Working with nature – reconstruction of Ukraine must be sustainable

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While the war in Ukraine is still ongoing, work is already underway to rebuild the country. This must be sustainable, was decided at an international conference in early July. The consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the environmental advocacy organization World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) have now presented how this can be achieved.

“Environmental security should be part of the security paradigm for Ukraine as it is the foundation of Ukraine’s economic development, well-being and survival,” said Bohdan Vykhor, CEO of WWF Ukraine. Six million people in Ukraine currently have little or no access to clean water and more than 280,000 hectares of forest have been destroyed or cleared. That is slightly more than the area around Vorarlberg.

flood protection
However, some problems existed before the war. For example, water was mainly needed for agriculture and the infrastructure for drinking water was and is poor. After the war, the damage to the lines should also be repaired, according to representatives of the BCG and the WWF. They also recommend expanding and developing the country’s nine river basins in line with the EU Water Framework Directive. At the same time, flood protection must be taken into account.

“Reconstruction should not only focus on rebuilding what has been destroyed, but should be focused on the future: the investments should be transformative, sustainable and work with nature rather than against it,” says Hubertus Meinecke of BCG. Agriculture, which so far accounts for about 40 percent of export revenues, is of great importance. The report “Ukraine: Sustainable Economic Reconstruction for People and Nature” recommends using less fertilizer and pesticides and using the land more sustainably.

protect forest stock
Only 15.9 percent of Ukraine’s area is forest, half of which is planted with monocultures. The forest areas must be cleared and cleaned up quickly, it said. Then the forest must also be protected.

Another recommendation is a longer-term plan to switch to green power generation. In 2019, only nine percent of electricity production came from renewable energy, and some of the power plants were destroyed in the war.

Source: Krone

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