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Ukraine has intensified its cooperation with other countries since gaining its independence. Nearly 30 international treaties have been signed. Intensive work has been accomplished to develop bilateral agreements with neighbouring countries and the former Soviet republics. The Ministries of Foreign Affairs, and Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety coordinate international cooperation and trade activities related to sustainable development.

Ukraine supports the general strategy outlined in the Action Plan for Central and Eastern Europe and its basic principles consisting of:

This information was provided by the Government of Ukraine to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

For information on international projects and programmes, click here.

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The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety is responsible for action on consumption patterns. A Law on Energy Saving has been adopted by Parliament. The State Committee on Energy Saving was created in 1995, and the State's Programme of Energy Saving is in the process of being approved by government. Local authorities play a role in implementation and information dissemination with respect to consumption.

In 1994, a policy debate on consumption and production patterns was held at the national level. This resulted in the parliamentary adoption of the Law on Energy Saving. The Central Government is responsible for policy areas affecting production and consumption patterns, including material and energy efficiency, waste reduction, and reuse and recycling. The proportion of recycled materials to total consumption of raw materials in Ukraine is steadily rising and reached 20% in 1992 (highest figure in all Commonwealth of Independent States countries). This figure has recently decreased due to the general downturn in the Ukrainian economy.

This information was provided by the Government of Ukraine to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

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The Ukrainian Government has adopted a special law on foreign investment to increase the amount of direct foreign investment.

The national budget for sustainable development has remained relatively stable between 1994 and 1996 (0.12% of GNP or US$29 million in 1994; 0.133% of GNP or US$44 million in 1995; 0.127% of GNP or US$62 million) in 1996. Since 1994, a special entry on Environmental Protection has been included in the national budget. The total spending (state and private) for environmental protection annually reaches about US$ 500 million.

Since 1992, pollution payments (for air, water and waste) and charges for the use of natural resources (water, land, and useful minerals) have been levied by the Ukrainian Government. Total estimated revenues were US$50 million in 1995. Economic fines for harm to air, water and fish resources have also been introduced. Currently, the Government is developing policies for phasing out environmentally unfriendly subsidies, especially for the use of fresh water and energy resources.

Ukraine is a recipient of Official Development Assistance (ODA). Additional grant funds for sustainable development have been received from the following countries: USA US$72 million; Canada US$20 million; and Netherlands US$5 million. The Ukrainian Government has also received loans of US$855 million from the Federal Republic of Germany, US$172 million from the European Union, US$25 from France, US$18 million from Italy, and US$446 million from the USA.

This information was provided by the Government of Ukraine to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

For information on environmental and economic reform, click here.
For information on participating States in the Global Environment Facility, click here.
For information about issues and projects in Eastern Europe and Central Asia from the World Bank, click here.

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Transfer of Environmentally-Sound Technology

Ukraine cooperates with developed countries to strengthen or establish environmentally-sound technology centres, and it is setting guidelines for this purpose. One source of information is the UN Economic Commission for Europe system in the fields of safety and biotechnology. In order to develop basic criteria for assessing technology options, expert assessments of technologies in the fields of science and fundamental research within national programmes are underway.

There is no permanent access to international information networks on environmentally-sound technologies. Guidelines for state support of international scientific and technological cooperation are being developed to establish or strengthen environmentally-sound technology centres, in particular in developing countries. International cooperation within European Union Programmes (Intas, Copernicus and Nato Scientific Programmes) are also significant to the development of environmentally-sound technology in Ukraine.


A special council, which reports to the President and the National Academy of Sciences, is responsible for biotechnology research and policy development. The State Committee on Medical and Microbiological Industry is responsible for the control of technologies and industries. An Integrated Programme for the Development of Medical and Microbiological Industry is under implementation.

This information was provided by the Government of Ukraine to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.
Click here for the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Biosafety WebPages

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In Ukraine, the Government has adopted regulations to encourage industry to develop safe technologies.

In 1992, industrial waste originated primarily from fuel production enterprises and energy plants (13.8 million tons of ashes and slag), and coal mining and coal treatment enterprises (99.6 million tons). Significant amounts of waste also come from other mining industries, ore-dressing facilities, chemical works, and the military industry. Seventeen billion tons of various waste is dumped in Ukraine and stored in an area occupying 53 thousand ha (or approximately 0.09% of the total area of the country). Recycling this waste could be an important source of raw materials for industry and serve as a basis for future sustainable development.

A major source of air pollution is the metallurgical industry which generates 38% of the total pollution caused by stationary sources. In addition, the chemical industry contributes to air pollution by emitting sulphur anhydride, oxides of nitrogen, hydrocarbons, and various volatile organic compounds. Oil refineries also pollute underground waters. No substantial progress has been achieved in pollution control by the machine-building industry. Although its share in the total emissions of pollutants is relatively small, the specific contaminants are much more hazardous to health. For instance, the Dniprovsky Electrode Factory in Zaporizhzhya is responsible for only 3.5% of the total amount of air pollution. However, 80% of the pollutants are carcinogenic and are ranked as highly dangerous. Cement production continues to be the most polluting of the buildings materials industry, and its enterprises are doing the least in terms of implementing environmental protection measures.

This information was provided by the Government of Ukraine to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

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The Government has made efforts, within the framework of the United Nations and its European regional commission, to convene regional conferences on transport and the environment. The main source of pollution in large cities is road traffic (75-90% of pollutants).

This information was provided by the Government of Ukraine to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

For information on transport in Ukraine, click here.

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Integrated Decision-Making

The legal basis for the development of tourism in Ukraine is set forth within the law, On tourism, in which it is stated, that "tourism is a temporary departure of a person from the place of his permanent residence with health-improving, educational or professional purposes".

The primary focus for ecological tourism in Ukraine is on recreational activity; however it is limited by the need to meet environmental protection demands. The legislative pre-conditions for ecotourism organization are stated in the laws, On the natural reserve fund of Ukraine (1992) and On tourism (1995).

The main tasks which are necessary for the development of an ecotourism industry are:

The prognosis for tourism, recreation, health- resort system development determines the main directions of solving the above mentioned problems during three stages: I stage (2001-2006)- the growth of the given branch fund is projected to be 1.2 times; II stage (2006-2016) - 1,5.2 times; III stage (2016-2026)- 2,1.3 times. These are the periods of implementing investment programs, modernization to the world standard levels of the existing tourism infrastructure and ecotourism development - internationally acclaimed phenomenon of the XXI century.

The priority directions of ecotourism development in Ukraine are:


The strategy for forming an optimal living environment in Ukraine foresees that urbanisation in the future will seek to maintain an ecological balance with the maximum preservation of the natural environment.

Recreational landscapes (forest, sea, mountain), sanitary resources (mineral waters and medical clays) and territories and objects of the natural reserve fund (biosphere reserves, national natural and regional landscape parks, parks - monuments of horticultural art), which provide a proper basis for development of recreation opportunities for the population as well as organisation of tourism system, constitute a considerable part of the natural potential in Ukraine.

Following current international trends concentrated on the transfer of the standards of urban life as well as recreational activities into the rural and natural areas, and thus bringing one closer to nature, Ukraine is seeing the development of new processes within the country, such as ecological tourism development, adjustment of country dwelling for family vacation, development of country cottage and garden villages, etc.

There are many varieties of tourism in Ukraine- cultural and educational (in historical places); health-improving and sports (at sea, in forest and mountain regions), ecological and green (on landscape territories), rural and agrotourism (in rural areas).

Large tourist-zones were created in Ukraine, such as "Namysto-Slavutich" along the Dnieper river, "Yaremcha-Vorohta" in the Carpathians, "Great Yalta" on the Black Sea shore, as well as tourist centres that are functioning in historical cities such as Kyiv, Lviv, Kamyanets-Podolsky and others. Lately, complexes of ecological (green) tourism are being created and developed in places of preserved biodiversity.

The objects of the interest of the people in the sphere of ecotourism are the sea and mountains, rivers and lakes, forests and steppe ecosystems, as well as the flora and fauna that inhabit those areas. Ecotourism is a part of a whole system of tourism in Ukraine; ecotourism is carried out especially on landscape - recreational territories and within the boundaries of the natural reserve fund.

Recreational Resources Potential

The area of potential recreational territories in Ukraine comprises 12,8% of the country's area and is divided accordingly to the natural peculiarities of the regions. The present state and perspectives of natural recreational resource utilization in the boundaries of Ukraine as a whole and it's oblasts, are shown in the diagrams.

The health-improving resources are unique, since more than 500 mineral water and clay deposits have been found. Beaches comprise 47% of the sea shore territory of the Black Sea and Azov Sea. This natural potential needs to be protected, reserved and rationally used because it forms the basis of sustainable development of health-resorts, recreational zones, and tourism.

In Ukraine a special resolution of the government confirmed over 240 beach-resort settlements, which are situated in the boundaries of 7 recreational regions. These regions include the seashore of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the Black Sea shore and the Azov Sea shore, the mountainous and foothill regions of the Carpathians and in other localities. Among these settlements there are 27 health resort cities and 214 villages which have a special status for the development of recreational and tourist functions. According to statistical data the general capacity of permanent recreational, health-improving and tourist facilities comprises 828 thousand beds.

In the section of functional specialization health-improving facilities (sanatoriums, holiday hotels, prophilactoriums) comprise 23.6%, recreational (houses and centers, children health-improving facilities) - 66.3%, tourist facilities - (hotels, tourist centers, motels-campings) - 10.1%. The capacity and the prognosis for the stage development within the framework of recreational facilities (health-improving, tourism) are shown in the diagram.

Natural Reserve Fund

The network of the natural reserve fund comprise 6737 territories and objects, with an overall area of 2354 thousand hectares, which comprise 3,9% of the Ukraine's territory.

National natural parks, regional landscape parks and biosphere reserves play a very important role for the ecotourism organisation in Ukraine (table 1). It is in the location of these natural sites that recreational activity takes place, and is one of the foreseen areas of direction for the future development of these facilities. Biosphere reserves comprise 9.6% of the structure territory of the nature reserve fund, national natural parks - 20.9%, regional landscape parks - 17.2%. Artificially created objects and parks and monuments of horticultural art are also part of the nature-reserve fund, although their share is less than 1%.

As far as natural reserves, zakazniks, and nature-monuments are concerned, they can be used only for ecological, educational work and tours. At the same time, the possibility for wider use of the reserves and nature-monuments territories for commercial ecotourism has been looked into. For this the corresponding economic mechanism to guarantee self-financing measures to preserve biological diversity is being created. In table 1 you can see the most preserved and attractive for ecotourism and specially guarded nature sites.

Ukraine has actively joined the complex development of international ecotourism process. Through this connection, the formation of interstate natural reserves within the country's territory is very important. Large tracts of land "Stuzitsa" (14665 ha) became a part of the first Central European trilateral interstate territory - biosphere reserve "Eastern Carpathian".

From the Polish side Beschadsky national park and landscape parks - Tsisniansko-Vetlinski and "Sleep Valley" are included in the territory; and from the Czech side - region of guarded landscape "Eastern Carpathian". Similar biosphere reserve "Dunaiski Plavni" is being created. There is a proposal to create such interstate biosphere reserves, as: Polish-Ukrainian "Western Polissia", Russian-Ukrainian "Briansk and Starogutsk forests" etc. Those objects might in perspective be the most popular for developing a transnational ecotourism system.

Tourism as an Economic Category

Ukraine, a country with a transitioning economy, has a goal to achieve a level of profitability and competitiveness within the tourism industry since it is an important branch of its economy. So far profits from tourism within country's economy are low. Revenues from tourism in gross domestic product equate to about 1%. Ukraine's share in international tourist exchange is about 0,06%. In total volume of gross tourism revenues Ukraine's share is only 0,13%.

Although lately a tendency to increase the volume of tourist servicing is apparent, in 1995 the number of local tourists amounted to 4.5 million people, tourists from elsewhere - 10 million people, and in 1997 - 5 and 12.8 million people accordingly. The number of foreign tourists, who visited Ukraine, in 1995 was 1.5 million people, in 1996 - 2.1 million people, in 1998 - 2.3 million people.

The contingent of ecotourism supporters - those, who are fond of speleotourism, foot and horse excursions, hiking, water entertainment- is not covered by official statistics. According to sociological data this portion comprises up to 8% of the entire number of tourists. The economic components of its development are a part of tourism economics on the whole.

The given data attest to the great reserves in tourism development and economic profits of the development of tourism, which promotes the quality of life and raises the standards of living, contributes to the creation of new jobs, and ensures that the environmental protection measures are self-sustaining. The development of tourism in Ukraine stimulates the development of other sectors such as transport and communication, the production of building materials and biologically cleans food products, souvenir production, which provides for the country's rise of an economic level.

Types of ecological tourism

Ecological tourism (ecotourism) in Ukraine has developed within the territory of the natural reserve, in the boundaries of which people can take long-term or short-term vacations, acquaint with the flora and fauna. Ecological tours and environmental education may be carried out. At the same time a special environmental protection regime is ensured. To the categories of the national reserve fund of Ukraine, where ecological tourism can be developed, belong: national natural parks (Carpathian, Shatsky, Sinevirsky, Azov-Sivashsky and others), regional landscape parks (Dnister Canyon, Kinburn Split, Dikansky and others), and biosphere reserves (Carpathian, Askaniya Nova, Black Sea, Danube).

Green tourism has a lot in common with ecological tourism. It is being organized within the territory of natural landscapes with the provision of amenities, where conditions exist for short-term vacations (from 5-10 hr to 1-2 days), vacation on the beaches, etc. The areas where green tourism may take place, are: forestparks, hydroparks, dendroparks, botanical gardens and other landscape complexes which can be situated in rural areas as well as in urban areas. Resources for the organization Or 3reen tourism exist in all Ukraine's regions, in particular - green lines on the riverbanks of the Dnieper, Desna, Danube, Southern Boug and on a number of small rivers, lakes, reservoirs.

Another variety of ecological tourism is rural tourism, which is oriented on the use of rural settlements for a long term, as well as for a short-term vacation in the conditions of ecologically clean landscape. Traditional for Ukraine, dacha villages, which have since lost their agricultural function, are also part of country tourism. Of great importance for rural tourism development are ethnic peculiarities, the ethnographic characteristics of Ukraine's population's life, the existence of folk trades and folk architectural and the historic monuments (in particular - palace-park facilities of XYIII-XIX centuries).

Similar to ecological tourism is also agrotourism on the agricultural arable land, where the conditions for producing the agricultural products exist, as well as for vacation and the voluntary involvement the population in some kinds of jobs (harvesting fruits, vegetables and berries, looking after domestic animals).

There are a lot of agrorecreational villages in Ukraine, gardening associations villages, agroparks, also farms and farmsteads suitable for vacation (farm tourism). Low-income families prefer to go on vacation to rural areas, where they are provided with ecologically clean produce and inexpensive housing, get acquainted with ancient customs and involve children in practical agricultural work, folk trades and rituals.

An interesting example is a project for tourists called "The Big Tavria Ring". It is a route in the Crimea, by which planners envisage the creation of farms and farmsteads to fulfill double functions for tourists and agro-food. It has been proposed to develop on tourist routes mini-hotels, small factories for agricultural produce processing, to construct horse farms for tourism needs.

Ecological tourism development resources

Nature resources. In Ukraine there are three main categories of natural reserve areas, which may directly become the basis of ecotourism development: national nature parks, regional landscape parks and biosphere preserves.

According to the UNESCO "Man and Biosphere" program 4 biosphere preserves have been created in Ukraine. One of their goals is connecting nature preservation, tourist-vacation and economic activities. The most famous is "Askania-Nova" preservation (built in 1874) in Kherson region. Except standard steppe sections and rare animal species that are guarded in preservation there is a dendropark and zoo, which are very attractive for tourists.

Nine national nature parks were created in Ukraine. The first park was created in 1980 - Carpathian National Nature Park, the biggest in Europe tourist-vacation region. This and other national nature parks - Shatsky, Sinevir compared to international national parks not only are very "young", but also so far are not well equipped. In the vicinities of these parks there are working tourist-recreational facilities, working tourism sites and infrastructure, while additional service infrastructure development is needed.

Among nature preservation territories of Ukraine which can be the most practically utilized for ecological tourism development an important role belongs to 26 regional landscape parks and 334 dendroparks. Regional landscape parks are in formation stage, and dendroparks, such as "Sofiivka" in Uman, "Olexandria" in Bila Tserkva, Trostianets in Chernihiv region and others are magnificent examples of Ukraine's landscape architecture (there are more then 500 of those in Ukraine), and a substantial part of which is in rural areas.

Capacity-building, Education and Awareness-raising

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Among the main tasks which are necessary for the development of an ecotourism industry, as noted above, is restructuring of the existing recreational, sanitary and tourist fund according to social needs of the population and market economy conditions. The prognosis for tourism, recreation, health- resort system development determines the main directions of solving the above mentioned problems during 3 stages: I stage (2001-2006)- the growth of the given branch fund is projected to be 1.2 times; II stage (2006-2016) - 1,5.2 times; III stage (2016-2026)- 2,1.3 times. These are the periods of implementing investment programs, modernization to the world standard levels of the existing tourism infrastructure and ecotourism development - internationally acclaimed phenomenon of the XXI century.


International cooperation will play an important role in the development of ecotourism and problem solving in Ukraine. This cooperation is carried out in different programs in the regions of the Carpathians, the Black and Azov Sea shores, with assistance of the UN, the World Bank and other international organizations. The further activation of this cooperation and the development of external economic activity with a unique natural-cultural potential are designed to play a significant role in the international tourism system.

This information was provided by the Government of Ukraine to the seventh session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1999..

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