On February 22 Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University and the Development and Investments Ministry of the Republic of Poland signed a grant agreement on the project “Adjustment of the former observatory on Mount Pip Ivan for the needs of the mountain rescue centre” within the framework of the EU programme on the transborder cooperation Poland-Belarus-Ukraine (PL-BU-UA) 2014-2020). The amount of the grant is €1 053 000.
The event was held in the context of a Ukrainian-Polish meeting of experts. The project comprises the restoration of the astrometric observatory on Mount Pip Ivan (in the Chornogirsky mountain range of the Carpathians) and the founding of an international scientific centre “Observatory” based there. Representatives of universities, public authorities, local governments and institutions of both countries took part in the event.
The concept offered by the Precarpathian National University is to establish a “transformer” that will unite a modern research centre with a specialists training base for holding search and rescue operations. The implementation of the project is based on preliminary agreements between the Precarpathian National University and the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in Ivano-Frankivsk region.
The partners of the Precarpathian National University in this project are the University of Warsaw, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in Ivano-Frankivsk region and the Beshchad mountain rescue centre (in the city of Sanok, the Republic of Poland).
The project will enable the installation of modern meteorological and rescue equipment for the Ukrainian and Polish search-and-rescue detachments and the provision of joint training courses.
“This promises to be a challenging project with about 50 percent of the grant to be spent on the renovation and adaptation of the buildings of the observatory for the needs of the rescue services and the research centre. It’s a two-year project, so priority will be given to installing the modern meteorological equipment,” explained Ihor Tsependa, Rector of the Precarpathian University.
Hanna Bielokolos, Deputy Director of the Project Management Coordination Office of the Ukrainian Ministry of Economic Development and Trade international technical support unit, said that Ukraine is taking part in four programs on transborder cooperation with a total budget of $360 million.
Rafał Balinsky, representative of the Development and Investments Ministry of the Republic of Poland stated that the Polish side would support the projects which were being implemented in the Polish-Ukrainian frontier zone.
Volodymyr Chernetsky, head of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in Ivano-Frankivsk region, commented that the proposed actions would improve safety in the mountains and help the rescuers provide prompt assistance.