In Ukraine, international forum joined by European Commissioner Sinkevičius addresses war’s impact on nature

Contamination could reach far beyond Ukraine’s borders

November 13, 2023
Photo: Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources

Kyiv, 13 November 2023 – More than 400 delegates from international organizations, donor countries, government institutions and civil society gathered at the “United for Justice. United for Nature" International Forum to discuss and deliberate solutions to the looming environmental crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources and the General Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine organized the event thanks to EU funding and with organizational support by UNDP.

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal opened the conference, joined by Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans, and Fisheries, and the Ministers of Environmental Protection of Germany, Finland, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, and Lithuania. The Forum concluded with the presentation of the International Environmental Declaration project.

Commissioner Sinkevičius said: "We must recognise that environmental destruction carries enduring implications, impacting generations and reaching far beyond Ukraine's borders. An accurate mapping of the environmental damage is a pivotal first step in elaborating a post-war green recovery plan for Ukraine, and the European Union will continue to support the initiatives of the Ukrainian government in this field."

Ruslan Strilets, Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine, said his government’s priority is a post-war green recovery based on the 'build back better principle.' “This effort will require the joint efforts of numerous stakeholders to assess the environmental damage and restore the ecosystems. We are grateful to UNDP and other international partners for facilitating this process."

UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Christoforos Politis said the post-war recovery phase will allow Ukraine to embrace state-of-the-art, eco-friendly technologies and nature-based solutions. "Environmental losses, though often absent from the headlines, bear witness to the far-reaching consequences of the war,” he said.  “UNDP has initiated several projects to address this challenge. Together with our partners, we will continue supporting Ukraine's progress towards a green recovery while developing a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy."


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine provided support for the Forum as part of the emergency assistance to Ukraine under the EU4Climate regional project of the European Union. 

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