Winners of Journalist Contest for Best Coverage of Energy Reform and Social Protection Rewarded in Kyiv

June 24, 2015

On 24 June 2015, a formal awarding ceremony was conducted for the journalists-winners of the contest for best published materials on energy efficiency, alternative and clean energy, advantages of condominiums, tariff reform and social protection for population. The contest was conducted by USAID Municipal Energy Reform in Ukraine Project (MERP) together with the Center for Ukrainian Reform Education (CURE), and with sponsorship of the largest oil and gas company of Ukraine Burisma Holdings. The contest was conducted among the journalists of Vinnytsia, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kyiv, Kherson and Chernihiv oblasts which are partners in implementation of USAID MERP pilot programs.

The contest was conducted in the nominations for the best material in printed and online media, best TV and radio materials. 132 materials from more than 30 journalists from different parts of Ukraine were submitted to the contest – 10 of them were recognized the winners.

The idea of the contest appeared because there are no programs or series of publication in Ukraine devoted to important issues like energy security of Ukraine, tariff and social reforms, natural gas substitution with alternative energy sources. Therefore, objective of the contest was to increase interest of the journalists in coverage of these important issues, increase of high-quality analytical materials based on expert opinions, with regular publication and with public involvement in the discussions and search for solutions in the current situation in the Ukrainian energy and communal services sectors.

Speaking to the audience, Stephen Gonyea, Director of the Office of Economic Growth of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission to Ukraine, said: “The mass media has a critical role to play in providing unbiased and objective information on how and why energy sector reforms and increased energy efficiency will help propel Ukraine’s economy forward.”

“Energy efficient technologies and search for alternative and clean energy sources are among focuses on which attention of Ukraine and our international partners is concentrated. In order to increase awareness of the Ukrainian citizens of these issues, the USAID Municipal Energy Reform Project has implemented a large-scale education campaign through mass media. This important initiative was supported by the Burisma Holdings team. We are interested in quality development of the Ukrainian journalism and professional coverage of the energy efficiency subject because it is the foundation for the country’s energy security and energy independence”, – mentioned Mykola Zlochevskyi, President of Burisma Holdings.

Specifically, in continuation of the contest idea, Burisma Holdings decided to establish a special nomination allowing to praise not only contribution of the journalists but also contribution of media in improvement of energy efficiency, alternative and clean energy sources, advantages of condominiums, tariff reform and social protection of population. The winner in this nomination is the Student TV Studio “Universe TV” from Zaporizhia which not only tries to communicate information professionally but also promotes demand for energy efficiency issues among young journalists.

USAID Municipal Energy Reform Project in Ukraine was launched in October 2013 for the purpose of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and increase of energy security of Ukraine by improving energy policy, increase of energy efficiency and attraction of private investments in the energy sector. For fulfillment of these tasks, the Project during 4 years will be assisting 17 Ukrainian cities in attracting investments in the energy efficiency and renewable energy projects from international financial institutions, commercial banks and private investors. Within the framework of MERP, 17 cities of Ukraine will receive technical assistance for development of the Sustainable Energy Action Plans. Most of these cities have signed the Covenant of Mayors and have committed to reduce by 2020 their CO2 emissions by 20%, and to replace natural gas in the municipal energy balance with alternative and renewable energy sources.

Notes to editors:
Burisma Holdings, founded in 2002, is the largest independent gas producer in Ukraine. The Holding comprises four operating companies engaged in mining and hydrocarbon production, including Energy service company “Esko-Pivnich”, “Pari”, “First Ukrainian Petroleum Company” and “Aldea”. In 2014, total natural gas production was 692 million cubic meters, which is 50.4% more compared to the same period last year. Burisma Holdings owns 20 licenses for hydrocarbon production in all major oil and gas basins of Ukraine. The entire volume of production is sold at the domestic market of Ukraine. #EnergySecurityUkraine

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