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Ukrainian Rivers Network >>



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URN mission:
to promote improvement of ecological state of rivers and positive changes in environmental policy of Ukraine in the field of river conservation. 

Objectives:
  • to unite efforts of NGOs around the problem of small river conservation;
  • to learn to live in harmony with nature;
  • to promote informational exchange among NGOs;
  • to promote public participation in the elaboration and implementation of environmental policy in Ukraine;
  • to lead broad environmental education activities;
  • to promote conduction of actions and campaigns concerning improvement of ecological state of rivers;
  • to support development of international co-operation in the field of nature conservation.

Structure

105 NGOs and 4 persons are members of the URN. The governance body of the URN is a General Assembly, held annually. The General Assembly shall approve all decisions by consensus. In the periods between General Assemblies, activities of the Network shall be co-ordinated by the Information Exchange Group, Organisational Group, Environmental Policy Group, Environmental Education Group and Fundraising Group.

History of establishment
In 1996, the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine (NECU), one of the leading national environmental NGОs in Ukraine, conducted a national campaign called “Living Water”. The campaign was supported by the Ministry for Environmental `Protection and Nuclear Safety of Ukraine (MEPNSU) and sponsored by the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) from the USA. The campaign was conducted in September 1996 in 23 regions (oblasts) of Ukraine with 8.000 participants. 

In 1998, the “Living Water” campaign, which was supported by TACIS, even up to 17,000 people participated. Different activities were carried out during the campaign. First of all it was an elucidation of the freshwater problem and as a result of this the mass-media paid attention in newspapers and broadcasts on TV and radio. Besides lectures, seminars and exhibitions were organised in schools, colleges and institutes. Several public expeditions were undertaken to small rivers for the assessment of their physical and ecological condition. When illegal activities were found, local authorities were informed. One of the activities with major public involvement was the cleaning of river and stream banks. 

When reviewing the results of the 1996 and 1998 campaigns, it became clear that a strong support for the conservation and sustainable use of small rivers and streams from local populations and local NGOs working on conservation of small rivers (NGO/SR) is not enough. Therefore, the PIN-MATRA project was elaborated, which was directed on support of local NGOs through establishing contacts/networking, exchanging information, involving national and international expertise, attending special training courses, etc. Wetlands International acted as the administrator to the sponsor and via its Black Sea Programme facilitated the local and national agencies with implementing the project. 

In 1999, the NECU and Institute of Ecology (INECO) have prepared the "Strategic Environmental Action Plan of the Ukrainian NGO Network on the Conservation and Restoration of Rivers" that has been adopted at the meeting of the Public Council of All-Ukrainian Environmental under the aegis of the Ministry for Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety in Ukraine in September 1999. 

In November 2000, a national association (Ukrainian Rivers Network) has been established during the All-Ukrainian Seminar “Public Participation in Conservation of Small Rivers in Ukraine”. It is a volunteer association of NGOs, citizens and local communities. Now it is the biggest network of NGOs in Ukraine. The network is popular in Ukraine and each year about 10-20 NGOs become members of URN. In 2001, the URN bulletin was released and disseminated among NGO/SR.
 

 

© 2005 Ukrainian Rivers Network

 
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