Socio-Economic Model for Peatland Restoration in Ukraine

Nowadays the Chernigiv region faces a number of serious environmental problems related to the disturbed hydrological and hydrochemical regimes of small rivers and a significant number of contaminated and disturbed lands. The problems are believed to stem from the unreasonable drainage of region’s wetlands and irrational land use, including unauthorized conversion of pastures and hay lands into arable lands.

A socio-economic model, developed by the ICDU in the frame of EC-UNDP “Clima East: Conservation and Sustainable Use of Peatlands” programme, aims at tackling these problems through establishing a system of rights and responsibilities for local land owners, land users and drainage system owners that contributes to the Clima East project’s goal to improve land use, to reduce GHG emissions from organic soils, and to restore ecosystems considering the needs of local communities and biodiversity conservation.

The main purpose of the model is to find a reasonable trade-off between profitability and environmental tasks and to offer a package of practical legal tools for ensuring the long-term implementation of the agreed measures.

The model will be piloted at land plots within Smolianka drainage system in the Nijyn rayon of the Chernigiv region in 2014.

The socio-economic model suggests making the following steps such as:

  • To formulate and enforce a new land use regime within the target land plots. The land use regime must consider the need for restoring ecosystems, reducing GHG emissions, and providing economic benefits to local land owners and land users. It is to be formalized and to put into effect through (i) relevant use restrictions for land plots in the State Land Cadastre of Ukraine; (ii) Land Management Plans for newly-created entities in local communities; (iii) relevant articles in the entities’ constitutional documents; and (iiii) a Regional Natural Reserve Designation Plan;
  • To consolidate private and state lands under agricultural production cooperatives (for private lands) or a municipal enterprise (for state lands);
  • To formulate and enforce a new hydrologic regime for the land plots within Smolianka drainage system. The new hydrologic regime will be formalized through a Hydrologic Regime Restoration Plan developed for the whole Smolianka drainage system and supported by fault detection reports issued in order to repair existing hydro-technical facilities, project documentation developed for new facilities construction, and permits obtained to conduct the relevant types of work.
  • To consolidate intra farm drainage systems in the target communities of Nijyn rayon through establishing a municipal enterprise in the Nijyn rayon of the Chernigiv region.
  • To ensure material resources sufficiency for the long-term implementation of agreed measures by the newly-created entities through development and implementation of relevant business plans.
  • To establish effective management, paying attention to accounting and planning for economic development of the newly-created entities.
  • To give necessary advisory support in product marketing.