Ukrainian journalists learned more about the Environmental challenges and Rio Conventions

03 Jun 2014

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Three United Nations Conventions (on climate change, biological diversity, desertification) were adopted at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 in response to a number of global environmental threats, with the ultimate goal to guide the countries on the way to the sustainable development.

Ukraine, by ratifying the Rio Conventions, has assumed the obligation to adhere to their provisions. Over the last decade, Ukraine has been making positive advances towards improving the governance of the environment and nature use. However, it still faces challenges in meeting global environmental priorities and, thus, enjoying global environmental benefits. The situation could be improved strengthening institutional capacities, filling in gaps in normative and legal regulation of the policies and sectoral programmes, buiding linkages between these programmes with regard to the environmental effects of their implementation to ensure that Ukraine meets its national development priorities.

One of the barriers to achieving global environmental objectives are largely the result of the lack of awareness of the anthropogenic effects on nature, their long-term consequences for human beings and the planet as a whole, and the ways to minimize these effects. 

On 3 June 2014, more than 30 Ukrainian national and local journalists attended the learning session organized by UNDP and dedicated to the upcoming Environment Day. Renowned experts from the Institute of Agroecology and Nature Use, Institute of Geography of the National Academy of Sciences and All-Ukrainian Ecological League shared their in-depth knowledge and expertise on the global and domestic environmental issues. The experts highlighted the most urgent problems that require changes in policies and approaches – those which result in intensive land degradation due to improper use, desertification, climate change and biodiversity loss.

The journalists learned why the rational use of natural resources is a necessary condition for preservation of inherent assets of Ukraine – its fertile land, unique ecosystems and vital forests, clean water and air. Some nature degradation processes are irreversible, while others result in accumulation of negative effects, which will in turn lead to unpredictable outcomes. And unlike Ukraine, many countries have already adopted their Sustainable Development Strategies, which aim at reaching a balance between the national economic, social and environmental priorities.

The experts underscored the importance of extensive media coverage of the current environmental issues, which may adversely affect the future generations and their ability to meet their essential needs in natural resource use. Mass media has always been considered a powerful tool for advocating certain change and actions. In this case, journalists are among those key actors, who can influence the attitudes among the general public, decision makers and the private sector to contribute to the environmental protection. 

At the workshop the journalists learned more about the Rio Conventions and their applications for Ukraine. They learned about land degradation processes and the factors that cause it; and explored factors contributing the desertification and climate change.  In addition the journalists  learned why biodiversity is important both for ecosystems and for humanity. Experts said that, so far, Ukraine  is not in the list of the most affected areas, however  in the long run the country will inevitably suffer from the consequences of climate change.

This workshop is the first of the series of educational events within the awareness raising campaign carried out in the framework of UNDP/GEF project ‘Integrating Rio Conventions Provisions into Ukraine’s National Policy Framework’