In an open letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Ukrainian and international environmental activists have asked for transparency, accountability and public participation in post-war reconstruction.
They ask to start consultations with public organizations and experts on the Platform for Reconstruction of Ukraine and the related fund, reports Ecodia.
They noted that the risks of destruction of Ukraine's environment and industry also pose a threat to Europe, affecting human health, water and food, biodiversity and climate, growing poverty and inflation.
"Ukraine will face a double challenge - reconstruction and achievement of EU goals and standards, rapid reconstruction, but also" better reconstruction "," the article reads. - “Recovery will require between $ 500 billion and $ 1,000 billion not only in mass investment but also in grants, knowledge and technology transfer, capacity building, human resources, well-organized planning coordination, transparent donor coordination and compliance with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. ”
A major step in financing Ukraine’s economic reconstruction and adjustment efforts is the commitment of the EU leadership to create a “Platform for Reconstruction of Ukraine” and a new RebuildUkraine fund. The Ukrainian government has established a National Reconstruction Council to prepare a post-war reconstruction and development plan.
Environmental activists are asking the EU to provide more political and practical guidance for the planning process, as the plan is not currently driven by key EU drivers, including transparent budgeting, the European Green Agreement, climate goals, gender mainstreaming, corruption, social security and more.
They suggested several practical steps that should be reflected in the creation of a platform for the reconstruction of Ukraine and its financial instrument.
Ukrainian national property
The appeal will ask for public participation in the platform of affected communities and civil society groups from Ukraine, as well as international organizations, independent experts and other stakeholders at all stages of decision-making and implementation.
Restoration of Ukraine is the best framework
Ukraine's reconstruction should be based on long-term strategic documents, such as a comprehensive development framework and needs assessment research in line with the European Green Agreement and the Paris Agreement, developed and consulted with the public together with the Ukrainian government.
The "do no significant harm" principle must also be ensured to ensure that Ukrainian investments meet the best standards of investment sustainability, as set out in the EU's Taxonomy Regulation.
Guiding green principles of Ukrainian civil society
More than 50 Ukrainian groups have developed guidelines to ensure that Ukraine's green post-war reconstruction rebuilds sustainable economic development and benefits people.
The appeal also calls for the integration of the principles already presented to the Ukrainian government into the reconstruction plans in order to ensure sustainable and systematic solutions:
- Transparency, community and public participation in decision-making;
- Using the best available technologies and practices;
- Sustainable development of cities and regions;
- Decarbonization and decentralization of the energy sector;
- Development of sustainable and decentralized agri-food systems;
- Preservation of ecosystems and natural resources of Ukraine.
Environmental activists also hope that the EU will ensure proper coordination of other donors in line with these principles.
National Reconstruction Plan of Ukraine
The Government of Ukraine has established the National Council for Reconstruction, which is preparing a plan for post-war reconstruction and development.
However, there are concerns that the Council will not be able to develop a plan for 2030 - even a long-term one - within six weeks, which will adequately use 23 thematic working groups to ensure a thorough bottom-up planning approach.
The appeal states that they expect feedback from the EU, as this plan is not conditioned by the EU's main driving principles, including a transparent budget, the European Green Agreement, climate goals, gender mainstreaming, anti-corruption measures, social security and more. The International Advisory Board, which oversees the working groups, consists mainly of economists, does not represent the views of other sectors, and is not gender-diverse.
The focus on economic development is a concern that the plan will be unbalanced and unviable and could have long-term negative consequences. The participation of civil society and even municipalities in working groups is limited due to limited dissemination of information.
Donor coordination, transparency and accountability
Different donors have different rules and procedures for transparency and accountability, which is why the reconstruction platform needs a memorandum of understanding on donor coordination, transparency and accountability.
It is also important to ensure transparency and accountability of RebuildUkraine through a digital platform that collects and provides access to all necessary information on loans and grants for the reconstruction of Ukraine.
RebuildUkraine facility management department
RebuildUkraine will have a special management unit with a specific management structure that will ensure full ownership of Ukraine. This will ensure that investments are aligned with EU climate and environmental policies and standards.
It is also important that all donors make a commitment:
- a transparent and open system of public procurement (the ProZorro platform and its expansion) and depriving Russian beneficiaries of any opportunity to participate in these processes.
- digitization of public services and access to public information and relevant state registers.
- transparent and open systems of monitoring and data collection in all areas.
Protection of people and the environment
The RebuildUkraine initiative must ensure the implementation of the "build better" strategy, and therefore the quality of projects, programs and initiatives must meet EU standards.
Like the EU's Rebuilding and Sustainability Mechanism (RRF) Regulation, the RebuildUkraine Facility should have clear milestones and targets to support Ukraine's green transition - such as the climate spending target (37%) and adhere to the principle of do no significant damage to RRF.
"Ukraine's environment, like that of its people, has been severely affected by the war. That is why it is important for the EU, together with other donors, to develop programs to clean up the environment, prevent air and water pollution and protect biodiversity in order to ensure the restoration of the livelihood of the Ukrainian people, ”the statement said.
We will remind, experts called difficulties and prospects of "green" restoration of Ukraine after the war.
As EcoPoliticа reported earlier, named priorities of "green reconstruction" in the postwar reconstruction of Ukraine.