18 October 2013

In July 2013, Ms. Alessandra Tisot, UN Resident Representative/UNDP Resident Coordinator in the Ukraine, visited local communities in the Khmelnytsk and Zhytomyr regions to review the progress of GEF SGP projects.

Ms. Tisot first met with Mr. Symashkevych, Head of the Kamyanets-Podilsky city council, and representatives of local NGOs where she learned about an GEF SGP project promoting energy efficiency. During the meeting, Mr. Symashkevych thanked UNDP and GEF SGP for supporting the innovative project, which had piloted safe utilization of mercury-vapor light bulbs. "We have a common goal in Ukraine: to help people improve their lives and develop local infrastructure by implementing energy efficiency programs at the local level. I was particularly impressed by your comprehensive approach to the implementation of the socio-economic development in the city. Your European approach, your openness to change and innovation are the keys to the success of this process" underlined Ms. Tisot.

On July 14th, Ms. Tisot Ukraine Ms Tisot 1visited SGP projects in the Radomyshl district which focused on renewable energy, energy efficiency and alternative transport. Ms. Tisot first met with local community members and the head of the Borshchiv village council. Mr. Mykola Ivanchenko, project coordinator for an energy efficiency project explained how replacing old bulbs with energy efficient ones and promoting energy saving measures improved conditions in the village. At the site visit, the Ms. Tisot was able to learn about the new street lighting system and its environmental and socio-economic benefits which generates significant cost and energy savings (around 80%) and results in an annual decrease of 122 tons in CO2 emissions.Ukraine Ms Tisot 2

Traveling to Radomyshl, Ms. Tisot then met with the women-social workers from the "Red Cross", who were the key beneficiaries of an SGP climate change mitigation project that promoted bicycles as non-motorized modes of transport. The project improved efficiency and working conditions for the women in an environment-friendly way, allowing the Red Cross workers to use bicycles instead of walking more than 10 km per day or instead using expensive, uncomfortable and air-polluting buses.

And lastly at the Radomyshl castle, an architectural, historical and cultural institution, Ms. Tisot learned about the benefits of an SGP solar energy project, which was presented by Ms. Olena Kozak, the project coordinator. The presentation was also attended by the Mayor of Malyn, the First Deputy Head of Malyn State Administration, UN Officials, CSOs representatives, and members of the District council.

During this occasioUkraine Ms Tisot 3n, Ms. Tisot took the opportunity to talk about sustainable development with schoolchildren from the Radomyshl gymnasium: "You are our future. You will be the leaders of your country. I hope you will have a desire to solve the problems for sustainable development in the Ukraine and all over the world". Moreover, she expressed her gratitude to CSO activists for their efforts and stated that this fruitful cooperation will continue to strive for a cleaner environment and better livelihoods. Ms. Olga Ignatova, a member of the SGP National Steering Committee, welcomed Ms. Tisot to her native region and added: "I hope that you enjoy our nature and people and you will return here again and again. Our people really appreciate the support of the GEF SGP and UNDP".

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