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Utilisation of localy available resources can improve microeconomy

The first seminar in the framework of the project SUNRISE (Sustainable Utilisation of Natural Resources by Small Enterprises)

The first seminar organised by SUNRISE project aimed at presenting local (endogenous) resources and potential of the earth. It took place in the premises of Chaslivtsi Village, on March 26, 2014. The seminar was organised with the financial assistance of the European Union in the framework of the ENPI CBC Hungary-Slovakia -Romania- Ukraine 2007-2013.

The workshop was opened by organizers and representatives of the project partners - Olesya Nosenko, Jan Dzurdzenik, Maria Royak and Jaroslav Tesliar.

Information about the project, its objectives and main activities implemented within the project was provided by first presentation.
The target groups of the project are potential founders of small businesses, the unemployed people, local stakeholders (rural community), the decision makers and the general public.

Project activities include a combination of theory and practice. Courses for preparation of hand-made solar collectors will provide instructions on how one can make his own solar panels in an inexpensive way. Participation in these courses will be open, however, the number of participants is limited. Implemented pilot activities could serve as a good model for future activities after the project end. In addition, feasibility studies will be developed to enable further implementation of such initiatives. Almost every project activity is mirrored - held simultaneously on both sides of the SK-UA border. Agency for the Support of Regional Development Kosice and Association of Students – Economists of Transcarpathia had already implemented joint projects – most important for SUNRISE project is "Bioenergy of the Carpathians" project, aimed at popularizing of the utilisation of biomass in the region. The SUNRISE project is partially continuation of this project.

Mr. Jaroslav Tesliar, director of the Agency for the Support of Regional Development Kosice, presented an information about current problems in Slovakia and the beginnings of the formation of regional development as direct activity. In Slovakia, the transition to the new environment, decentralization initiatives in communities were also not easy. Mr. Tesliar gave an example – the comparison of the administrative structure in Slovakia and Denmark, where the population is almost the same, but number of municipalities is in Denmark much smaller. The importance of partnerships and collaboration was also emphasized repeatedly during the seminar. Leadership without the support and initiative of local groups of stakeholders will not be able to ensure the prosperity of the village community. Regarding this project, it is important to select participants, which will use their new knowledge and disseminate it. Although the results of the project will not solve all the energy problems of the community, but they can be a good example and serve as a small step for better understanding of what we can do next. Perhaps the project could even be a motivation for setting up new small businesses.

The next speaker, energy expert Jaroslav Patsarnyuk, presented wood pellets as fuel of the future in Ukraine and the production process. Among the advantages of pellets were mentioned:
- Combusting produces little smoke and ash
- Production of pellets provides no-waste wood industry
- The fuel supply process can be automated
- Require much less storage space than other traditional solid fuels
- Have a high calorific value - almost like coal.

Although at present over 85% of pellets produced in Ukraine is exported, they will become extremely important when gas prices rise in Ukraine.

Ladislav Bartok from Pro Tornensis association presented the practical experience in support of regional development through self-sufficiency. He talked about working with the community through the use of their own resources. Above all, he said, it is important to prepare the community to accept the new idea and to actively participate on its implementation. He also demonstrated the production of pellets and briquettes in Turňa, which had started during 2013. SUNRISE project will help to this idea by certification of these products.
Associate professor of Uzhhorod National University - Jozef Holovatch, Science Park representative, spoke about energy efficiency projects at the university, which are planned and implemented. In particular, the introduction of scientific and technological development, solving urgent problems of the region and promotion of small business is main goal of established science park. They have prepared about 40 projects in various sectors, including energy efficiency. Among them - the conversion of the heating system for the pool sports complex to the solar panels and the introduction of willow plantation for energy purposes.
Seminar was attended by representatives of municipalities of Uzhhorod district, by farmers, entrepreneurs, community leaders and others. Every presentation was followed by a lively discussion and experts were asked a lot of questions. The organizers invited participants to engage in future activities and expressed the hope that these workshops will be a good platform for exchanging experiences and for building new partnerships.