UNDP organizes eco-activities in eastern Ukraine for World Environment Day

June 3, 2021

During the first week of June, educational and environmental activities get underway in cities in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, with the aim of engaging citizens in initiatives to preserve the environment

Photo credit: UNDP Ukraine

Kramatorsk, Donetsk Oblast, 3 June 2021 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine held an environmental campaign to mark World Environment Day, setting up a park area in Kramatorsk city centre called Commonwealth Square with national partners Donetsk Oblast State Administration and Kramatorsk’s local authorities.

To demonstrate to citizens the importance of landscaping the public spaces in the city centre, the park area was specially cleared for the planting of 20 maple trees, along with flowerbeds.

The coordinator of the Local Governance and Decentralisation Reform Component of the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, Olena Ruditch, said such initiatives are essential for promoting ideas about environmentalism and sustainability, and engaging the community in establishing an eco-friendly environment.

"The concept of sustainability includes three interrelated elements: social, environmental and economic development,” Ruditch said. “By implementing projects for the communities of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, we primarily seek to support environmental solutions and initiatives aimed at strengthening sustainable communities. This year's Commonwealth Square symbolizes the importance of raising environmental awareness and landscaping public spaces."

The director of the Department of Ecology and Natural Resources of Donetsk Oblast State Administration, Serhii Natrus, said planting trees was a significant step in rebuilding and expanding the network of green zones of Donetsk Oblast, which is one of the most polluted and urbanized regions in Ukraine. 

"The creation of new green zones within our cities will increase ecological stability, create a strong framework of protective vegetation, help mitigate the effects of climate change, and preserve the fragile biodiversity of Donetsk Oblast,” Natrus said. “The main thing is not just to plant a tree, but also to grow it."

Environmental games for children were also held, and a coniferous alley was tended in Luhansk Oblast, where representatives of the Kreminna community and Luhansk Oblast State Administration joined efforts to remind residents of the community about environmental awareness and environmental protection.

The director of the Department of Communal Property, Land Property Relations, Ecology and Natural Resources of Luhansk Oblast State Administration, Serhii Oleinikov, said that today the landscaping of park areas in Luhansk Oblast was an urgent task, and that it would be a gift to the next generation.

"Urban greenery and parks are an important part of our environment and ecological network,” said Oleinikov. “They have a significant impact on urban and aesthetic landscape characteristics. Planting trees is a positive step towards a green future. Remember the wise Japanese proverb: ‘Trees are planted by ancestors, and their shade is used by descendants.’"

The budget for the environmental landscaping activities and the purchase of planting materials for green zones in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts was U.S. $12,719 (approximately UAH 351,000). The activities were carried out under the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, with the financial support of the governments of Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland.


World Environment Day is being marked on 5 June (Saturday). The theme of World Environment Day 2021 is “Reimagine. Recreate. Restore.” as this year marks the beginning of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

The United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme (UN RPP) is being implemented by four United Nations agencies: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

Twelve international partners support the Programme: the European Union (EU), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, and the governments of Canada, Denmark, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden & Switzerland.

Media enquiries

Maksym Kytsiuk, Communications Specialist, UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, maksym.kytsiuk@undp.org, +380 63 576 1839