It has already been a year since UWEC Work Group began analyzing the environmental consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
During that time we have developed an important center of resources, websites, and organizations that collect data and perform analyses. Some of these share publicly available data in the context of the ongoing war. Others monitor the information space.
We are confident that the information we have assembled will be useful for a wide circle of readers and analysts and we want for each of you to have the opportunity to independently gain an understanding of the invasion’s environmental consequences. We are making this information freely available and we will update it over time. We welcome your participation and support in this work!
One key issue stemming from the invasion is chemical contamination of soil, the consequences of which will haunt Ukraine for many years to come. Although a full-fledged study of this problem cannot be completed during the ongoing full-scale invasion, efforts are already getting underway. We analyzed a report prepared by EcoAction experts and note that soil pollution not only deals a catastrophic blow to Ukraine’s food security, but also contributes to desertification processes.
It is our goal to discover the widest possible range of information about the invasion’s consequences. Ukraine is not the only country to suffer; the entire region is experiencing this war. It is extremely challenging, for example, to implement conservation and environmental projects fundamentally important to the sustainable development of neighboring countries.
Moldova is no exception. Director of Eco-Tiras International Association of River Keepers Ilya Trombitskii discusses the environmental challenges facing the transnational Dniester River and how the war’s impacts influence the choice of possible solutions.
The war destroys civil society in Russia as well. Bellona, Greenpeace, and Worldwide Fund for Nature have all been recognized as “foreign agents” or “undesirable”. In the short term, it is difficult to imagine the consequences of those decisions.
UWEC Work Group supports all environmental activists facing persecution by authoritarian regimes, no matter where they reside or their nationality. Without civil society activists, we can neither protect nature nor fence ourselves off from environmental consequences.