UNDP helped restore degraded peatlands in Ukraine: summarizing 5-year project results

Nov 29, 2017

Kyiv, November 28, 2017 –  The United Nations Development Programme in Ukraine helped restore degraded agricultural peatlands in Chernihiv region, established the regional landscape park "Nizhynskiy", set up two cooperatives for the production of briquettes, milk collection and processing as well as opened a bicycle and two ecological paths. These activities were accomplished within the five-year project "Clima East Pilot Project: Conservation and Sustainable Use of Peatlands", implemented with the financial support from the European Union.

About a million hectares of peatlands were drained for agricultural needs in Ukraine. This process had a serious negative impact not only on the country's economy, human security, but also on the environment since artificial drainage leads to greenhouse gas emissions, increased risk of fires and almost complete loss of biodiversity. Since 2013, the European Union had supported measures to rehabilitate abandoned degraded agricultural peatlands in Ukraine to mitigate the climate change effects and protect the ecosystem.

During the five-year project implementation period, the hydrological regime of the irrigation system “Smolyanka”, located on the 2,800 ha territory of degraded peatlands in the pilot region - Nizhyn rayon of Chernihiv oblast, was restored, reducing the risk of fires and greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, a regional landscape park "Nizhynskiy" with a territory of 6,100 ha was established as well as a bicycle and two ecological paths were opened there as part of a project.

Under the project implementation, two cooperatives for collecting and processing milk as well as producing the briquettes for solid fuel boilers were set up in the pilot region, contributing to the energy cost savings of the local schools. They also helped create new jobs for 51 people, 31 of whom are women. As a result, 1000 people received direct economic benefits along with 2500 people, who gained social advantages from the village cooperatives functioning.

Overall, the project contributed to the climate change mitigation in Ukraine, biodiversity conservation, environmental protection and greenhouse gas emissions reduction through the development and verification of a methodology for accounting GHG emissions and removals from organic soils as well as its implementation in 10 northern regions of Ukraine.


Background information:

The UNDP in Ukraine project "Clima East Pilot Project: Conservation and Sustainable Use of Peatlands" is part of a larger EU regional initiative which supports climate change mitigation and adaptation in the East Neighborhood countries - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.

In Ukraine, the project was implemented from 2013 till 2017 and aimed at mitigating the climate change effects; developing the methodology for accounting GHG emissions and removals from organic (peat) soils and a dataset for all types of organic soils in Ukraine which serves as basis for the inclusion of peatlands in the national Green Investment Scheme; supporting the restoration of degraded agricultural peatlands to prevent emissions of carbon and rehabilitate habitat adjacent to neighboring natural peatlands with high value for biodiversity and potential designation as protected area as well as strengthening the protection of existing peatlands areas in Chernihiv region and increasing the protected area coverage.

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