Local initiatives for improving air quality in Ukraine have received financial and expert assistance from international organizations. The support will help the implementation of public initiatives in Kharkiv, Kamiansk, Nikopol, and Konotop. In total, the NGO “Arnica” and the “Clean Air for Ukraine” projects share more than 6300 euros this year.
Lawsuit analysis and advocacy training, public events, legal expertise pieces of training, PR assistance, a geodata portal, the filming of short documentaries, and even an exhibition about a post-apocalyptic world. Such activities are supported by international non-governmental organizations to strengthen the fight for air quality in Ukraine. “In the autumn, we received about a hundred project ideas from different cities of Ukraine for the competition. We were impressed by the human desire to act and solve air pollution problems, said Marcela Chernotsova, the coordinator of the project “Clean Air for Ukraine“. In two rounds, we carefully analysed the applications that had been submitted and selected four projects that we decided to support financially with the help of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the Transition Program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic,” she said. This year’s programme of small grants continues to support public initiative projects in the regions, which was started in 2020 as a part of the “Clean Air for Ukraine” project.
Four cities, four problems to solve
The selected projects aimed to solve the problem of local air pollution, which is a serious environmental challenge for Ukrainian communities, especially in industrial areas. Within this programme of small grants, regional organizations receive financial assistance of 6312 euros.
|Оrganization||City||Region||Name of the project||Amount|
Support of Public
|Konotop||Sumy region||Video exhibition “Grey Crystal”||€1 242|
|Kharkiv||Kharkiv region||No to the Kharkiv Coke Plant||€1 690|
|BF “Living heart”||Kamianske||Dnipropetrovsk region||Kamianske: the problem of atmospheric air pollution||€1 690|
|NGO “Clear city|
|Nikopol||Dnipropetrovsk region||Nikopol Urban Atlas||€1 690|
The industrial danger in Kamianske and Kharkiv
In Kharkiv, the Novomet coking plant works right in the microdistrict and is poisoning the 1.5 million residents of the second-largest city in Ukraine. Despite the mass protests of public organizations and the local population, the toxic plant continues to work.
“We need legal help to deal comprehensively and impartially with air polluters in Kharkiv,” said Yana Gederim, head of the NGO “Public rating“. “The first training event, “Nadykhay”, as part of the project, has shown how much the problem of air pollution hurts the citizens and how many difficult questions they have.”
“We expect that professional lawyers will help us to analyse the permits for emissions by enterprises. People are gaining legal expertise and filing civil lawsuits in court correctly. A lawyer will help to analyse the case regarding the withdrawal of the authorization of the permit of the coke plant which is currently in court”, added the manager and initiator of the project ” No to the Kharkiv Coke Plant “, Irina Kravchenko.
Documentary and journalistic videos will be created in Kamianske about the problems of atmospheric air pollution and a public forum will be held that will focus on the same situation. “Our goal is to unite human efforts to ensure clean air in Kamianske,” says Kateryna Borovyk, head of the “Living Heart” BF project. “Videos about the problem of air pollution will be posted on television, social networks, and the website of the Kamianske City Council and will help citizens learn about ways to solve the problem. At the forum, to which we will attract young people and scientists and representatives of the public sector and authorities, plans for improving air quality will be worked out. We hope to create a roadmap for change and add it to the cityʼs environmental strategy Education for a clean and healthy future.”
The third initiative that is being supported concerns the creation of a geospatial plan for Nikopol, also in the Dnipropetrovsk region. “Urban Atlas“ is a tool that has been consolidating data on air pollution for the past five years, and it also predicts the state of air quality in the future using mathematical modelling methods. “The Atlas will be located in the form of separate maps on the website of Nikopol City Council,” announced Natalia Zhernakova, head of the board of the NGO “Clean City – N”. “In summer, a round table is planned to discuss how exactly the data that is obtained will help the city and the region to make management decisions for improving air quality in the region.”
In Konotop they will create an ecological video exhibition, “Grey Crystal”, about a post-apocalyptic world. “Our play is aimed at educating young people: we show the air pollution caused by factories, cars, and burning leaves,” says Svitlana Zinovieva, manager of the NGO “Konotop Centre for Support of Public Initiatives” and director of the theatre. “We will visit schools, colleges, and technical schools with a video exhibition, and we will communicate with students. If even 15% of the residents of Konotop stopped burning leaves and start composting, it would be good.”
Therefore, the “Clean air for Ukraine” project invites everyone interested in air protection to participate in training, workshops, seminars, and round tables, which will be held regularly this year in various cities by us and our partners. Events will be announced on the project website www.cleanair.org.ua and the Facebook page.