Our History and Successes Print
Ecologization - Ecologization documents
Wednesday, 30 December 2009 16:31

MAMA-86 seeks to make Ukrainian legislative processes democratic and transparent, and to ensure that  Ukrainian legislative acts account for sustainable development principles and environmental needs. For example, in 1998, MAMA-86 in partnership with Eco-Pravo network and Bathmat Environmnetal Culture Centre (Artemivsk) established a precedent of active public participation in development of a national action plan. Five regional consultations and national hearings on the National Environment and Health Action Plan (NEHAP) of Ukraine allowed to develop draft public sections of the NEHAP and detailed proposals on contents of other sections of the plan. More than a half of these 700 proposals were accounted for in the course of further processing of the draft NEHAP. At the same time, the Report on Public Participation in the NEHAP Development was produced and disseminated. The Report was presented at the Third European Conference of Public Health and Environment Ministers — Environment and Health — in July 1999, in London. The Director of the European WHO Office personally commended these activities of MAMA-86.

From September 2000 to October 2001, with support of the British Council and Stakeholder Forum (UK), MAMA-86 Network implemented its project — Initiation of Public Participation in Local Health and Environment Action Plans — in Kyiv, Sevastopol and Nizhin. The project implementation promoted engagement of different sectoral partners — including the general public — into early stages of development and implementation of such action plans and integration of LEHAPs into  broader and already existing regional socio-economic development plans. Major successes of the project were associated with development of a model of cooperation between citizens, public authorities, environmental and public health bodies, as well as with approval of local Health and Environment Action Plans for 2002–2006 in Kyiv, Nizhin and Sevastopol. These action plans became real examples of partnerships  between citizens and public authorities and reflected interests of local residents to the maximal extent possible.

Implementation of Kyiv-2003 project resulted in a broad public participation in preparations of the Fifth Pan-European Conference of Environmental Ministers in Kyiv. A network of  56 environmental NGOs from all regions of Ukraine was established in the framework of the project. About 100 newspaper articles, 10 topical TV programs and 25 radio broadcasts were produced to present specific agenda items of the Kyiv Conference, to explain its significance for Europe and Ukraine. Many public comments and proposals were accounted for in development of the Carpathian Convention — the one that was signed in Kyiv. The network supported publication of the research report —  Management in the Sphere of Environment and Natural Resources Use in Ukraine: Problems and Options for Address Them — that was produced to shape  a common public vision of these problems and proposals for addressing them.

In late 2005, MAMA-86 became a co-founder of  Green Maidan movement — a voluntary non-political initiative, initiated by several environmental NGOs with the general aim to enhance relative priority  of environmental policy in the country for transition of Ukraine to an environmentally sustainable development path. In the same year, at the First Presidential Hearings — Freedom-generated Challenges — MAMA-86 on behalf of the most influential Ukrainian environmental NGOs applied to Viktor Yustchenko, calling him to pay attention to quality of environment in Ukraine and to prioritise addressing environmental problems in the  national policy framework. In response to the President's proposal on a substantive dialogue on these matters we participated in development of the justification  and draft Presidential Decree on prioritisation of environmental policy. Implementation of MAMA-86 project — Public Lobbying for Priority Decisions of Authorities to Improve Environmental Policy Efficiency — allowed us to conduct and publish the express-survey  of Ganna Golubovska-Onisimova on Environmental Policy of Ukraine and Public Influence, as well as numerous other documents developed jointly by environmental NGOs in 2006–2007.

In the year of 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, MAMA-86, jointly with other environmental NGOs, protested against Governmental plans to construct 22 new nuclear reactor units  at the territory of  Ukraine without public consultations. The most substantial result of these activities is associated with production of the Concept of Non-nuclear Development Path of the Power Industry of Ukraine — the document that substantiates Ukraine's chances to reject application of nuclear energy and avoid potential new Chernobyls. Publishing of this position paper facilitated a dialogue between governmental and non-governmental actors, and attracted substantial attention of media and citizens to the problem.

In November 2005, a group of ten Ukrainian environmental NGOs, leaded by MAMA-86, declared its intents to influence contents of pre-election programs  of political parties and promote changes in favour of environmental orientation of national development programs and ensuring preconditions for equal participation of men and women in state governance. The NGOs conducted their independent assessment of election programs and mailed the assessment results with accompanying recommendations to election offices of the parties surveyed.

In September 2006, in the course of conference  The Open Dialogue: Public Authorities, Industry and Civil Society. Environmentally Sustainable Development in Ukraine (Mariupol), MAMA-86 coordinated the section on  Civil Society Participation in Environmental Policy Development and Implementation — the Resolution of the Conference still remains the key guideline document for relevant organisations. The Conference was financed by Anastasios G. Leventis Foundation and St James's Research.

Since 2007, Ganna Golubovska-Onisimova permanently represents MAMA-86 in the Steering Committee of  the Public Assembly of Ukraine — the largest national network of NGOs from different regions, seeking to establish national and regional fora for discussions and consolidation of representatives of citizens' associations on strategic problems of the Ukrainian society. In particular, the PAU formulated key requirements to representatives of authorities and political organisations on matters of the Constitutional Reform, outlined its optimal course and  supported the idea of establishment of the Constitutional Assembly.

In 2007–2008, MAMA-86 chaired the Public Council of Environmental NGOs under the Ministry of Environment. At that time, NGOs had successfully completed implementation of 2 years campaign to enhance priority of national environmental policy in Ukraine. As a result, the Concept of the National Environmental Policy was approved — the one based on integrated environmental management. In addition, the Council managed to exclude Environmental Impact Assessment Statements (EIA) from the category of confidential information (earlier, EIA statements were categorised as confidential documents in breach of the due legislation).

In the same period of time, for the first time in history of Ukrainian parliamentarism, the Verhkovna Rada of Ukraine held public hearings on environmental and energy policies of Ukraine, initiated by public councils and the VR Committee on Power Industry. As a result, more than 100 participants, including high officials, ministers and MPs shared NGOs' concerns about  shortage of water resources in Ukraine that makes impossible to provide necessary supply of water for operations of new nuclear reactors, anticipated by the Energy Strategy up to 2030.

In 2007, MAMA-86, jointly with  St. James’s Research (UK), Eco-Accord (Russia) and the Georgian Environmental League initiated a project to Ascertain National and Sub-regional Progress in SCP Policy Development in Western (Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine) and South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia) CEEC, for improvement of sustainable consumption and production policies of countries of the region and their harmonisation with international processes. Three-days discussions were conducted in parallel, in Kyiv and Tbilisi. The discussions were based on snapshot surveys developed by NGO experts. On the third days of the event, a video-conference was held between Kyiv and Tbilisi with additional connections to London, Copenhagen, Geneva and Amsterdam. The video-conference format allowed us to avoid air travel (a relevant arrangement in connection with the climate change) and engage all stakeholders. Such a good practice of sustainable, efficient and low-cost conference arrangements  was later replicated by UNEP and the European Environmental Agency. The preliminary analysis of the snapshots and results of seminar discussions were presented at the Sixth EfE Ministerial Conference in Belgrade (2007), while the survey itself was published in 2008. The survey served as a key information source for the special UNEP survey for the Regional UNECE Meeting on Implementation of the Johannesburg WSSD Summit (2002).

Since February 2008, MAMA-86 participates  as an expert in development of the National Environmental Strategy and the National Environmental Action Plan of Ukraine.

In May 2008, MAMA-86 initiated establishment of the Nation-wide Ukrainian Informal NGO Panel of Experts on implementation of the Aarhus Convention. The Panel sought to agree a common position prior to the third COP of the  Convention, while the key topic of discussions was associated with the need of application of strong sanctions against Ukraine for its non-compliance with provisions of the Convention. The strategy allowed to replace the previous inefficient National Coordinator by another person and to improve the dialogue substantially. The President of MAMA-86 participated in COP3 and then the media campaign was launched on Ukraine's non-compliance with the Convention.

In September 2009, Ganna Golubovska-Onisimova — the President of MAMA-86 — was incorporated into the newly established National Council on Sustainable Development of Ukraine under the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. At its first meeting, the Council had managed to approve the draft Concept of Ukraine's Transition to Sustainable Development — environmental NGOs for a long time waited for the Concept.

In November — December 2009,  as a continuation of activities for dissemination of ideas of environmentally sound development as a pressing necessity of modern times among active socio-political NGOs in Ukraine, Ganna Golubovska-Onisimova represented MAMA-86 in development of the draft Modernisation Strategy of Ukraine — the draft was initially discussed at public hearings in different regions of Ukraine and now it is posted at PAU web-site for comments.

In November 2009, as one of 20 independent NGOs, MAMA-86 launched a politically neutral citizens' initiative —  the New Citizen — in order to enhance capacity of citizens to influence social and political processes in Ukraine. In the framework of  the campaign, MAMA-86 and leaders of leading environmental NGOs of Ukraine, at a press-conference — A Thorny Mark to the President — Environmentalists Declare Mobilisation! — presented results of their analysis of environmental and social components of pre-election programs of candidates and called citizens to support their  request to candidates with demands to take real steps for addressing urgent environmental and social problems.

From the date of its establishment, MAMA-86 realises importance of international processes on general issues of environment and sustainable development and the need of participation of Ukrainian NGOs in these processes.

For example, MAMA-86 actively participates in  Environment for Europe process, in particular, in the working group of the  Pan-European Coalition of Environmental NGOs (the Eco-Forum). The organisation chairs the Water Issue Group (from 2001) and the newly established WG on future of the EfE process (since 2009, Ganna Golubovska-Onisimova chairs the latter WG).

MAMA-86 is a trainer of the Northern Alliance for Sustainable Development (ANPED) on preparing NGOs to participation in activities of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. We actively participated in meetings of women and NGOs major  groups in the course of CSD-15 in New York (2007) and we prepare now to participate in 18th session of the Commission, that is expected to focus in  2010–2011 on chemicals, waste management, environmentally sound transport and the Ten Year Program for Promotion of Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns. In addition, MAMA-86 actively participates in ANPED Working Group on Sustainable Consumption and Production.

In November 2009, a representative of MAMA-86 — Iryna Malysheva — was elected to the Steering Council of Inforse-Europe, an international organisation that promotes sustainable energy principles in policy and practices of EU member-states and other countries throughout the World.

MAMA-86 is a member of the Public Panel of the Ukrainian Party of Ukraine-EU Committee — the one Oleg Rybachuk was recently appointed to chair.

In 2009, MAMA-86 started to work in the Civil Society Forum  of the Eastern Partnership. The Partnership was established by the EU to enhance interactions between civil society actors in countries of the Partnership and EU member-states in order to promote objectives of the EP: strengthening democracy and due governance, economic integration and gradual approximation of EU policies, ensuring energy security and personal citizens' contacts.

In March 2009, prior to incorporation of the organisation into the Forum,  a roundtable discussion was held  — Priorities of Environmental Protection, Environmental Policy Integration and Sustainable Development in the New EU-Ukraine Agreement — under auspices of  the Public Panel of the Ukrainian Party of Ukraine-EU Cooperation Committee. The roundtable was organised by MAMA-86 and Society and the Environment Centre. The roundtable participants exchanged their views on prospects of enhancement of a relative priority of environmental and sustainable development issues in the new Practical Tool and in the new Ukraine-EU Agreement. The main conclusions and results of the roundtable discussions were generalised in the final document of the event.

We always realised that one cannot make a society environmentally sound merely by development of new strategies and laws. An ordinary  citizen is the key vehicle of change if he/she is sufficiently aware to make a choice in favour of healthy environment, his/her own health and future of his/her children. In our efforts  to engage NEW CITIZENS we decided to focus on promotion of sustainable production and consumption patterns.

Our campaigns  Drinking Water and Sanitation and Chemical Security that were launched in late 1990s had evolved into separate strategic spheres of activities of the organisation.

Now, we also focus on energy efficiency, promotion of green energy and advocacy for eco-construction ideas. In particular, recently, in the framework of Environmental Life of People project, the organisation conducted a contest of architectural designs for a demonstration centre of environmentally sound technologies — the centre should meet eco-building principles and will serve as a tangible example  of application of modern best practise of sustainable economic management.

A few years ago, in the framework of The Green Choice of Ukraine project, resource conservation measures were introduced in residential blocks of Odesa and Artemivsk — as a result, a major reduction of utility bills was reached, including power supply (30%), heating (70%), hot water supply (80%) and overall water supply. The reduction was made possible due to reduction of resource losses, installation of metering devices, application of resource conservation measures, etc.

Problems of soil and water pollution by residual nitrates and pesticides induced us to enter the sphere of organic agriculture methods, that allow to protect and enhance natural fertility of  Ukrainian land and protect human health from many risks associated with consumption of water or food. Now, centres of organic agriculture of MAMA-86 operate in Lubske village (Kyivska oblast) and Nizhin (Chernigivska oblast), major information and training campaigns were implemented in Tatarbunarskiy district of Odeska oblast, Yaremchanskiy district of Ivano-Frankivska oblast and in Poltavska oblast.

There is another human factor that substantially affects quality of the environment — excessive accumulation of solid household waste and  incapacity or unwillingness of authorities to address the waste problem. MAMA-86 believes that accumulation of huge amounts of waste on landfills may be prevented by introduction of principles of continuous education  and active information and awareness raising campaigns targeting the broad public. Such activities would allow to reduce overall amounts of waste and increase shares of recycled or reused waste. However, the state has to ensure due environmentally sound management of household waste with involvement of citizens and NGOs.

For example, on April 23, 2005, MAMA-86 in partnership with a coalition of Ukrainian NGOs and the  Earth Day Network of environmental NGOs, with support of the Ministry of Environment, Kyiv City Council and Kyiv City State Administration conducted a major action, dedicated to 35th anniversary of the International Earth Day. Earth Day — 2005 action sought to raise awareness of Kyiv residents and the city visitors on problems of municipal waste management. MAMA-86 developed the Green Program and  presented its key provisions in the Declaration of Environmental Intents, that was signed by the Chair of the Kyiv City Council Commission on Environmental Policy and the Executive Director of MAMA-86. The event included NGOs exhibitions, creative performances, distribution of information and awareness raising publications and a major concert with participation of popular music stars, Olympic champions, representatives of authorities and NGOs and a popular radio dj, that attracted attention of about 200 thousand spectators. In the course of the event, we arranged waste separation. In the day we collected 9 kg of plastic bottles (equivalent of 100 kg of oil), 67 kg of waste paper (equivalent of 245 kg of timber), 65 kg of glass bottles (equivalent of 1 kWh of energy). Spectators of the concert were regularly updated on these matters. Every participant of the event was provided a topical leaflet on the system of solid household waste management in Kyiv and the map of waste recycle collection facilities in the city. As a follow up of the action, in 2006, we published and disseminated maps of administrative districts of Kyiv with marked locations of waste recycle collection points.

In its activities for promotion of environment-friendly lifestyles and for consolidation of like-minded  people, MAMA-86 applies a number of regular tools.

Since 1993, the organisation organises annual summer camp seminars (two — three weeks of field courses of trainings and discussions for mothers and their children) for development of MAMA-86 network and capacity building of the organisation's members.

Since 1996, the organisation maintains Eco-Telephone hot-line service that provides reliable information on quality of the environment, on linkages between health and environment, provides consultations on healthy ways of life, environmental citizens' rights, etc. In 2008, Eco-Telephone service in 11 regions of Ukraine answered  4 — 5 thousand calls.

In addition to topical and information publications, MAMA-86 always published its periodicals for free dissemination  among members of the organisation and like-minded people (MAMA-86 and Green Salad newspapers, Kyiv-2003 magazine). Since 2005, the organisation publishes its socio-environmental magazine Eco-Mama. The magazine is primarily dedicated to such issues as reforms of environmental policy and legislation, alternative technologies, environment and health, chemical safety, drinking water and sanitation, environmental ways of life, etc.
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