Tackling waste pollution in Ukrainian Protected Areas

One of our current projects is “Clean Up Synevyr National Nature Park”. This project is one of the European Outdoor Conservation Association grant winners of 2019-2020. The European Wilderness Society initiates activities to support National Nature Park Synevyr and other Protected Areas in Ukraine to tackle challenges with tourism and waste management. It is for the first time that the European Outdoor Conservation Association funds a project in Ukraine, and the implementation is well on track, despite the COVID-19 obstacles!

Engaging with stakeholders

We organised a kick-off meeting together with the contact person from National Nature Park Synevyr in February. In the meantime, we established a cooperation with the local NGOs “Zelenyy Varosh (Green City)” and “Ecosphere”, who are dealing with separated waste collection and education. Due to the cooperation with these NGOs, we collected relevant information on the waste separation, waste collection, and waste education in Transcarpathian Ukraine.

Furthermore, we presented the project on number of temathic events in Ukraine. Besides, we met with representatives of ‘Velykolazivsla school’ to exchange experiences regarding their ‘Plastic Processing Laboratory’. This is an educational programme about plastic separation and recycling, as well as its recycling with active youth involvement.

In order to ensure support of local authorities for project implementation and continuation after project duration, European Wilderness Society also established contacts with many other important stakeholders. From our subsidiary office in Uzhhorod, we have initiated a cooperation with Ms. Olesya Petrovych from the Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection of Ukraine. The Ministry is particularly interested to support the project with implementation of training of Park staff, along with official certification. This certification will be done jointly with the Ukrainian Environmental State Academy of Post Graduates.

Also, we introduced the project to Mr. Dmyto Tomenchyuk from the Department of Ecology and Natural Resources of Transcarpathian Regional State Administration, and to Mr. Eduard Osiyskyy from the Tisza River Water Basin Directorate. Additional ways of cooperation were discussed with Mr. Gary Hanko of the Association of Environmental Enterprises.

And recently, we have introduced the project also to the U.S. Forest Service Program Specialist of the Technical Cooperation Group ‘Russia, Europe & Near Asia’, to discuss opportunities for continuation of project activities beyond project duration, to optimise sustainability.

Online training curriculum on waste pollution

An important part of the project is the online “Ranger training on Tourism and Waste management in Protected Areas” specifically designed for Protected Area staff, rangers and stakeholders. Originally, these trainings would take place at the headquarters of National Nature Park Synevyr, but due to the COVID-19 situation we have adapted the programme.

We will now switch the “Ranger training on Tourism and Waste management in Protected Areas” to complete online training sessions, what will enable many more people from Ukrainian Protected Areas to join. Divided into five different open online training sessions, we will address the background information, root of the problem, impacts and long-term results, as well as possible solutions!

Keep an eye out for the next update as we continue to support efforts to tackle the waste pollution challenge in National Nature Park Synevyr and Ukrainian Protected Areas!

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