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As stipulated by the Constitution of Ukraine, the right to a safe and healthy environment is guaranteed by the state[1]. The occurrence of a disaster, or any emergency or set of emergencies, as well as the risk of their occurrence, represent the factors that violate the right to a safe environment for life and health. In this context, a necessary condition for guaranteeing the right to a safe environment for life and health is a determination about the possibility of risk control and risk management through disaster risk reduction.

The level of security is mainly characterized by uncertainty. Provided there is enough information about the actual state of the environment, then we understand what is happening now and what changes may appear, and it gives us an opportunity to respond appropriately, and therefore, feel more or less safe. Thus, the skillful identification of the causes of disasters or other phenomena that may threaten the citizens’ life or health and their management will ensure the possibility of human life in an environment that does not cause harm to health.

First of all, people want to use safe natural goods to satisfy their vital needs. Most of these needs require a certain organization of the efforts of a certain community. The state, and in particular, communities, as well as individuals and legal entities, unite to implement all necessary methods and measures to achieve environmental safety.

According to Article 293 of the Civil Code of Ukraine (CCU),an individual has the right to a safe environment for life and health, the right to accurate information about the environment, the quality of food and household items, as well as the right to collect and distribute it. Part 4 of this article stipulates that an individual has the right to appropriate, safe and healthy working, living, studying, etc.

The environmental safety issue is considered in Art. 50 of the Law of Ukraine on Environmental Protection. According to this standard, ecological safety is a state of the environment in which the deterioration of the ecological situation and the emergence of danger to human health is prevented. To the citizens of Ukraine, environmental safety is guaranteed by implementing a wide range of interrelated political, economic, technical, organizational, state and legal, and other measures. As stipulated by Article 31 of the same law, environmental safety is achieved through environmental regulation (establishment of a set of mandatory standards, rules, requirements for environmental protection, use of natural resources, and environmental safety).

Also, environmental safety is achieved through assessment that includes the requirements of environmental legislation, the ecological capacity of a certain territory, the state of the environment in the area where it has been planned to place objects, environmental forecasts, prospects for the social and economic development of the region, capacity and types of the cumulative impact of harmful factors and objects on the environment.

Pursuant to Article 25 of the Law of Ukraine on Environmental Protection, environmental information includes information that can be generated only if it is processed through forecasts and risk assessment. For example, “sources, factors, materials, substances, products, energy, physical factors (noise, vibration, electromagnetic radiation, radiation) that affect or may affect the state of the environment and human health;” can be established through the data analysis, monitoring, and evaluation, database maintenance, the formation of an information system.

The same applies to the information on the threats and causes of environmental emergencies, the results of the elimination of these phenomena, recommendations for measures to reduce their negative impact on natural objects and human health; ecological forecasts, plans, and programs, measures, including administrative, state environmental policy, legislation on environmental protection.

As for the information on the costs associated with the implementation of environmental measures through environmental funds, other sources of funding, economic analysis conducted within the decision-making process with relation to environmental issues, this information can be collected post factum. However, the analysis of these data helps to formulate the size of environmental funds, as well as explain the feasibility of financing preventive measures.

Engineering protection of technologies is what allows to protect the population and territories from emergencies and presents measures to ensure environmental safety, which includes man-made safety as well.

One of the signs of guaranteeing environmental safety is the degree of determination of certain social processes based on the activity of external factors. To accomplish this, let us appeal to riskology – a science that studies risks, namely, the reasons for their occurrence, possible consequences, systematizes, evaluates, and analyzes them, determines minimization ways, and risk management methods.

The simplest but most effective way to identify risks is causal; its basics are shown in the diagram.

Fig. 1 Scheme of identification of risk types[2]

Risk management requires an understanding of their classification that contributes to better identification of the uncertainties to be addressed. There are several classifications. For example, in the context of a dangerous type, there are man-made (anthropogenic), natural, and mixed risks. The risks of the relevant management sphere, in particular, energy, transport, resources, investment, etc. are determined proceeding from the activity nature. Risks may be assessed depending on the objects, such as risks to health, housing, environment, property, etc.

There is also a qualitative characteristic of assessments, which depends on the qualification features of risks. For instance, according to the entity’s country of operation, internal and external risks are distinguished. According to the level of origin, there are branded, industry, regional, national, and international risks. According to the areas of coordination, risks are distinguished as a social, political, administrative, legislative, financial, resource, environmental, demographic, and geopolitical. Uncertainties of the future, insufficient information, subjective influence risks are distinguished by the cause. According to the degree of validity of risk acceptance, risks are distinguished as reasonable, partially justified, and adventurous.

The degree of systematization determines systemic and non-systemic risks. Based on the permissible limits, permissible, critical, and catastrophic risks are distinguished. The risk realization provides for realized and unrealized risks. According to the adequacy of the time for decision-making on responding to the risk implementation, there are warning, current, and late risks. As for the influence scale – single and multi-person risks. Predicted and partially predicted risks may be identified on the basis of the possible prediction. According to the degree of influence on the activity – negative, zero, and positive risks.

Currently, there is no unified interpretation of the ‘risk’ concept. Different authors present various definitions. Thus, according to American researchers M. Mescon, M. Albert, F. Hedouri, the risk is treated as a level of uncertainty in predicting the outcome. N. Nikbakht, A. Groppelli interpret risk as instability, uncertainty in the future, as the level of uncertainty associated with a project or investment.

In doing so, they relate it to financial transactions and identify the risk associated with exchange rates when future foreign exchange earnings are depreciated. Another definition of risk is given by N.V. Khokhlov; he suggests that risk is an event or set of related accidental events that cause damage to the object possessing this risk. Risks include the following components: losses, and uncertainty/probability element, choice.

Risks can be managed by predicting the occurrence of a risky event and taking measures to reduce its degree.

The decentralization reform has provided local self-government bodies (LSGBs) with significant areas including a large number of different objects that may suffer losses due to various events, namely risks. At the same time, LSGBs are obliged to guarantee the safety of individuals who are in their territory and properly plan the system of engineering measures and activities of enterprises, institutions, and organizations. To help LSGBs, statutory regulations are used; they provide for planning LSGBs’ activities through strategies, in particular, through disaster risk management strategies. Such strategies can be both separate documents that list the main risks within communities (as well as methods for best analyzing the causes and consequences that help reduce disaster risk) and sections in other documents.

The most logical here are the documents that must be assessed from the strategic environmental point of view. Specifically, comprehensive plans for the development of territories in the form of urban planning documentation, according to the law, at the local level and land management documentation that determines the planning organization, the functional purpose of the territory.

It also defines the basic principles and directions of formation of a unified system of public services, road network, engineering, and transport infrastructure, engineering preparation and improvement, civil protection of the territory and population from dangerous natural and man-made processes, protection of land and other components of the environment, eco-network formation, protection and preservation of cultural heritage and the traditional nature of the environment of settlements, as well as the sequence of implementation of decisions, including phased development of the territory.

The source material for forecasting assessments can be generalized information about past situations or developed technical solutions and expert knowledge. The obligatory nature of such scientific developments is determined by Article 8 of the Law of Ukraine on Environmental Protection. It is this standard that introduces the systematic comprehensive scientific study of the environment and natural resources in order to develop the scientific basis for their protection and rational use, ensuring environmental safety.

The algorithm for predicting the impact of any activity on the environment can be illustrated as follows:

  • Analysis of the initial state (baseline);
  • Analysis of the achieved state;
  • Analysis of changes when achieving the planned level;
  • Predicted transformation and neutralization of harmful influence;
  • Economic assessment of direct and indirect impact on the environment;
  • Analysis of hydrometeorological conditions and prediction of possible trends;
  • Analysis of the obtained results, comparison with the initial state (baseline).

To implement each component, different methods of estimation and modulation are used (M-optimal solution models, methods of stochastic programming, special EIA methods, such as the Leopold matrix, combined map analysis, etc.).

Efficiency in dealing with environmental risks is ensured by supplementing the risk analysis with a system of measures for their management and minimization. Among them, the leading place is occupied by monitoring, multivariate planning based on multifactor prediction and environmental insurance [3].

Example, analysis of the causes and consequences of natural and environmental risks in agricultural management of natural resources [4].

To summarize, it should be noted that with the use of this scheme, as well as the scientifically established typical areas of risk occurrence, a risk management system may be formed in any area.

«Risk analysis, as well as risk-oriented planning, should become a key tool for communities when developing core strategic documents, especially in the field of disaster risk reduction».

Sofia Shutiak, Project Strategic Analyst,
Reducing Disaster Risk Vulnerability in Eastern Ukraine – Phase II

[1] Article 50 of the Constitution of Ukraine.

[2] Kostrychenko, V. M. Riskology and agricultural management of natural resources / V.M. Kostrychenko, Yu.V. Tkach; Scientific Bulletin. (in Ukrainian) – 1999. – Issue 9.11. – P.253-258. – Bibliography: 6 names.

[3] Risk and its classification, associate professor I.I. Didovich Candidate of Economic Sciences

[4] Riskology and agricultural management of natural resources / V.M. Kostrychenko, Yu.V. Tkach; Scientific Bulletin; collection of scientific and technical proceedings of the Ukrainian State Forestry University. (in Ukrainian) – Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, USFU. – Lviv, 1999. – Issue 9.11. Modern ecology and the problems of the society’s sustainable development. – P.253-258. – Bibliography: p. 257-258.

This study is made possible with the final support of the European Union through its Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations Department. This document covers humanitarian aid activities implemented with the financial assistance of European Union. The views expressed herein should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of the European Union, and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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