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On November 10, 2020, the Committee hearings on the problem of flooding of mines and pollution of drinking water in Donetsk and Luhansk regions were held.

The discussion was conducted in the format of a video conference, at the level of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Environmental Policy and Nature Management. Deputies of the Parliament, representatives of the Ministry of Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories, the Ministry of Defense, the State Ecological Inspectorate, the Ministry of Energy, the State Agency for Water Resources, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, the State Service of Geology and Subsoil, Donetsk and Luhansk Regional Administrations NSDC, scientific, international and public organizations all joined the event.

«The problem of mines flooding in Donbass did not appear yesterday. Throughout the years of conflict, Ukraine has suffered from the irresponsible actions of the occupying authorities in the uncontrolled territory, as a result of which the ecosystem in eastern Ukraine is now at risk of ecological catastrophe. Experts and civic activists are constantly trying to draw the authorities’ attention to this problem. Over the last year, we have seen some progress in this direction. Thanks to the joint efforts of the People’s Deputy of Ukraine Lesya Vasylenko and the public, the problematic issues were raised and voiced at the level of the profile committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. We hope this will be the first step in addressing this important issue and by working together we will avoid an environmental catastrophe,»

– commented the Legal Analyst of the Right to Protection CF Anastasiia Bondarenko, who also took part in the Committee hearings.

Video conference recording available (beginning with Anastasiia Bondarenko’s report – 2:19:55) *

As we mentioned before, on October 29, 2020, a round table «Risks and protection: legislation and practice» was held, where the White Paper was presented – an analytical document developed by experts from the 3P Consortium, which offers practical recommendations for public authorities for refinements and additions to the Unified State Civil Protection System of Ukraine. The hearings of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Environmental Policy and Nature Management became a logical continuation and beginning of the practical implementation of the action plan to respond to the environmental problem in the region. The next step will be to bring the issue to a parliamentary hearing.

* UPD: as of 18/11/2020, the full two-hour version of the conference is missing on YouTube, an excerpt with Ms. Anastasiia’s report is available