During his speech at the All-Ukrainian Forum "Ukraine 30. Ecology", President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a decree on the launch of the Green Country project.
"We are launching the Green Country project. I will say at once that this is not a political project, but a purely ecological one for nature and the environment. We have set ourselves an ambitious but, I am sure, achievable goal - to increase the area of forests by one million hectares in 10 years. To this end, in the next three years we seek to plant one billion trees in Ukraine," said Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a speech at the forum.
In addition, the Head of State outlined the most important areas in the field of ecology and environmental protection.
Thus, according to the President, in the last two years changes have been introduced in the field of subsoil use, which has long been associated exclusively with corruption and illegal mining. In particular, by the decision of the National Security and Defense Council, a full audit of all subsoil and their users, search and revocation of illegally obtained permits and so-called dormant licenses has begun.
"Geological information has become available to everyone, and a special subsoil use permit can be purchased at open auctions," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
"We are doing everything to make the subsoil work for our future generations, among other things - to be the basis for the introduction of the economic passport of Ukrainians, when each of our children will receive a percentage from mining and can use these funds to study in Ukraine," he added.
The second direction is the fight against industrial pollution and ensuring environmental control, which is one of the most important conditions for proper environmental protection, air and water quality for Ukrainian citizens.
"To date, a draft law on the prevention, reduction and control of industrial pollution has been developed. It will launch a large-scale modernization of our industry and minimize the level of industrial pollution," the President said.
He noted that a specialized environmental prosecutor's office and relevant units of the National Police have been set up for the surveillance system.
"Our industrialists must understand that in the 21st century it is not enough to be successful, it is not enough to be productive, you need to be responsible," the President stressed.
The third direction, according to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, concerns water resources and providing Ukrainians with quality drinking water.
"We discussed this issue at the last meeting of the National Security and Defense Council, and, similarly to the subsoil audit, a comprehensive audit of all water resources of Ukraine will be conducted," he said.
In addition, according to the President, preparations for the management of river basins are underway, four modern laboratories have been built, and, in accordance with European principles, state monitoring has begun, covering all major rivers of Ukraine.
"The issue of the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone is no less important. At my initiative, the process of revitalization of the exclusion zone was started and the program of its development for the next three years was approved. It envisages changes in infrastructure, a new concept of territorial development, domestic and international promotion of Chornobyl. It should become a powerful magnet for tourists from Ukraine and around the world, and the exclusion zone should become a zone of revival," the Head of State stressed.
The next challenge for both Ukraine and the world, according to the President, is global climate change, because our planet has almost reached the point of inevitable changes due to global warming.
"Together with international partners, we will make our contribution to the fight against it: the modernization of communal infrastructure and industry, the development of renewable energy sources, electric transport, energy efficiency," said Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Also, according to him, laws have been passed and a system of monitoring, reporting and verification of greenhouse gas emissions in industry has been launched, legislation in the field of ozone-depleting substances circulation has been introduced. And the government will soon approve Ukraine's renewed ambitious goals in the Paris Agreement.
"One of the main allies in the fight against climate change is our forest resources. Unfortunately, the forest industry has not undergone any reforms in virtually 50 years. We have started transformations that will change the forest management system, introduce the best European practices and make this industry as open as possible,” the Head of State stressed.
He said that the new rules for the sale of wood are designed to eliminate the "gray" market in Ukraine. In particular, 100% of unprocessed wood must be sold in electronic auctions - transparently and without corruption risks.
"The first steps on this path have already brought results: this is plus one billion in revenues of state forestries in the first quarter of the year alone," the President said.