2011-09-14 11:05:00

Risky Ukraine

Ukraine is a state of high risk. Most Ukrainians will probably agree with this assertion. In each area there are problems that affect the quality of life.

The country has a number of threats to which the state pays inadequate attention.

For example, the southern and western areas with a population of over 14 million people are in the area of ​​high seismic activity.

According to the employee of the Institute for Strategic Studies Yevgeniy Yakovlev, Ukraine hashigh probability of geological emergencies. State Geological Survey has recorded than 20,000 landslides and mudslides.

The country has four nuclear power plants. If an emergency situation with the release of 10% of the radioactivity occurs, the area of ​​contamination will cover 5,000 localities with a population of over 22 million citizens. If the incident will be similar by scale to Chernobyl, the mortality rate will increase tenfold.

According to the expert Sergey Ivanyuta in Ukraine there are more than 1,7 thousand industrial facilities that store or use poisonous substances, including 9.2 thousand tons of chlorine and 194,000 tonnes of ammonia.

On chemically hazardous facilities outdated technology are mainly used. In case of an emergency with the release of toxic substances total area of ​​chemical contamination zones can cover 250 administrative units, where 20 million people live.

The situation with industrial and household waste is threatening. Of the existing 2,267 places of utilization only 291 corresponds to health standards. For example, in the Donbas more than 400 sludge gathering facilities are filled with toxic substances.

Another threat is the aging of buildings, especially industrial. Physical depreciation is critical. Despite the Cabinet decision of 1997, nobody supervises the process of certification of buildings. There have been hundreds of accidents caused by the emergency condition of buildings as a result,.

This is only a small piece of the list of dangers, which confirms that the scale of threats in Ukraine requires systematic and quick decisions.

The mechanisms of risk reduction were discussed on the international forum «Public-private partnership in the field of risk reduction - the basis of the country's competitiveness in the 21st Century» which was held in late September.

The event was organized by an International Risk Reduction Foundation and the Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Authorities of PACE. The forum was attended by President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.

The deputies - members of PACE from France, Croatia, Monaco, Ukrainian scientists and representatives of the insurance business were discussing mechanisms to reduce the risks.

PACE President emphasized the role of democratic institutions to enhance security. "We hear about disasters in different parts of the world, the emergencies that lead to losses. We must be responsible for the conditions in which people live and will live on," - he said.

Particular attention was paid to the problem of cross-border risks. According to the head of the Foundation Vladimir Kosterin, quality and duration of human life in the country depends on several factors, including the effectiveness of the risk reduction in other countries.

"In the 21st century threats of one country affect the socio-economic, environmental and political situation of others. It is necessary to introduce a new approach to foreign policy - competition of countries in risk reduction. This will improve the quality of life in each country and on the planet as a whole ".

participants proposed several mechanisms to reduce the risks.

Firstly - institutional reforms that should lay the legal basis for the prevention of risks and minimize the consequences of natural disasters through appropriate regulations, laws, optimization of functions of public institutions.

Secondly - the development of tools of market economy. Experts paid attention to the experience of the Kyoto Protocol.

"The level of carbon trading, where governments were the players proved to be ineffective. And a level of joint implementation projects, where players were commercial companies, worked. We must take into account the rules of global markets" - claimed the senior associate of Center of ecological monitoring and biodiversity Yevgeny Dykyi.

He also advised to pay attention to access to money in particular to loans. Depending on how one or another corporation reduces risk its access to financial resources, or interest rate of loans must depend.

The expert emphasized that loans are issued under risks, but they takes into account only local, rather than global aspects of development of the city, region, country and continent.

Participants called insurance the best mechanism for preventing risk.

According to the head of the Ukrainian public organization "Union of Insurance Brokers of Ukraine" Vasyl Darkov, environmental insurance which performs preventive, social and investment functions, can become an effective tool for conservation and regulation of economic activity in the sphere of nature.

"Insurance in this area will allow to reduce the budget allocation for the prevention and elimination of the negative effects of economic activity on the environment and reduce the risks of emergencies by implementing preventive measures, "- said Darkov.

Representatives of insurance companies noted that in Ukraine insurance is hardly ever used as an economic mechanism in the field of wildlife management and conservation. Instead, it is provided by a number of international and national regulations within the implementation of the concept of sustainable development.

The international practice confirms the need for the development of the legal framework of environmental insurance. Since the end of the 1970s in the U.S. and the EU, a special system of insurance of environmental risks has been working.

If insurance of ecological and socio-economic risks in Ukraine will meet EU standards, it will provide not only economic and social rewards for the state, but also create a positive effect on international reputation. 

To improve the safety and quality of life a system of comprehensive measures from the government with the active participation of social and political organizations and expert groups is required.

Top officials often talk about the modernization of the state, but still no qualitative changes. Therefore, the risk reduction as a goal and a mean of modernization of Ukraine can be a vector, which will unite society and help to improve efficiency of public administration.