A few days ago Minister of Environment and Natural Resources of Ukraine, Mr. Ostap Semerak, and Ambassador of Austria in Ukraine, Mrs. Hermine Poppeller, have met and discussed cooperation between two countries.

They discussed status of implementation of EU environmental legislation in Ukraine. The minister highlighted that this is the first time during 25 years of independence of Ukraine that Ukrainian Government lay out environment protection as of the main priorities of the state policy.

Minister specified that there is a need to transform Ukrainian environmental state authorities in such a way that they could implement EU environment protection best practices in Ukraine.

A separate important point of the discussion was dedicated to the utilization of Austrian best experience in the sphere of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Minister also called on Austrian investors to launch such projects in Ukraine.

Special attention of Ambassador was paid to the environmental challenges of Donbas territory.

Sides concluded with the need of implementation of the joint Austrian-Ukrainian projects in the sphere of environment protection.

European Wilderness Society, having main office in Austria and maintaining its office in Ukraine, has already implemented and currently running number of joint Austrian-Ukrainian projects, among them are:

wilderness certification

study tours and Wilderness Expert Exchange Programme

wilderness education for youth and adults

infrastructure improvements in protected areas

awareness raising about protected areas in Ukraine

management improvement in protected areas

Wild Art plain air

sustainable tourism

and continuing supporting Ukraine in wilderness development, twinning and many other related issues.

More information about the meeting of Minister and Ambassador can be found on the web-site of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Ukraine.

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Iryna Shchoka is a regional development expert and is based in Uzhhorod, Ukraine.

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