Local Environmental and Energy-Related Action Plans (LEAPs) for Sustainable Development, Energy Diversification and Civic Engagement in Communities in Ukraine

Overview

The U.S. Department of State’s Regional Environment, Science and Technology and Health (ESTH) Hub has partnered with the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC) to bring together policy makers, business people, academics and civil society leaders at the municipal level in selected cities in Ukraine to develop local environmental and energy action plans (LEAPs).

Planning tools

Action plans are tools that can help local communities to map the current situation and organise activities in order to improve the overall state of the environment and energy use. When drafting a LEAP, the municipality first carries out a baseline assessment and identifies existing inefficiencies. As part of the planning process the municipality defines what to do and how and when to do it, and establishes indicators for monitoring and assessment. The LEAP therefore sets the course for the future development of the municipality. A well-structured LEAP can be an important stepping stone towards a broader local sustainable development plan.

Goals

  • Integrate environmental and energy issues into local planning processes
  • Support the sustainable use and management of natural resources, including through improved energy efficiency
  • Foster civic involvement and transparency in government decision making

Key aims

  • Decentralisation and local governance — The increased autonomy of municipalities would allow greater flexibility in applying solutions at local level
  • Energy savings — Increased energy savings would cut costs and reduce Ukraine’s dependency on energy imports
  • Improved solid waste management — Accumulated solid waste already poses a serious environmental problem, making the identification of financially viable solutions a priority
  • Education for sustainable development — Educational curricula must nurture the necessary skills and knowledge for shaping a sustainable future

Expected results

  • Improved environmental planning
  • LEAPs developed in partner municipalities
  • Funding sources identified for implementation of priority projects
  • Improved overall environmental and natural resources management