A new study visit of the delegation from Ukraine
On the 15th of June 2023, a two-day study visit of the Ukrainian delegation began in Katowice. It was held as part of the project "Sharing Knowledge on the Transition of Coal Regions" financed by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management with the support of the World Bank.
At the Institute for Ecology for Industrial Areas, during the workshops entitled "Various Sides of Just Transition in the Silesian Region", the delegation was welcomed by Piotr Cofałka, Deputy Director for Research and Development, Marta Babicz from the Institutional Cooperation Department of the National Fund for Environmental Protection (NFOŚiGW) and Water Management and Magdalena Chawuła, an expert on just transition from the World Bank.
During the workshops, the experiences of the regional authorities and local governments in conducting the process of just transition towards climate neutrality were presented. The discussion was attended by Dariusz Stankiewicz from the Marshal's Office of the Silesian Voivodeship, Mariusz Jankowski from the Katowice City Hall, Adrianna Kordiak-Woryna from the Association of Post-Mining Communes in Poland (SGGP), Grzegorz Trefon from the KADRA Trade Unions Agreement, Patryk Białas from BoMiasto, and Dr. Joachim Bronder from IETU. Chemically-contaminated areas are a serious problem in Ukraine, therefore the assessment of the contamination level in these areas as a basis for giving a new function to post-industrial areas or areas contaminated due to war activities was of great interest to our guests. Both representatives of local governments and non-governmental organisations emphasised their willingness to cooperate with partners from the Silesian Voivodeship in the reconstruction process after the end of hostilities.
After the workshops, during the stay at the Euro-Centrum Science and Technology Park, the participants focused on issues related to the development of energy-saving technologies and energy conservation in buildings. The next item on the agenda was a walk through the Katowice Culture Zone, during which experiences in planning and assigning new functions to areas degraded by industry were exchanged. The first day of the stay in Katowice ended with a concert in the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra Hall (NOSPR).
On the second day, visits to redeveloped post-industrial areas were organised. Ukrainian guests asked many questions while visiting "Góra Antonia", a post-zinc waste dump in Ruda Śląska, which was transformed into a safe, green public space. They became interested in the method of assisted phytostabilisation, i.e. the introduction of appropriate additives into the soil to limit the bioavailability of heavy metals and the use of appropriately selected grass species that do not absorb pollutants into the above-ground (green) part.
Our guests were very impressed by the Amelung Park in Chorzów, where they met many residents relaxing in the park, as well as a family with seven young swans. There are two cleaned post-mining water reservoirs and a diversified, well-designed green public space with an attractive landscape, integrated with the natural system of the city.
Then, experiences related to the development of post-mining facilities were presented on the example of Zabrze, where guests participated in a rafting trip down the Luiza Adit.
The day ended with learning about the history of the Silesian Park, the largest park in Europe, which was built over seventy years ago on degraded areas, and with a film show at the Silesian Planetarium.
We invite you to watch a video summarising the study visits of the stakeholders from Ukraine.
The aim of the project "Sharing Knowledge on the Transition of Coal Regions" is to present Ukrainian stakeholders with experiences in the transition of Polish mining regions - including administrative, legal, organisational, economic, social, spatial, and environmental conditions, etc. - in the context of the operation of European Union structures. The project is implemented in cooperation with the World Bank, which is involved in the exchange of knowledge between Ukrainian and Polish coal regions as part of a broad initiative called “World Bank Support to Coal Regions in Transition.” Under the project, the organisation of study visits of delegations from Ukrainian coal regions to Polish coal regions undergoing the transition process has been planned.
The project began on the 1st of September, 2020, and is scheduled to be completed by the 30th of June, 2023. So far, over 120 representatives of the Ukrainian administration, civil society and industry have participated in the project. During 3 on-line visits, they had the opportunity to talk and discuss with Polish experts and practitioners about the best ways to carry out a just transition process of coal regions in Ukraine based on Polish experience. The June visit was the second on-site visit.
Video summarising the project - Polish support for the transition of mining regions in Ukraine