, as it is wholly and completely subject to the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol. Which, by the way, was recorded long before the emergence of Ukraine as a state on political map.

Now there is a unique opportunity for Ukraine to formulate its vision of global energy and environmental security. And to achieve that point of view of Ukraine was taken into account in a document — successor to the Kyoto Protocol. Therefore, for the defense of its vital interests Ukraine must actively and constructively participate in the development of such rules. Instead of passively waiting, while others will write road rules of the environmental movement of the Earth without the «Ukrainian band» in this movement.

The Green Party of Ukraine and its leader Vladimir Kosterin take concrete steps to ensure that our country becomes an active player in defining the rules of the global environmental security. This is possible only if the environmental and energy strategies are implemented in Ukraine. Actively promoting the idea of ​​effective integration of Ukraine into the new world economic order GPU held the first conference KIEF «Cooperation for Sustainable Development» in September of last year, which was attended by representatives of 17 European and Central Asian countries. For current KIEF, Green Party of Ukraine invited government officials, political parties and public organizations from more than 20 countries. The Forum 2008 was attended by Chairman of the Green Party of Ukraine Volodymyr Kosterin, President of the International Organization «Green Cross» Alexander Likhotal, member of the European Green Party Tom Simpson (Ireland), President of the Institute for Sustainable Development, the diplomat Yuriy Shcherbak, ex-Minister for Emergency Situations, MP David Zhvania.

Green achievements

In his welcoming speech at the forum, Vladimir Kosterin noted: «Trends in recent decades clearly convince us that the world has found himself on the verge of a catastrophe of global proportions. Devastating hurricanes, floods, typhoons, pollution of air, soil and water, destruction of a huge number of animals and plants and entire ecosystems, and ultimately threatening trend of climate change — all this requires us to take immediate decisions, we have to know exactly what we will do today, tomorrow, next year, next 50 years. " According to Kosterin, global problems can be solved only by joint efforts at the international and national levels. The state of the environment influences the prospects of each country, because the environment has to be the starting point in the decision-making at every level — clearly emphasize the green.

While local officials have not developed a set of specific measures for effective global cooperation of Ukraine in the global ecological process, it makes sense to adopt the achievements of GPU. In particular, the Green Party of Ukraine proposes concrete steps for implementation of sustainable development in Ukraine. Among them are: an ecotax reform with its basic rule: the polluter — pays; reorientation of the economy on the sources of renewable energy: financing of environmental activity for which the government should allocate at least 10% from the budget of any level.

A key issue of Ukrainian security is the development of modern energy strategy. On this occasion, Vice President of Renewable Energy Agency, member of the Political Council of the Green Party of Ukraine Andrey Konechenkov said: «War» over access to traditional energy resources and increasing prices and demand for traditional energy defines the political agenda. The increase of CO2 in the atmosphere contributes to global warming. All this puts the country in dependence from others. An example is Russian policy which practically manages natural gas prices and affects the decisions of politicians of the importing countries. «

According to GPU, the use of local renewable resources will reduce political pressure, tension and negative impact on the environment. «The policy of «green» energy should be implemented in all countries of the world and especially in those countries that have tremendous opportunities to use renewable resources. Green political parties and social organizations have always advocated a policy of environmental safety, «added Andrey Konechenkov.

In word and deed

It can be stated that today a very limited number of people has the vision of solutions to global energy and environmental challenges in Ukraine. As noted Ukrainian MP from the bloc «Our Ukraine — People’s Self-Defence» David Zhvania at the forum: «Correct approaches to environmental issues are not worked out at the top governmental level, not enough money in the budget. And the existing funds are scattered among various ministries and departments, today even the Ministry of Defence is engaged in environment. «Today lots of people talk about the environment in Ukraine, but actually only individuals take actions — he said.

It can be stated that the leader of the GPU is engaged in ecology at the level of real actions, not loud statements. Instead of trying to get a quick short-term dividends in permanently severe internal Ukrainian political situation, the incorporation of the country into the global civilizational processes is taking place. Apparently, there is need to talk about a new political logic which is not for short-term political benefits and which has not yet become dominant in Ukraine. Domestic politicians prefer to get maximum dividends here and now, refusing to carefully find solutions on strategic challenges of tomorrow.

While most of the political beau monde arrange their bets exclusively on short-term political field, the leadership of GPU tries to promote the values ​​of civil society and social responsibility in word and deed, which now are only being formed in Ukraine. And the past successful forum KIEF-2008 is confirmation of correctly chosen strategy.

«We’re going for the second time — and this means that a good tradition is laid, and that the impact of the Forum will be enhanced», — said the president of the Institute for Sustainable Development Yuri Shcherbak. «Today, the struggle for food and energy in the world is sharpened, and that is why the topic of our forum is as relevant as ever. We must convey our government that security based on military force is the old logic and now the basis of national security is environmental security «- summed up the forum Yuriy Shcherbak.

Ivan Brinnikov

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