Improvement of the control system for the environmental protection and rational nature management was conducted through the institutional and organizational changes and introduction of the proper legal norms and regulations in three major areas:
Building- up of a close interdepartmental coordination of the environmental protection;
Division of authority on the national, regional and local levels;
Structural changes in the Ministry for Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety of Ukraine (MEPNS).
Identification of ways to reform the state control of the “Environmental protection and usage of natural resources” in 1998 was conducted alongside with preparing the general administrative reform in Ukraine to increase the efficiency of the central executive bodies.
AS special interdepartmental working group created under the MEPNS for Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety of Ukraine has analyzed the functional effectiveness both of the Ministry itself and of the state committees, which control, regulate and supervise usage of the natural resources and environmental protection (State Committee for Water Resources Use , State Committee for Geology, State Committee for Land Resources management, State Committee for Forestry, State Committee for Hydro-meteorology, State Committee for Housing, Architecture and Construction engineering). The results of this analysis together with the general concept of the administrative reform in Ukraine have laid the foundation for the draft concept of the administrative reforms in the given sectors.
To effectively implement the environmental policy, which meets the objectives of the continuous development of the country, rectifies the after-effects of non-rational nature management and prevents further exhaustion of natural resources and ecological catastrophes, there exists a requirement of concentration of all the control functions together with the coordination, regulation and supervision of the natural resources usage by the single specially appointed executive agency, (in fact it which is the Ministry for Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety of Ukraine). The Ministry’s assuming of the above functions of nature management is entirely logical and adequate to the current situation and utilization of the country economy’s ecological and resources potential. This also follows the Statute, approved by the Decree of the President of Ukraine No. 120/95 of 10 February 19.02.95, according to which the Ministry for Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety of Ukraine MEPNS performs “…all-round control and regulation of the environmental protection, rational usage and reproduction of natural resources…”.
One of the key issues of control over the environmental protection is optimization and division of functions and authority between the central and local bodies of the Ministry for environmental protection and nuclear safety of Ukraine and local administrations. The legal basis for this is the a Law of Ukraine “On the local administration” and other legal acts, which stipulate functions and authority of the central and local administrations executing state regulation of the environmental protection and usage of natural resources. The problem, whose expeditious resolving would considerably improve the state control of the sector, is current dual subordination of the regional departments of environmental protection.
In general, the the environmental protection functions of national, regional and local
agencies are set by the “Main aspects of national policy of Ukraine for the
environmental protection and usage of natural resources”, approved by the Resolution of
The Supreme Council of Ukraine (Parliament) No. 188/98-BP of 05.03.98 . legislative act
“Main aspects of the national policy on environmental protection, utilization of natural
resources, and guarantee of environmental safety“Principal Directions of State Policy of
Ukraine in Environmental Protection, Use of Natural Resources, and Ensuring Environmental
Safety” (1998). Article 33 of the document reads as follows:
Development of the methodology, legal norms and regulations;
Development of a policy for nuclear safety;
Conduct off the state ecological examination;
Formation of a rational mechanism of nature management;
Regulation of natural resources usage and environmental protection;
Licensing of the ecologically dangerous entrepreneurial activities;
Implementation of the state policy on the sites of ecological catastrophes;
Setting the environmental standards;
Development and utilization of the environmental protection funds;
Regulation of usage of the state resources;
State supervision of the environmental law, including nuclear and radiation safety;
Introduction of the environmental audit;
Implementation of the coordinated scientific and technical policy on the environmental protection, rational usage and reproduction of natural resources;
Implementation of the state policy on preservation of flora and fauna;
Conduct of the environmental protection as a part of national security concept;
Realization of international agreements and meeting the commitments by Ukraine within the framework of these agreements;; establishment of intergovernmental relations in the area of the environmental protection;
Introduction of the an ecologically oriented state decision- making process (monitoring, introduction of information technologies, accounting of polluted areas, forecasting);
Regulation of usage of the local natural resources;
Setting of the environmental standards;
Implementation of a rational mechanism of nature management;
Conduct of the monitoring and accounting of the environmental objects and polluted sites;
Performance of the state ecological examination;
State supervision of the environmental law observance;
Drafting of the programmes on the environmental protection, formulation and implementation of the investment policy
Information too population and interested businesses, agencies and departments about the environmental issues;
The functions of the local administrations are as follows:
Conduct of local and installation objects monitoring;
Local supervision of the environmental law observance;
Drafting of local ecological programmes and projects.
In 1998 the MEPNS for Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety of Ukraine undertook a series of steps to centralize the control in the areas of ecological supervision and national parks management. To that end the function and structure of the Main Department of National Parks and Reservations of the Ministry have been revised.
To implement the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 1259 of 12 November .11.1997 “On improvement of state control of national parks and reservations in Ukraine” and the Law of Ukraine “On the national parks and reservations fund of Ukraine” the administration of national parks-memorials “Livadijsky”, “Miskhorsky” and “Massandrivsky” have been created. Operational control of the administration is conducted by the State Committee for Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea.
The Main State Ecological Inspection have been created on the basis of the Main Ecological Inspection of the MEPNS for Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety of Ukraine to improve the system of the ecological supervision. The new body comprises the cost accounting department, which improves the efficiency of practical support and analytical and inspection services rendered in the area of environmental protection and usage of natural resources.
Several important acts and regulations have been were adopted to improve the inspection activity, namely the Instruction on calculating and collecting fees for ecological monitoring services rendered on the state borders, Methodology of administrative punishment for violation of the environmental protection law, etc.
During 1997-98 the MEPNS for environmental protection and nuclear safety of Ukraine undertook two restructuring effort in order to gradually increase the functional effectiveness of the departments’ work. In September 1998 the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved the new structure of the Ministry for environmental protection and nuclear safety of Ukraine, under which all the branches were organized into three departments and the Administration of Nuclear Regulation, control headed by the Minister’s deputies. These innovations enhanced the coordination of and regulation of the departments’ activities. The new bodies are the Department for State Ecological Inspection examination and Audit, the Department for State Ecological Monitoring and the, Department for Dnipro and Water Ecosystems Issues, etc.
The MEPNS is Ministry for Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety of Ukraine gradually improving its the cooperation with the relevant committees of the Parliament Verkhovnaya Rada of Ukraine, which is speedings up then process of drafting and approving of the laws pertaining to the environmental protection.
During 1998 the MEPNS for environmental protection and nuclear safety of Ukraine, on its own or on request from the Government, performed certain organizational, legal and institutional activities in coordination with the relevant Committee of the Parliament Verkhovnaya Rada of Ukraine, which improved the efficiency of control of environmental protection, nuclear safety and rational utilization of natural resources and laid then foundation for further reforming of control of the environmental protection as a part of a general administrative reform in the central bodies of the state power.