The online conference also sought innovative proposals for post-war sustainable reconstruction

Kyiv, May 6, 2022 – The war in Ukraine is not only leveling entire towns and destroying infrastructure with many casualties, it is having a negative impact on the environment, poisoning waterways and threatening ecosystems for generations to come. This was the focus of an online conference organized today by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in collaboration with the Professional Association of Ecologists of Ukraine (PAEU) and the National Center for sustainable development with the financial support of the European Union.

The conference also explored ways to ensure Ukraine’s green economic recovery as soon as conditions permit.

Olena Ruditch, coordinator of the Local Governance and Decentralization Reform component of the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, said threats to Ukrainian ecosystems must be addressed immediately. “The environmental consequences of the war are devastating and threaten the health of people far beyond the Ukrainian border,” she said. “The challenges and risks continue to grow, and we must keep environmental safety and security on the agenda.”

Conference participants also discussed the development of methodologies for calculating environmental damage and critical changes in environmental legislation during martial law, the need for deregulation and how to engage the cooperation of all parties. stakeholders.

UPA President Liudmyla Tsyhanok called for the development of real environmental solutions that will help reduce the carbon and ecological footprint of industries once the war is over. “Since the start of the war, Ukraine and all of Europe have been changing their approaches to many processes and structures,” she said. “The format of cooperation in many areas will soon change. Nobody is interested in fighting for the sake of fighting without visible results in all areas, including the environment.

The environmental consequences of war are often widespread and devastating with cascading effects. The use of explosive ordnance in urban areas, for example, creates large amounts of debris and rubble, which can pollute air, water and soil. Damage to light industry and environmentally sensitive infrastructure such as water treatment plants and water sanitation services could create problems that could take years to resolve. Depleted uranium, a toxic chemical dangerous to human and animal life, is often used for tank armor, armour-piercing bullets and as weights to help balance aircraft.

Background

Four United Nations agencies implement the United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Program (UN RPP): the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality Gender and Women’s Empowerment (UN Women), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Twelve international partners support the program: the European Union (EU), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the United States Embassy in Ukraine and the governments of Canada, Denmark, Germany, Japan , the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland. . For more information: ua.undp.org

Media inquiries

Yuliia Samus, Communications Team Leader, UNDP Ukraine, [email protected]