OSCE Ekodozor: Ukraine presents platform for assessing environmental threats from war

OSCE Ekodozor: Ukraine presents platform for assessing environmental threats from war

Olena Yatseno

Given the already available information, a bleak picture emerges

The OSCE, in co-operation with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, will launch the Ecodozor digital information platform, which will capture the environmental dangers in Ukraine due to the war.

It was presented at a briefing on Thursday, June 16, by the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine, Ambassador Henrik Willadsen, together with his colleagues, Ukrinform reports.

"Today, the situation in Ukraine is the best example of why the OSCE should continue to care about the environment. The environmental situation in Ukraine has been a very important issue for several years, and with the start of a full-scale war the problem has become widespread. priorities for the future work of the OSCE in Ukraine," Villadsen said.

According to the ambassador, data on cases of threat to the environment have been collected for the platform. They are collected by the Swiss ecological network Zoï.

"Ekodozor" was created on the basis of work that began during the war in eastern Ukraine. On the platform, data on the state of the environment are accompanied by their cartographic representation.

"Such work must continue and gather information about the new damage caused by the war... Given the information we already have, a bleak picture emerges, and when there is a full-scale war, we can talk about a completely different dimension of the problem," - noted the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine.

OSCE Project Coordinator Alla Yushchuk, the project manager for environmental issues, explained that a significant amount of such information was related to violations, reports from official or unofficial sources, objects damaged by hostilities and potentially dangerous to the environment. "Currently, the platform is under development and will be supplemented with new data," she added.

According to Yushchuk, the creation of the Ecodozor platform is the first step in understanding where to conduct further, in-depth research and where there are the greatest environmental risks.

Dmytro Averin, an expert on environmental projects and coordinator of the OSCE project coordinator, said that since the beginning of the full-scale war, 360 critical infrastructure facilities and enterprises have been damaged.

"These include nuclear power plants, hydroelectric power plants, chemical and metallurgical plants, etc. A quarter of these facilities have a high or very high level of environmental risks," he said.

According to him, such enterprises as Azovstal, Chernobyl NPP, Zaporizhzhya NPP, Avdiivka Coke Plant suffered the most.

"These are very dangerous industrial enterprises. For example, with regard to Azovstal, we have recorded 43 reports of malfunctions or destruction of infrastructure," Averin said.

It was stressed at the briefing that field trips and damage assessment are a very costly process, and thanks to such a database the government will be able to assess the picture and plan actions to restore the territories of Ukraine.

It is noted that the number of incidents with the threat to the environment for 100 days of full-scale war is already equal to the number of incidents that occurred during the eight years of war in eastern Ukraine.

Before EcoPolitics reported that the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources launched the official resource and mobile application EcoTanger with data on environmental threats and invited Ukrainians to join the environmental battalion.

We will remind also that in Ukraine since March 15 site of the operational Headquarters for the recording of environmental crimes began work, thanks to which generalized information on environmental crimes is posted on one resource.

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