Grasshopper no 1, Winter '93
In the Ukraine, the legal basis for environmental protection is being created, yet the detailed laws are delayed by the time-consuming procedure. The laws on air pollution and flora and fauna protection have been passed. The red list of endangered species exist. Like in Poland, enterprises should pay taxes and fines for causing pollution. The severity of these fines and taxes depends on the quantity of emitted toxic substances. The "Polluter pays" principle is being recognized.
There are special laws for environmentally endangered regions. A decree on recultivation was issued recently.
Unfortunately, the laws are not really being implemented effectively. The polluters are unwilling to pay and the authorities have problems with executing their rights.
One of the basic conditions for the improvement of the environment is the monitoring system. Such a system is being planned by the Ministry for Environmental Protection. It is to be based on the data collected throughout the country by civil service and the army.
Another reason for the inefficiency of the legal system is the lack of public pressure. Information on the scale of the contamination of the environment has not been published and access to it is difficult.
Ernst Jan Stores
The State Environment Protection Inspectorate is a part of the state administration. It supervises the observing of the environmental regulations and monitors the environment. It is controlled by the Ministry of Protection of the Environment, Natural Resources and Forestry.
A part of the Inspectorate (PIOS) is constituted by the regional (voivod) Environment Protection Inspections (WIOS), often referred to as the environmental police. They are authorized to enter the enterprises 24 hours a day. Such inspections are not pre-announced. The inspectors are entitled to view documents, hear the testimonies and publish the data collected during the inspection that relate to the subject of control. The inspector is entitled to take samples and perform the control. Unfortunately, there is not enough quality measurement devices.
As a result of the control, the inspector may order the company to eliminate the causes of the pollution in fixed time, fine the company or even ban the activity causing the pollution. The company may appeal to the local government which decides about its fate.
In extreme cases the inspectorate may address the prosecution services to proceed.
WIOS is an institution anyone can complain to. It is obliged to react quickly and intervents, it also cooperates with independent ecological movements.
transl. M. Chyla
During our discussions about the most effective ways of raising funds for environmental groups, we dealt with the philosophy and practice of fundraising. It turned out than apart from groups aggressively raising funds for their activities, there are some who are ashamed of their "begging" and hence do not ask for help. Pragmatics apart, this later attitude seems to be wrong from the philosophical point of view as well. Every environmental organization, even acting on small scale, works for the good of at least the local community if not the whole society. Such a socially useful group has a well defined right to request aid, support and financing from the society and its institutions.
There is then nothing to be ashamed of! You have to remember to ask for help. But who do you ask? Those who may give us something. If the mentioned community is poor and has nothing to offer but their moral support, we have to get to know what institutions, organizations, funds and foundations are interested in what we are doing or in the development of the region we work in. Very often those institutions will or should be interested in promoting our activities. After all, we are doing the lion's part of their job!
Let us remember that foundations' goal is to collect and manage funds. Remember to ask!
It is not only money that will help us to carry out our goals. Each thing, offered to us as a gift, each free service performed for our group, is a real help. Do not underestimate this kind of aid because it is much easier to receive than money. Any company will be more willing to offer you its products than money.
Make use of your knowledge! Let us try to sell it in publications, specialist or commercial consulting. Do not forget that the knowledge given us for free is a form of subsidy too.
Obey and listen to your sponsor. If we presume that we are the wisest and will not follow the sponsor's directives, we are on the way to loosing all financial support. The sponsor will finance what he wants or what we convince him to subsidize. Often get in touch with your sponsor!
Let us consider even the strangest ways of raising funds. Let us to be flexible, sometimes strange ideas do work. Openness, reliability and endurance will present us with the opportunity of raising some money.
These are just some of the points to be remembered. If you are interested in further details on financing your group activities, please contact me at below address.
Fundacja Wspierania Inicjatyw Ekologicznych
ul. Topolowa 26/6