Ukrainian protected areas need your support

European Wilderness Society has a lot of partners of the European Wilderness Network in Ukraine. Moreover, number of them are included to the UNESCO World Heritage! These unique natural areas are of international importance. Therefore it is not easy to follow all these numerous alarming accidents in Ukraine, which among other threatening natural processes. But there is always a way how to help!

Please also read: Russian-Ukrainian war: What happened to protected areas and ecology

Visits to forests are forbidden

Visiting of forests in most of the regions of Ukraine is not allowed now. Recently even the forests of the most Western and the most forest-covered region of Ukraine, Transcarpathia became forbidden for visiting. This measure was necessary to avoid diversion actions and for people´s safety. In addition to the war, warm whether can also increase fire risk, caused by humans.

Shelters for displaced people

Most of the protected areas, partners of the European Wilderness Network in Ukraine, due to their remote location, now became shelters for displaced people, escaping form war. Furthermore many men-employees of protected areas are recently in army, some women left country for their kids safety, but many still continuing the work. And in addition to their usual duties, they are taking care of displaced people. There are two main direction of the work: help with accommodation of displaced people and humanitarian support (food, medicine etc.).

Therefore there is a need to provide humanitarian help: matrasses, sleeping bags, food in jars, medicine etc.

Some Western protected areas also host and provide employment opportunities to their colleagues from East and Center of Ukraine.

Building and heating support

The inhabitants number of the areas around Western protected areas of Ukraine has increased 3 times during the last month. All these people need a place to stay. But many facilities and buildings of protected areas need repair, including utilities systems, doors and windows. This fact is not allowing them to host displaced people properly. But as we know, natural surrounding has positive influence not only for physical, but also for mental health of people. Therefore, this is exactly what is needed for people fleeing from war!

The main need is building materials, while the work can be implemented by professional builders with the help of displaced people. 

Another threat is the increase of prices for basic products as well as the lack of fire wood in the future. Settlements around protected areas usually lack efficient heating systems, therefore this deficit of firewood can create even more harm to the valuable forests, including UNESCO Beech Power World Heritage Site!

Suitable accommodation places for displaced people, including efficient insulation and efficient heating system would really help to improve the recent and future situation in our area

Iryna Yonas
Deputy head of sustainable development and recreation department of the Carpathain Biopshere Reserve

War is a tragedy for people

Bondarivske Wetland Wilderness Candidate is a part of the Mizhrichenskyy Regional Landscape Park. The park is located close to Kyiv in the Chernihiv region, hardly affected by war.

This is not the first time I am receiving information that someone wants to help protected areas during the war. Moreover, they even raise funds.. I appreciate people’s desire to be useful, but …The park is now on the front line. The only thing that needs to be done is to stop the war by pushing the Russians out of Ukraine. So far, little has changed for Bondarivske Wetland. All natural processes continue, as always. There is enough water, the cranes have returned, the blackbirds are barking … They all don’t care about us. The Wetland saw many wars and will survive another. War is a tragedy for people…

Andriy Sagaydak
Ranger and nature conservationist

This statement from the experienced Wilderness Advocate, again confirms, that human should think about consequences of their actions, which will be harmful first of all for them. 

If you want to support Ukrainian Wilderness Network partners, please donate.

Iryna Shchoka

Iryna Shchoka is a regional development expert and is based in Tamsweg. Austria

Iryna Shchoka has 136 posts and counting. See all posts by Iryna Shchoka

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