From problems to opportunities in urban areas: “Community Safari” reaches different Ukrainian cities

This summer, Plato NGO and CO CF Fund for the Protection of Biodiversity of Ukraine with UNDP’s support are launching the “Community Safari” projects in Lviv and Bila Tserkva (Kyiv Oblast).

Using the same process as in the pilots in Kyiv, the quest will take place according to the updated methodology and considering the safety requirements due to the spread of COVID-19.

The “Community Safari” program in these cities provides online training on nature-based solutions, design thinking and broad community involvement, experts’ consultations, participation in “field” research on local problems, where NBS can be applied, and team development of project prototypes.

Authors of participatory budget projects, journalists who write on issues and solutions for urban space, educators who would like to learn new interactive methods of teaching, environmental sciences and simply active residents can already register for the “Community Safari” in Lviv, which will take place from 6 to 9 August, here.

About the initiative

By 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population is projected to live in cities. Continuous urbanization increases social connections and provides a unique space for innovations and development, but at the same time, it accelerates the destruction of the natural world and decreases our wellbeing.

Turning some of the challenges and threats into innovative opportunities through the use of nature-based solutions (NBS) - solutions that are built on logic and models inspired by natural ecosystems, is an opportunity. In many cities in Germany, the Netherlands, the United States, and China, they have been used successfully for the past few decades.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) considers NBS tools that help restore ecosystems and landscapes, mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change, and develop blue-green infrastructure. Examples of these solutions in cities are green roofs, insect houses, green walls, rain gardens, artificial swamps, green bus-stops, pergolas, etc.

In order to help solve urban problems through the use of NBS, UNDP Accelerator Labs in Ukraine has developed a quest and a toolkit called Community Safari©. It was tested in Kyiv where 5 teams of volunteers joined for an adventure in which each team underwent training, conducted the research, presented and further developed their own NBS projects.

Nature-based solutions can become an important step towards the development of the natural wealth of Ukrainian cities. One just needs to get acquainted and make such solutions a reality, in particular, with the help of “Community Safari”.

About organisers:

UNDP Accelerator Labs in Ukraine is a program to support strategic initiatives aimed at developing the capacity to promote comprehensive growth and sustainable human development. There are 60 laboratories in 60 countries working to find new approaches that meet the complexities of today’s development challenges and accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

Plato is a public organization working in the sector of climate policy formation and adaptation of urban space to the consequences of climate change, implementing analytical, educational, and practical projects. In the spring of 2020, the organization created the first public rain garden in Lviv. PLATO experts advise active residents on the implementation of nature-oriented solutions.

Fund for the Protection of Biodiversity of Ukraine is a charitable organization whose team creates and supports biodiversity research and protection projects in Ukraine. At the initiative of the Fund, a unique research project #inventory_of_diversity was launched. The Fund also published a collection of scientific works “Monitoring and Conservation of Biodiversity in Ukraine” in three volumes. The publication includes 162 materials by 280 specialists. All activities of the Fund are based on scientific research of Ukrainian and foreign experts.