Verkhovna Rada may adopt ambiguous draft law "Of NRF objects" shutterstock

Verkhovna Rada may adopt ambiguous draft law "Of NRF objects"

Katerina Belousova

The document contains a number of negative norms

On Wednesday, April 5, The Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on environmental policy and nature management should consider draft law no 9136 "On improving the management of the objects of the nature reserve fund" (NRF), which caused the indignation of the environmental community.

According to EcoPolitic, the document will probably be put to a vote in the Verkhovna Rada in the week from April 10 to 15.

Draft Law No. 9136 is designed to improve the protection and management of artificial objects of the nature reserve fund, such as botanical gardens, zoological and dendrological parks, etc. And the same requirements and restrictions will apply to nature conservation areas as to NRF objects.

General characteristics and main provisions of the document:

  • improvement of the creation, management, preservation of the regime of objects of the nature reserve fund, in particular, artificially created ones;
  • assigning conservation, observation and study of wild populations of endangered animals to the tasks of zoological parks;
  • determination of appropriate conditions and places for keeping wild animals in zoological parks;
  • improving the maintenance of the state cadastre of territories and objects of the nature reserve fund of Ukraine;
  • amendments to the Land Code of Ukraine in terms of strengthening the protection of the lands of artificially created objects of the nature reserve fund of national importance by assigning them to particularly valuable lands, regardless of the category of land they are located on.

The document also contains a number of negative norms. Thus, it is proposed to provide supporting documents in the request for the creation or expansion of the NRF facility, and the reason for refusal can only be the non-compliance of the submitted documents with the requirements of the draft law.

In addition, the process of creation or expansion of protected areas goes through the agreement with the primary users of primary resources, but this concept is not defined.

As you know, the Emerald Network ( the network of nature protection areas, which is being implemented in non-EU countries that have ratified the Berne Convention) is also included in the list of PZF objects.

Ukrainian eco-activists criticized the document. In their opinion, draft law No. 9136 simplifies the mechanism for canceling the status of a nature conservation object and reducing its boundaries.

Biologist from the non-governmental organization "Ukrainian Nature Conservation Group" Yehor Hrynyk noted that most of the norms of the draft law are cosmetic changes that will not have a significant positive or negative impact on nature. However, the document proposes to make the approval of the reduction of the protected area or the cancellation of the status by the Ministry of Environmental Protection for the cancellation of the protected areas formal. In addition, protected objects of national significance currently require the signature of the President of Ukraine, and the draft law proposes to place this duty on the Cabinet of Ministers.

Hrynyk emphasized that there are risks that artificial forests and orchards in cities may be reduced for the sake of development.

One gets the impression that draft law No. 9136 was prepared in a hurry and the document needs to be revised. Despite the European integration obligations and the self-screening announced by the Ministry of Environment of the state of implementation of the European Union law (acquis EU) in the direction of environmental protection in national legislation, environmental projects are clearly not a priority of the parliament. Important environmental projects, despite the war, cannot be accepted hastily, without public discussions and consultations with experts.

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