Revolutionizing agriculture and ecosystem conservation in Northern Ukraine

December 11, 2023
Photo: UNDP in Ukraine

Rivne, Ukraine, 11 December 2023 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), is leading an innovative project in Ukraine's, in particular in Rivne region. Titled "Promoting Sustainable Livestock Management and Ecosystem Conservation in Northern Ukraine," this initiative is considered a significant step towards sustainable agriculture and peatland ecosystem restoration.

During a recent field visit to the Rokytniv district in Rivne Oblast, a team of UNDP experts explored the groundbreaking agricultural practices implemented by the Ukrainian agro-company FRENDT. This visit highlights the project's focus on paludiculture, a cutting-edge approach to farming on waterlogged peatlands.

UNDP Project Manager a.i. Inna Hoch, reflected on the visit, said the collaboration with local experts and FRENDT involves both restoring land and pioneering a sustainable future for agriculture. “The project is a testament to what can be achieved when we combine innovation with a commitment to environmental stewardship,” she said.

The team's visit to Bilovizh Village revealed the challenges of land degradation, a legacy of unsustainable amber extraction. There, the land's recovery is expected to be a long-term process, with experts estimating a 40-year timeline for full vegetation restoration.

Despite these challenges, the UNDP team observed promising steps towards land rehabilitation and sustainable usage. They assessed the drainage systems, peatlands, and flood-prone areas, providing valuable consultations to FRENDT. The company has begun implementing paludiculture by grazing goats on free pasture and growing energy willow, intending to create heating pellets from it. These efforts contribute significantly to soil quality improvement and biodiversity preservation.

This project extends beyond Rivne Oblast, encompassing Volyn, Zhytomyr, Kyiv, Vinnytsia, Khmelnytskyi, and Chernihiv oblasts. It unites communities, agribusinesses, conservationists, and experts in a collective effort to forge a sustainable food system for northern Ukraine.

Hoch said the initiative is more than just environmental conservation; it's about building resilient communities and sustainable economies. “It's a blueprint for future projects worldwide, showcasing how environmental challenges can be turned into opportunities for sustainable development,” she said.

Media enquiries: Yuliia Samus, UNDP Ukraine Head of Communications; e-mail: