Incorporation of environment protection measures into local governments’ activities and environmental sustainability issue into cities’ development programs with the aim of fostering sustainable development of the territorial communities are high on the agenda of the Environmental Sustainability Section of the Association of Ukrainian Cities (AUC). On May 31, 2017 the Section gathered in Zaporizhia for a working meeting to discuss the key issues of environmental sustainability.

The meeting was opened with the welcoming remarks from Deputy Mayor of Zaporizhia Valeriy Edelev and representative of the AUC Executive Board Yevhen Edvabnik. PLEDDG environmental expert Hennadiy Marushevskyi spoke about strategic environmental assessment of PLEDDG partner cities’ development strategies. He also presented a “Strategy for Sustainable Sevelopment of Territorial Communities of the Association of Ukrainian Cities until 2030” and an Action Plan for its implementation. Development of this strategy will allow AUC to solve environmental problems at the municipal and national levels and will facilitate green economic growth. The strategy is aimed at improving environmental quality in Ukrainian cities by including environmental sustainability issues in strategic plans of social and economic development of the territorial communities, supporting environmentally friendly businesses and prioritizing environmental sustainability to improve investment attractiveness of Ukraine.

Canadian environmental expert Doug Hickman spoke about how environmental sustainability policy is developed and implemented in Canada to minimize the impact of government operations on the environment. In particular, he mentioned a conference and a trade show “Communities’ Sustainable Development”, which is the most important municipal event in Canada demonstrating progress in the area of sustainable development. At the trade show, the rewards are offered for successful projects on sustainable development. It also serves as a trading platform for goods manufactures and services suppliers that support sustainable economic development.

One of the important topics raised during the working meeting was waste management. PLEDDG Project invited a Canadian expert on waste management Christian Felske to join the working meeting of the Section. Mr.Felske explained how waste management is done in his native city Edmonton (Alberta). According to Mr.Felske, in Edmonton 20% of waste is disposed, 40% is composted, 30% is turned into bio-fuel and the remaining 10% go to landfill. There is a special Waste Management Center operating in Edmonton that is responsible for waste treatment at the local level.

The working meeting of AUC Environmental Sustainability Section took place in the framework of an environmental forum “Eco-Forum – 2017”, which was held in Zaporizhia on May 30 – June 01 on the occasion of World Environment Day. PLEDDG Project co-organized the Eco-Forum 2017. The goal of the Forum was to present advanced environmental projects and innovative eco-technologies to industrial enterprises and small and medium enterprises, promote environmental awareness among the population, encourage international cooperation and facilitate dialogue between the state authorities, local governments, businesses, academic community and the general public on the issues related to environment protection. The Forum included an exhibition of modern eco-technologies, round tables, master classes and competition of environmental projects. Best national and international practices in environment protection and sustainable development were exchanged during the Forum. In particular, Canadian experts Doug Hickman and Christian Felske shared innovative mechanisms of environmental management, successfully implemented in Canada.