Despite Ukraine’s wealth of natural resources, the inefficiency of the state management system in this area does not allow to fully realize its potential. There are high corruption risks when it comes to the distribution of natural resources, the lack of access to information about them, many cases of illegal use of natural resources, as well as the lack of mechanisms to monitor the origin of resources in the sector. As a result, we have the sector, which is non-transparent, inefficient and unattractive for investors.
With the purpose of establishing an effective system of control and management of natural resources, the Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection of Ukraine, with the assistance of BRDO experts, developed the Concept of State Policy for the creation of an ECO Platform for natural resources management.
On February 26, 2020, a single ECO Platform project was presented with the participation of the Minister of Energy and Environmental Protection Oleksiy Orzhel, the Deputy Minister Volodymyr Holovatenko and the BRDO CEO Oleksiy Dorohan.
“The lack of systematic accounting and control over the use of natural resources belonging to the people of Ukraine leads to cases of their illegal use. For example, the losses of the state from illegal logging amounted to about 1 billion hryvnias over a period of 5 years. At the same time, losses from illegal fishing and illegal trade of aquaculture aquatic bioresources are over 1 billion hryvnias annually. In addition, there is a “bundle of papers”… Information on the subsoil use should be as convenient and transparent as possible, and we try to provide access to natural resources only through open auctions. We are now working on digitizing data so that every citizen can become a participant in the process and use the services provided by the state,” Oleksiy Orzhel commented on the innovation.
ECO Platform is an electronic communication system to manage natural resources. The purpose of the platform is to provide the effective communication between businesses and government authorities, and ensure equal access to natural resources sites along with access to environmental information. The ECO Platform will cover the management of subsoil use, forestry and fisheries and water resources.
“Today, information on shared limited resources is largely non-digital, non-generalized and not open to the public. The interaction between the state and businesses is inefficient and provokes corruption factors in the sector. Such a system of state management of natural resources leads to their inefficient use and losses in the sector. The ECO Platform aims to change that. Thanks to the electronic format of interaction, it will allow to save at least UAH 1.4 billion for business and significantly reduce the losses of the state – up to UAH 1.2 billion,” Hanna Bashnyak, Market Surveillance Sector Head at BRDO, said.
According to the agreed project, the Platform will consist of 7 active components:
By the way, the introduction of electronic services just in obtaining the right to industrial catch of aquatic bioresources will save more than 107 thousand hryvnias for business annually. In turn, electronic reporting for fisheries will reduce the annual expenses of business entities by 226 thousand hryvnias and by a record 905 thousand hryvnias when it comes to the water management sector!
As for the economic effect, the introduction of electronic traceability by origin of only aquatic bioresources will reduce the annual losses of the state from illegal fisheries by at least 839 million hryvnias and the losses from the illegal trade of aquaculture aquatic bioresources by 250 million hryvnias.
Therefore, there is an opportunity to learn more about the use of natural resources and data of eco-monitoring, participate in the auction for the right to use natural resources online or obtain permits on the single integrated ECO Platform. In addition, existing digital solutions developed by the BRDO, including the inspection portal providing access to information on inspections and their results, will be integrated into the ECO Platform.
Thus, the introduction of the ECO Platform will allow to gradually eliminate corruption in the sector, ensure equal access to shared limited resources and their efficient use and significantly improve Ukraine’s investment attractiveness in the future.