Environmental Damage Assessment
The war in Ukraine is not only razing entire cities, causing widespread casualties and destroying infrastructure – it is also negatively affecting the environment.
According to Ukraine’s Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, around 30% of the country’s protected areas, covering more than 1.2 million hectares, have been affected by the hostilities.
Massive forest fires spread as fighting rages on, while attacks on fuel and industrial facilities have caused chemicals to leach into rivers and groundwater, threatening to create a toxic legacy for generations to come.
To monitor and record the character, magnitude and significance of conflict-related environmental impacts, the United Nations Development Programme and the Government of Sweden have launched a new project called “Mitigating the Risks of Long-Term Environmental Disasters in Ukraine Through the Establishment of a Coordination Centre on Environmental Damage Assessment.”
The overall objective of the project is to support the relevant governmental bodies – the State Environmental Inspectorate and the Ministry of Environmental Protection – in developing the necessary regulatory and institutional infrastructure to be able to collect and document evidence of environmental damage, including gender-responsive assessments, to mitigate against natural disasters.
One of main goals of the project is to support government authorities in drawing up the necessary legislation for recording evidence of environmental damage caused by the Russian invasion, as well as practical mechanisms for collecting such evidence throughout Ukraine. Considering the urgent need for recovery actions and the limited capacities of Ukraine’s government bodies, there are significant needs for external support from international partners.
The “Mitigating the Risks of Long-Term Environmental Disasters in Ukraine Through the Establishment of a Coordination Centre on Environmental Damage Assessment” project aims to establish an interactive platform for cooperation to provide effective advisory and operational support for the development of the required legal framework and institutional capacities.
- Project experts contribute to the development of effective methodologies, a legislative framework, and technical capacities to record evidence of environmental damage due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
- Gender-responsive assessments of the environmental damage caused by the war are conducted, and relevant gender data is collected.
- Communication campaigns are conducted to inform the general public and key stakeholders about the project’s activities, and to increase public awareness of environmental issues.
- Certified mobile stations for measuring environmental damage are procured.