Green economy – a trend or a need? Experts discussed the development of a green economy in Western Ukraine at CiSEP online round-table

By Iryna Shvets, OPORA Lviv

Environmental threats caused by global climate change and environmental degradation have been at the forefront of global development in recent years. It is obvious that they will shape the state’s agenda of the next decade, with an emphasis on the need to gradually restore natural ecosystems to a safe level, adherence to the principles of economic efficiency, social justice and sustainable development. The issue of how to respond to global challenges at the local level was discussed during two CiSEP online events on 13 and 14 of May 2020.

The expert round table “Developing a green economy in Western Ukraine” was held on May 13. More than 20 representatives from the public sector, universities, business and public administration gathered at the Zoom meeting. During the first of two parts, participants had the opportunity to get acquainted with the presentations of invited experts: Oleksandr Sushchenko (Center for Social Value Research), Natalia Andrusevich (Resource and Analytical Center “Society and Environment”), Olga Melnyk (Economic Development Agency “PPV Knowledge Networks”), Victoria Dovzhyk (advisor to the mayor of Lviv, deputy of the Lviv city council). In the second part of the round table event, all participants had the opportunity to exchange views on how “green” the economy in Lviv and Lviv region is today, what are the challenges and opportunities for local business development in response to climate change.

The event “CLIMATE TALKS: about the green economy for a planet under pressure”, which took place on May 14, was a logical continuation of both the expert round table and the thematic vector of the CiSEP Network. The event was organized by the CISEP regional partner, OPORA Lviv in partnership with PLATO NGO. The event in the format of an online discussion at the Zoom platform became a good ground for collecting insights from Oleksandr Sushchenko – Head of the Center for Social Value Research and researcher at the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research, Oleksiy Karnaushenko – Director of GreenEra Ukraine solid waste operator, Daria Yaremchuk – owner of art vegetarian café “Green”, Iryna Gavrychenko – environmental engineer at the company “Enzyme”. During the talk, representatives and owners of local businesses shared their observations on changes in value approaches to entrepreneurship, experience in implementing the principles of the closed-loop economy, increased producer responsibility and demand from consumers, victory and frustration in trying to reduce environmental and climate impact.

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Both events were part of a series of activities aimed at highlighting regional challenges in the process of implementing the Association Agreement with the EU and the DCFTA with the involvement of the Ukrainian civil society.

The Civic School for Sound EU Practice (CiSEP) is a training programme for active citizens and change makers from Ukraine. CiSEP creates a Ukraine-wide network of specialists on questions of the EU-Ukraine association agreement with the aim to strengthen the European integration of Ukraine.

CiSEP is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.

Ukraine: Completion of Interactive Round Tables for Initiating Dialogue

In the framework of our project Civic School for Sound EU Practice (CiSEP), four interactive round tables have taken place in Ukraine between December 2019 and May 2020. Each of them covered one topic, which is relevant for the regional EU association: food safety, waste management, green economy and promotion of innovation. The round tables contributed to a dialogue and cooperation between Ukrainian civil society, business and public administration, but also included the interested public. All events encompassed both a seminar and a public panel discussion. The activities in the South and North of Ukraine took place locally whereas the ones in Western and Eastern Ukraine took place online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The first of the four round tables was organised in Odessa and dealt with the introduction of comprehensive food control in Southern Ukraine according to consistent international standards. The centrally discussed question was if the state or businesses should take on the responsibility of food inspections.

The second round table focused on sustainable regional development and waste management in Northern Ukraine. In the morning, the participants of the seminar had the possibility to get a practical insight into waste avoidance and recycling strategies of a local company whereas the afternoon provided space for informal exchanges in small groups on central problems and possible solutions for 2020. It was underlined how important the development of effective regional implementation plans for waste management will be.

The third round table dealt with green economy approaches in Western Ukraine (Lviv) and took place digitally. Representatives of science, politics and local businesses with sustainable concepts for success were invited as technical experts.

In May 2020, the fourth round table on the topic of promotion of innovation and export in Eastern Ukraine (Dnipro) also took place digitally. In addition to academic experts, a local businessman from Kamianske was willing to share his experiences in the areas of export and innovation with the audience. The event contributed to do away with myths concerning export economy and innovation.

The Civic School for Sound EU Practice (CiSEP) is a training programme for active citizens and change makers from Ukraine. CiSEP creates a Ukraine-wide network of specialists on questions of the EU-Ukraine association agreement with the aim to strengthen the European integration of Ukraine.

The interactive round tables were organized in cooperation with our local partners Odessa Regional Agency for Reconstruction and Development (Odessa), Polissya Foundation for International and Regional Studies (Chernihiv), Civil Network Opora (Lviv), and the NGO “Public Chamber of Ukraine“ (Dnipro).

CiSEP is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.