A Wave rising on the Dniester

The environmental organizations “Zeleny svit” [“Green World”] has announced the beginning of a civic campaign entitled “Dniester Environmental Wave” which has already been joined by 29 civic organizations from Kyiv, as well as 21 regions of Ukraine.

Their Declaration states their aim to uphold the right to take part in decision-making on issues regarding the protection of Ukraine’s natural reserve land, and in particular to promote the creation of a national nature park “Dniester Canyon”.

This reserve is envisaged in the Law on a State programme for forming a national environmental network for the period 2000-2015, in numerous Presidential Decrees, and other documents aimed at preserving and making efficient use of natural areas of particular significance.

In last year’s competition, the Dniester Canyon was rated one of Ukraine’s Seven Natural Wonders.

The catastrophic consequences of the Dniester floods in 2008 once again highlighted the need for urgent action to restore the ecosystems of the canyon to their natural state and renew their capacity for self-regulation.

The Declaration also stresses that the creation of the reserve park “Dniester Canyon” is an international obligation under agreements on the development of the European ecological network and the protection of the Dniester as a transborder river.

The area in question is one of beauty and enormous importance with a large number of historical, cultural and architectural monuments.

The State can be a powerful investor, creating a national park state enterprise aimed at protecting the reserve area and developing green tourism, as well as scientific and educational activities.
It points out, however, that the creation of the park has over many years been deliberately obstructed by representatives of the local authorities and business interested in uncontrolled exploitation and sale of natural resources of the Dniester area, and that these resort to deliberate disinformation and manipulation of public opinion. As a result the creation of one of the first regional landscape parks, also called Dniester Canyon, initiated at the decision of the Ternopil Regional Council 19 years ago has virtually halted.
The protection and development of this unique area is vital, and the environmentalists are calling on other civic organizations, journalists, scientists, politicians, businesspeople and to all those in Ukraine and beyond to help them preserve this unique area of Ukraine’s natural and historical – cultural legacy.

Tasks ahead for the Dniester Environmental Wave
• Unite the efforts of the authorities, scientific and educational institutions, civic organizations, the media, business circles and international institutions in order to promote in deed the development of a natural reserve in the Dniester region;
• Actively promote the aims of the reserve and raise awareness that the reserve is fully in keeping with the interests of residents of the area and the sustainable development of local communities;
• Demand that environmental bodies ensure that an end is put to violations of environmental legislation in the area, and that those responsible are brought to answer;
• Use methods of civic influence to ensure that the above-mentioned laws and decrees are properly implemented.

Let us unite our efforts so that our mighty “Dniester Wave” will finally wash away from the shores of the Dniester the waste of indifference, corruption and plundering of Ukraine’s invaluable natural legacy and help protect one of the country’s natural wonders.
Together we can win!

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