Data and analysis on nearly 5000 incidents of war-related damages in Ukraine show that 92 industrial facilities in the high or very high environmental risk category were affected.
The data stems from a recently created online map-based platform, Ecodozor, developed by Zoï Environment Network and supported by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine.
The platform draws on OSCE’s experience in assessing environmental damage in the eastern regions of Ukraine, affected by armed conflict since 2014.
The damages and disruptions were gathered from across the whole of Ukraine and included infrastructure damage due to bombing and shelling, interrupted water, gas and electricity supplies, and disrupted industrial operations. The effects of these environmental threats are yet to be investigated.
“Of course, in these tragic times of war, we think first of all about people whose lives are in immediate danger from ongoing hostilities. Yet, we shouldn’t forget that environmental damage can have long-term effects on health and lives of everyone in the affected areas and beyond,” said Henrik Villadsen, the OSCE Project Co-ordinator during the event.
“This needs to be taken into account already in planning and accumulation of resources for assistance in the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine,” he added.
The Ecodozor platform will be continuously updated, to assist researchers and policy makers in developing a comprehensive response to environmental threats.
The OSCE Project Co-ordinator has been helping Ukrainian authorities to enhance their system of emergency response especially in the sphere of chemical safety and security. This includes several approaches, such as harmonizing regulatory systems with internationally accepted standards, reforming first responders training and enhancing capacities in identification of toxic chemicals.
The Co-ordinator has also supported the country in enhancing monitoring of its water resources in the Siverskyi Donets river basin.