On 15-16 June 2023, a broad range of water sector stakeholders gathered at the 7th meeting of the National Policy Dialogue on Integrated Water Resources Management in Ukraine. This meeting engaged Government representatives, local authorities, academia and the NGO community, as well as international partners. The participants discussed the progress made in the EU Water Framework Directive implementation since the signature of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine, water policy reforms that are still needed from an EU candidate country perspective, and the consequences of the destruction of water management infrastructure because of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. They identified ways to ensure that immediate needs in the water sector are met as fast as possible and that the recovery and local development plans consider water-related issues.
The Ministry of Environment Protection and Nature Resources of Ukraine chaired the meeting, which was organised within the frame of the regional “European Union for Environment” project for the Eastern Partnership countries, together with the State Water Agency of Ukraine.
“In spite of Russia's large-scale invasion in Ukraine, the latter continues to move along the path of European integration towards sustainable development of water resources. Our country has already managed to achieve significant progress in the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive, the first drafts of management plans for nine river basins have been developed. They are to be completed this year, as well as they will be supplemented with the programmes of measures for full post-war recovery," said Oleksandr Krasnolutskyi, First Deputy Minister of Environment Protection and Nature Resources of Ukraine.
Chloé Allio, Head of Operations Section ‘’Economic cooperation, energy, infrastructure and environment’’, EU Delegation to Ukraine, said: "Russia’s attacks against Ukrainian civilian critical infrastructure and its environment reached an unprecedented level with the destruction of the dam at Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant. The destruction of this dam aggravates the already dire humanitarian situation and deprives hundreds of thousands of people of their human right of access to water. The European Union helps addressing water sector issues and will support Ukraine for as long as it takes, including on assessing and alleviating the consequences from the destruction of such critical water infrastructure”
The meeting was attended by various stakeholders in Ukraine: the Ministry of Environment Protection and Natural Resources, the Ministry for Communities, the State Agency of Water Resources and its local representatives, the Ministry for Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine, the Agency for Reconstruction and Infrastructure Projects of Ukraine, the Supreme Council of Ukraine on Environmental Policy and Nature Use, Association “Ukrvodokanalekologiya”, research institutes and NGOs, UN house in Ukraine, European Investment Bank.
The thematic workshop on nature-based solutions on 16 June explored how such solutions can support implementation of the river basin management plans, it will allow to exchange experience and views among Ukrainian stakeholders and development partners on this topic and will help identify key priorities which can potentially be included in the roadmap to be developed under the EU4Environment project.
Speaking on behalf of the Programme’s implementing partners, Mr Alexander Zinke, Environment Agency Austria, said that “The EU Member States and other EU4Environment partners value the Government’s commitment to tackle existing water management and environmental issues. With EU support, Ukraine has been able to strengthen river basin planning, monitoring and sustainable water use, as well as collecting and publishing further data on land use, waste, and air pollution. We stand ready to enhance cooperation and help Ukraine in its new capacity as EU candidate country.”