Options Winter 2020: A joint project between IIASA and the National Academy of Science Ukraine has provided valuable input to Ukrainian policies based on the principles of sustainable development.

Like many other countries, Ukraine had often been governing sectorial developments in an independent way across sectors and regions, resulting in declining living and environmental conditions, as well as decreasing economic performance.

Through a joint National Academy of Science Ukraine (NASU) and IIASA project – Integrated Modeling of Robust Solutions for Food, Energy, and Water Security Management – researchers have however shown how policies that alter one sector could have large impacts on others.

The project focuses on problems of common interest for Ukraine, IIASA, and globally, and addresses challenges associated with the management of interdependent food, energy, water, environment, social, and demographic systems for sustainable development.

The IIASA-NASU project has produced a multi-model framework, which allows models developed for different sectors and at different resolutions to be integrated, showing policymakers exactly where the trade-offs or synergies of the policy options may lie.

The project has also helped to ensure that policies are robust in the face of an uncertain future by incorporating both long-term, strategic policies that anticipate rare events and short-term, operational policies.

“IIASA research has led to real improvements in sustainable management in Ukraine,” says Tatiana Ermolieva, deputy principle investigator of the project.

The recommendations of the project were included in the Ukrainian Common Cross-cutting Strategy of Agriculture Development and in the National Energy Strategy of Ukraine-2035 detailing policies based on the principles of sustainable development.

By Michael Fitzpatrick