Dumaydan – 2016: the finale, but not the end

Human rights and environmental activists summed up the results of “Dumaydan – 2016: Preserving Green Areas in Cities and Towns” and suggested corrections to the draft amendments to Ukrainian environmental legislation

On December 26, in the premises of the Office of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, the roundtable regular and final meeting of participants of the project “Dumaydan – 2016” was held. Activists from Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv and Odesa disputed with the invited representative of the State Environmental Inspection of Ukraine and Media Emine Bakhatyrly, Chief Specialist of Organizational and Analytical Support and Public Relations. Their main claim to the Inspection was a delayed response to the complaint; the law requires to conduct an inspection in two weeks after the notification. However, apart from this claim, there were also constructive suggestions, such as joint efforts to build a system of public and state environmental control.

Emine Bakhatyrly
Emine Bakhatyrly

“I am grateful to environmental activists, who are not indifferent to environmental issues. They had a lot of questions, I noted them all. Now we will work on the resolution and on corrections to the bill. In particular, we support the idea of amendments to the Administrative Code to increase the penalty for damage and destruction of green space and violation of their detention. It would be well that we have enough money for gasoline and we could get on time to the forest and catch offenders, poachers. It should also shorten our reaction to the offense, as five days waiting for approval is too long,” said Emine Bakhatyrly.


Moreover, the coordinator of the exhibition «Dumaydan – 2016: Photomomonts”, lawyer of the Strategic Litigations Center of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union and editor-analyst of the website, lawyer Olena Sapozhnikova, the representative of the Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights on Compliance with Social Economic and Humanitarian Rights Dmytro Liakh, Head of the Coordination Council of NGO “Green Front”, journalist, author of the photo series “Soul trees”, “Protect trees in Kharkiv,” “Signs of nature” Oleh Perehon (Kharkiv), the journalist of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, writer, author of the photo series “Peaceful Protests in Kyiv Oblast” Oleh Shynkarenko (Irpin, Kyiv Oblast), the activist of the environmental organization “Green Leaf” Vladyslav Balynskyi (Odesa) and others delivered their speeches.

Olena Sapozhnikova
Olena Sapozhnikova


 Oleh Perehon (Kharkiv)
Oleh Perehon (Kharkiv)
Olexandr Chebotarev
Olexandr Chebotarev

After summing up, the regular discussion of amendments to environmental legislation took place.

In the lobby of the Office of the Ombudsman, the exhibition “Dumaydan – 2016: Photomoments” was presented. Its visitors can see the best photos taken by the Kharkiv environmental activist Oleh Perehon, who took part in the protection of the local forest park from cutting before Euro 2012; the photos of Ternopil abandoned parksmade by the ecologist Olexandr Stepanenko; the photos by environmental activists Vladyslav Balynskyi and Oleh Myrgorodskyi to protect green spaces in Odesa; the photo stories of the UHHRU journalist Oleh Shynkarenko, of the activists Tamara Kharchylava, Nina Suslova and Olexandr Chebotarev on peaceful protests in Kyiv Oblast, including: protection of the ornithological reserve of local importance “Pirnivskyi” from cutting, protests against the destruction of the Kachyne Lake in Darnytskyi District of Kyiv and against deforestation of the Park “Chornyi Hai” in Irpin.


One of the stories presented on the photo was the conflict on the Kachyne Lake that escalated in Spring 2016 in Poznyaky District of Kyiv. The Developer KP “Zhitloinvestbud – UCB” decided to fill up the lake and build flats. A few months later, the developer went to court and demanded from environmental activists and residents about 200 000 hryvnias alleged that they prevented him to fill up the lake.

The photo exhibition “Dumaydan – 2016: Photomoments” in the Office of the Ombudsman lasts between 26 December 2016 – 1 February 2017 (Monday-Thursday: 9:30-18:00; Friday: 9:30-16:00). Free entrance!

We invite you to study proposals during discussions on Dumaydans in different cities. All information is available here.

Organizers of the “Dumaydan – 2016: Preserving Green Areas in Cities and Towns” are the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, the International Charitable Organization “Environment – People – Law”, the NGO Center for Legal and Political Research “SIM”, the Environmental NGO “Green World “, the NGO “Green Front”.

The event in Kyiv is funded by Global Affairs Canada. The event was also supported by the International Documentary Film Festival on Human Rights Docudays UA, the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights.

Prepared by Oleh Shynkarenko


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