Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (REU)
 

Ukraine signs project agreement and signals interest in renewed cooperation with FAO

Project GCP/RER/040/EC
Budapest, Hungary, 23 April 2013

Mr Alonzi signs project agreementUkraine has become the 5th country to sign a Government Cooperative Programme (GCP) agreement with FAO under the EC funded Regional project Improving capacities to eliminate and prevent recurrence of obsolete pesticides as a model for tackling unused hazardous chemicals in the former Soviet Union. The agreement has been signed by the Deputy Minister for Environment and Natural Resources (MENR) of Ukraine, Mr. Dmitry Mormul, and was countersigned on behalf of FAO by Acting Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia, Mr. Tony Alonzi, at the FAO Regional Office in Budapest on 23rd April. The signature follows extensive discussions with MENR and Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food (MAPF) of Ukraine as to the possible focus of activities to be implemented under the project and through wider technical cooperation with FAO. This project forms part of the Europe Aid portfolio of regional support to Environmental Governance under the Eastern Partnership. The project will look to integrate with other Europe Aid projects in the region in areas such as waste governance, statistics / environmental reporting and disaster prevention and preparedness.
The signature of the agreement opens the door to FAO for the provision of targeted technical support aimed at development of national capacity in MENR and MAPF. Actions will focus in areas such as review of agricultural policy and legislation related to the life-cycle management of pesticides, the promotion of lower risk alternatives to the most highly hazardous pesticides, assessment of the potential for adoption of low-input agriculture as promoted by integrated pest management (IPM) and Conservation Agriculture (CA), to assist Ukraine in the implementation of the Rotterdam Convention and through the raising of awareness in the farming sector on how to use pesticides as part of a sustainable agricultural production system as embodies by the FAO publication Save and Grow. In addition, the project will support MENR to continue the on-going export for environmentally sound destruction in Europe of obsolete pesticides in accordance with the provisions of the Basel and Stockholm Conventions and for the development of a project for possible submission to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) aimed at preventing the contamination of the Dnestr river from pesticides. The river is a major source of irrigation water in Ukraine.
Based on  discussions with MENR and MAPF FAO is also please to assist Ukraine in the identification of additional areas for technical assistance. A planning workshop is scheduled for early June where experts from FAO will facilitate the development of a series of project concepts in areas such as land degradation, protection of water resources from pesticide contamination, bio-diversity conservation linked to the fisheries sector and climate change adaptation. Representatives from UNDP and the local EU Delegation are also expected to join the meeting which it is hoped will frame the areas for wider cooperation between FAO and Ukraine into the future. The longer term integration of the priority areas into the bi-lateral cooperation between Ukraine and the EU Delegation in Kiev will also be considered when looking at areas for future cooperation.
Sincere thanks are expressed to the team at Europe Aid in Brussels and the local EU Delegation in Kiev for the support given to the FAO team. FAO remains committed to assisting the countries in the region to meet the challenge of feeding a growing population in an environmentally sustainable manner.