On 5 and 6 November, the National Policy Dialogue (NPD), which is the main platform to facilitate reform of water policies, took place in Ukraine as part of the “AQUA 2019” International Water Forum.
- High-level opening session. From left to right: Marta Voitsekhovich, Verkhovna Rada’s Committee on Energy, Housing and Utilities Services,
- Johannes Baur, Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine, Mikhailo Khorev, State Agency of Water Resources of Ukraine, Irina Stavchuk,
- Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection of Ukraine, Aleksandr Bonʹ, Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection of Ukraine © OIEau
Water sector representatives discussed the future of Ukrainian water management. They concluded that a strong national water resources management strategy is required to protect water resources and thereby health, livelihoods and the environment of Ukraine.
High-level panel event focused on policy coherence, strategic planning and harmonisation on 5 November
According to international finance institutions, Ukrainian infrastructure for water resources management, water supply and sanitation and across key economic sectors including agriculture, hydropower and industry, experienced 40 years of under-investment. This demand places pressure on already limited resources and a strong strategic framework is needed to direct investments towards schemes that give maximum value to citizens and the environment.
There was a broad agreement on the need for a national water resources management strategy in Ukraine. The strategy should include provisions for monitoring meaningful water quality indicators to build confidence with the public. Participants pointed out that new strategic documents are an opportunity to commence the reform journey and accept the need to keep documents as “living, breathing roadmaps” to evolve and be updated as reform progresses. Ukrainian experts and decision makers exchanged with guest speakers from new EU member states like Bulgaria who reminded participants to be measured and realistic when defining the strategic journey and the pace of water sector reform.
Workshop focused on more technical discussions on 6 November
River basin management plans are the key EU tool that provides a framework to prioritize issues, harmonize EU directives’s requirements and bring together stakeholders.
Georgian representatives shared their experiences with economic instruments for water management: well-defined and implemented economic instruments can provide the incentives and revenues that strengthen water management.
- Irina Stavchuk, Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection of Ukraine. © OIEau
Ms. Iryna Stavchuk, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection of Ukraine, NPD Chair: “The Dialogue is necessary in order to not just explain to all the stakeholders in Ukraine what water reform is about and how our life will change in view of the implementation of the EU Association Agreement, but also in order to join efforts with other line agencies, sector enterprises, business community, and financial institutions. We should harmonize our approaches, set priorities, and identify opportunities for, and barriers to, reform, which we must address jointly.”
Established within the European Union's Water Initiative, the National Policy Dialogues provide a platform for key stakeholders to identify, prepare, and implement reforms in the field of water policy. NPDs also aim at helping coordination of donor activities and enhancing international cooperation. The event was organized by the European Union Water Initiative Plus for Eastern Partnership Countries (EUWI+), funded project by European Union to strengthen integrated water resources management and support the alignment of Ukrainian water legislation with the EU Water Framework Directive.