By Valeriia Kolodezhna
The Emerald Network is an apt name for a network of Areas of Special Conservation Interest (ASCI) in Europe. These areas were brought together and endowed with a single conservation status for the whole of Europe. In order to be granted this status, an area must provide an adequate level of protection for habitats and flora and fauna species that have been identified as European priorities.
Ukrainian scientists succeeded in preparing documentation for 377 sites in the Emerald Network. Another 160 plus are in the process of being verified. These sites include habitats (habitas) that are not just rare, but not found anywhere else in Europe. It is ironic that these are the territories where Russian troops “settled” (invaded).
This infographic illustrates the inextricable connection of Emerald sites and European integration of Ukraine, as well as what is at stake during their occupation.