Published on August 14, 2020

Ukrainian coal mining towns will create a joint transformation strategy

Seven coal mining towns of Donetsk region will develop a joint transformation strategy.

With partners’ support, they will create a document that will identify the main directions and propose concrete steps for the development of the region. An inaugural online meeting with towns’ mayors took place on July 9, 2020.

Ukrainian coal mining towns depend on one industry, which is mostly unprofitable and sooner or later will collapse. Previous experiences of the countries where this process has already started or taken place shows that without proper planning and cooperation regions face complex social and economic consequences. After mines’ closure towns are left without the main enterprise and, as a result, people lose their jobs and source of income. And this in turn inevitably leads to the decline of the entire town infrastructure and mass migration from the region.

A strategic approach to the transformation process  will help coal dependent territories to develop new forms of economic activity, promote economic progress, social stability and environmental sustainability of the region. And direct participation of the towns themselves will ensure that needs, priorities and strengths of each of them will be taken into account.

The strategy will determine the priorities of development, towns’ roles and functions in such a cooperation. Local municipalities also plan to develop a common position on what state and international support they need and to create specific projects for which they will later seek funding opportunities.

Coal mining towns-members of the Platform for Sustainable Development of Donetsk region (Dobropillia, Myrnohrad, Novohrodivka, Pokrovsk, Selydove, Toretsk, Vuhledar) will work on the document with the support of three international partner projects: USAID project “Economic Resilience Activity” (ERA), EU project “FORBIZ|EU4Business” and the project “New Energy – New Opportunities for Sustainable Development of Donbas” implemented by NGOs Ecoaction, Luhansk Regional Human Rights Center “Alternativa” and Germanwatch.

In March 2020 three partners organized a strategic session “Economic Diversification. Potential, strategies and tools for development of coal mining towns of Donetsk region”. The materials developed at this event became the basis for further steps to develop a strategy for the transformation of these coal mining towns.

This text was first published on Ecodiya’s webpage.