Sustainable Development in Ukraine

Sustainable Development in Ukraine


Yevhenia Voitsekhovs’ka

Melitopol Institute of Public and Municipal Administration

Research advisor – Yulia Polikarpova

The objective of the research is to outline the main problems of sustainable development of Ukraine.

The Sustainable Development Strategy deals in an integrated way with economic, environmental and social issues and lists the following seven key challenges:1)climate change and clean energy, 2) sustainable transport, 3)sustainable consumption and production, 4) conservation and management of natural resources, 5) public health, 6) social inclusion, demography and migration,7) global poverty.

Sustainable Developmentwas first developed as a concept in 1987 with the publication of the Brundtland Report. But it was not until 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit that nations around the world came together to push for concerted action to try and reach an agreement on the best way to slow down, halt and reverse environmental deterioration. Out of Rio came Agenda 21, the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Ukraine joined the sustainable development movement in 1997, when the National Commission on Sustainable Development of Ukraine was established under the Cabinet of Ministers with the purpose of ensuring the solution of problems of the social and economic development, environmental protection and rational use of natural resources in Ukraine. In 1999 Verhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the Concept of Sustainable Development of Settlements and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine developed the Activity Program for the period of 2000 – 2004. It clearly stated that strategic goals of the government policy and priority tasks implementation of which would ensure creation of the conditions for sustainable development.

Current social and economic situation in Ukraine proves that the country hasn’t succeeded in sustainable development yet. This is mostly caused by a number of obstacles the country is facing on the way to development and introduction of the sustainable development policy:

Ukraine’s is still behind the developed countries in living standards indicators, level of investment attractiveness, competitiveness and sophistication of innovation environment. This challenge is explained not only by external factors but the internal Ukrainian problems as well.

Lack of adequate national regional policy has even increased the risks and negative trends of Ukrainian life: growing asymmetry in levels of regional development, rural degradation, crisis of urban settlement network, reduction and deterioration of the labor potential, increased migration of working population, especially young people (from many Ukrainian regions to abroad).

Another obstacle is lack of funding for regional development. Public funding, which could promote the economic potential of regions is almost absent.

What makes it more difficult to implement sustainable development policy is that there are significant economic, social, cultural, mental and other differences between the regions of Ukraine.

Moreover, ecological culture of the citizens of Ukraine is still rather low.

Directions for overcoming the obstacles the country is facing on the way to development and implementation of the sustainable development policy are:

- ensuring of the political support to the sustainable development strategy;

- ensuring of the informational support to the sustainable development strategy and training of the new staffing potential of Ukraine;

- integration of the sustainable development strategy into the strategy of social-economic reforms at all levels (national, regional and local);

- introduction of the mechanisms and elements of sustainable development into the sector economy.

As a conclusion, sustainable development will not be brought about by policies only: it must be taken up by society at large as a principle guiding the many choices each citizen makes every day, as well as the big political and economic decisions that have. This requires profound changes in thinking, in economic and social structures and in consumption and production patterns.