"One Plus One" TV Channel and UNDP hold a social initiative "Clean Country"

06 Jun 2010

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"1+1" Television News and the UN Development Programme in Ukraine have celebrated the World Environment Day by launching a social initiative "Clean Country". This initiative was organized for the second time in Ukraine. As a result, about 500 activists all over Ukraine joined this initiative and cleaned out rubbish on the territory of about 100,000 sq. m. in the country's most popular national parks and reserves.

In addition to the "Clean Country" traditional parks and territories like Kyiv's own Golosiyevskiy National Nature Park, this year the initiative united new protected areas: the Carpathian biosphere reserve (Rakhiv, Zakarpattia Region), "Askania-Nova" biosphere reserve (Askania, Kherson Region), "Meotida" National Nature Park (Sedovo, Donetsk Region).

The action's slogan this year was "Clean country depends on you!".

"It's very important to pick up the garbage. But what is more important is to keep our nature clean!" – said UNDP Senior Programme Manager SergeiVolkov.

The goal of the "Clean Country" is to raise public awareness about the global problem of environment pollution, specifically, the pollution of recreation places in nature reserved fund facilities.

The State Agency for Protected Areas of Ukraine, joint UNDP/GEF Project "Strengthening governance and financial sustainability of the national protected area system in Ukraine" and the All Ukrainian NGO "Association of protected areas of Ukraine" organized this initiative with "1+1" TV Channel, "Tetra Pak" and "Greenco" being implementing partners.

The Tisa River banks were cleaned out in the Carpathian biosphere reserve. The reserve suffers from the garbage brought by water. Masses of rubbish are left on the bank right after the river flows out. All this poses a risk to nature, especially, by the plastic bottles which pile up on the banks and which may take up to 450 years to decay.

Local school-children, scouts, young botanists, representatives of Zakarpattia Nature Protection Society, village councils, the State Committee of Ukraine on Water Management, other protected areas – about 200 people joined the initiative. The Romanian community joined the initiative too and cleaned out the opposite bank of the Tisa River.

The World Environment Day coincided with the opening of a visit centre – 'Europe Centre' – at Dilove village in the Carpathian biosphere reserve. The Head of the State Agency for Protected Areas of Ukraine Petro Grynyk, the Head of Zakarpattia Regional Council Mykhaylo Kichkovskiy and Romanian guest, the member of the Romanian Parliament, the Head of the Ukrainian Diaspora Union in Romania Stepan Bučuta joined the celebrations.

Similarly, the waters of the Azov Sea bring garbage to the shores of "Meotida" National Nature Park. With its waters the sea brings a great deal of wastes and left overs from human activities to the pure and innocent land which nests rare pelicans there. Regional ecological organizations, school-children and even local Kozak Training School have volunteered to help the park.

Adults and kids volunteered to clean out the "Askania-Nova" biosphere reserve. They cleaned out the so-called zone of anthropogenic influence on the territory of the Askania-Nova village.

Students from the National Agricultural University of Ukraine, representatives of the State Agency for Protected Areas of Ukraine, UNDP staff and partner companies joined the initiative in Kyiv. The organizers launched the contest for 'most interesting waste' that was found during the action; young people expanded the idea and created some humorous installations using the garbage.

The "Clean Country" became an annual event. Next year organizers plan to involve new partners to the initiative and clean out new reserved territories. But we must keep in mind: it's important to clean out, but it's better not to litter and keep our country tidy.

For more information, please, contact Olena Semenova, Communications Expert, olena.semenova@undp.org.ua

Note to Editors:

Since 2007, the UN Development Programme in Ukraine and the Global Environment Facility implement a joint project "Strengthening governance and financial sustainability of the national protected area system in Ukraine".The goal of this 4 year project is to secure long-term conservation of biodiversity within Ukraine's Nature Reserve Fund, specifically focusing on protected areas of global, national or regional significance.

The project's objective is to enhance the financial sustainability and strengthen institutional capacity of the protected area (PA) system in Ukraine. The normative solution will be pursued through the systematic emplacement of targed revenue capture mechanisms to complement budgetary subventions to the PA system, and through improvements to PA governance that ensure PA revenue streams are employed efficiently so that impact is optimized per unit of investment.

The Project operates within 3 pilot territories: Shatsk National Nature Park, National Nature Park "Pripyat-Stokhid" and Regional Landscape Park "Pripyat-Stokhid". Read more information at www.pzf.org.ua

The United Nations proclaimed 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity, and people all over the world are working to safeguard this irreplaceable natural wealth and reduce biodiversity loss. This is vital for current and future human wellbeing. The International Year of Biodiversity is a unique opportunity to increase understanding of the vital role that biodiversity plays in sustaining life on Earth.

This diversity is often understood in terms of the wide variety of plants, animals and microorganisms. Scientists reckon that there are actually about 13 million species, though estimates range from three to 100 million. Protecting biodiversity is in our self-interest. Biological resources are the pillars upon which we build civilizations. Nature's products support such diverse industries as agriculture, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper, horticulture, construction and waste treatment. The loss of biodiversity threatens our food supplies, opportunities for recreation and tourism, and sources of wood, medicines and energy. It also interferes with essential ecological functions.

The World Environment Day is the main instrument for raising the global public awareness of the environmental problems as well as for stimulation the political dialog and relevant decision making.