The Fourth Working Meeting the All-Ukrainian Association of NGOs working on river protection, the Ukrainian Rivers Network (URN), took place in Sevastopol city, Crimean Autonomous Republic, on 23–27 June 2004. It was organised by the “Dobry Svit” (Kind World) Environmental Nature Conservation Organisation and “Skyphya” Environmental Regional Club with the financial support of the Wetlands International Black Sea Programme and organisational support of the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine. The meeting was held at venues of the Institute of Biology of the Southern Seas under the National Academy of Sciences, and in Lyubymivka, at the “Pishchany Bereg” (Sandy Beach) recreational area.
Forty-five representatives of the environmental NGO members and individual members of URN from 15 oblasts of Ukraine, Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Kyiv and Sevastopol cities, representatives of Crimean NGOs, as well as representatives of the Institute of Biology of the Southern Seas (IBSS), the State Department of Eco-Resources in the Sevastopol city and businessmen from Sevastopol city took part in the
Within the framework of the meeting, four plenary meetings were held in which the participants exchanged opinions on the following items:
Implementation of the decisions of the Third URN Working Meeting.
Prospects for URN development and the draft of the URN Work Plan 2004–2005, amendments to the “Strategic Environmental Action Plan of the Ukrainian NGO Network on the Conservation and Restoration of
Exchange of experiences between old URN members and URN newcomers;
URN influence on the development and implementation of nature protection policy relating to river conservation;
Preparation of practical recommendations for river conservation activities based on the experience of URN members, as well as practical recommendations for teachers on environmental
Six topic working groups held meetings to discuss the following items:
- Environmental education (26 June).
- Establishment of the Dniester Basin URN Working Group (25 June).
- Activities of the Dniester Basin URN Working Group (26 June).
- Legal aspects of URN members’ activities in Ukraine and URN participation in the development of the “National Programme of Systematic Support to Environmental NGOs in Ukraine” (25
- Inventory of non-functioning or decommissioned small Hydroelectric Power Stations located on small rivers in Ukraine, investigating the state of the power stations and the prospects for rehabilitating them based on experience gained
- Development of the “Code of Ethical Self-Regulation” for the URN (26
The activities of URN members and co-ordinating groups were discussed. The URN members, mindful of the need to bring younger people into the staff of their organisations, made the decision to introduce into the URN Strategic Environmental Action Plan an item to establish youth branches within existing local URN organisations and to enable the young people to make official appeals and inquiries to the local
Of significant interest to the participants was a discussion of questions concerning the legal aspects of URN members’ activities in Ukraine and how these might be improved, as well as problems of environmental education, information and experience exchange between URN members. It was decided to initiate a process to establish Ukrainian sources of funding for environmental NGOs. URN members agreed to continue activities to develop the “National Programme of Systematic Support to Environmental NGOs”.
The Meeting participants discussed and approved a number of appeals to the Verkhovna Rada, Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and Ministry of Environmental Protection of Ukraine, particularly on the importance of development, public discussion on and approval of the “National Programme for Environmental Rehabilitation of the Basin of the River Dniester”, as well as on the unsatisfactory state of compliance with the environmental legislation in exploiting Nature Protection Fund sites in Ukraine, etc.
The Fifth URN Working Meeting will be held next year in Dnipropetrovska Oblast (organisation responsible – “Orlan” (White Tailed Eagle) Environmental Tourist Association, Dniprodzerzhynsk city).