Russia’s Bill for Environmental Damage: Learning to Pay Together

Community leaders and journalists spent four days learning how to record and assess environmental damage as a result of russian aggression.

The Summer Eco School (training) for over forty participants was organized by the National Interests Advocacy Network (ANTS) as part of the project “Together for Environmental Democracy, Justice, and the Rule of Law in Ukraine”, funded by the U.S. State Department, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL).

The participants of the training exchanged experiences and got acquainted with examples of environmental problems in the territories affected by military operations. They also get acquainted in detail with the methods of researching environmental damage as a result of russian aggression and the possibility and prospects for Ukraine and individual communities to receive compensation.

“I am a new person in the position of deputy chairman, so I took advantage of this opportunity and received a lot of positive emotions and a lot of acquaintances.  I will definitely write everything down; I will come and share it with everyone and use it in my work. Our community has suffered a lot, so we are collecting everything we know and believe that we will restore our Ukraine with joint efforts and new knowledge, and everything will be fine with us. Everything will be Ukraine!” said Liubov Yehorova, deputy head of the Halytsyniv village council of the Mykolaiv region for economic development and investments, sharing his impressions of the ANTS Eco School.

Community representatives developed contacts with the media and mastered the skills of effective communication with the mass media. Instead, the media received first-hand information about the situation in the communities that suffered as a result of russian aggression.

“The event is very important because of the issue of the environment, and precisely in the conditions when the russian federation carries out aggression and military actions on our territory, the damage to the environment is very significant. And the issue of correctly forming a package of necessary documents, which will then make it possible to compensate for the damage and restore what was lost, is unrealistic, but at least to record it and for the aggressor country to pay is very important.

Therefore, all these methodical recommendations that were given to us during these four days were given in consultation, very professionally, very interestingly, and very competently. This will make it possible to really form the necessary documents, with the help of which you can already receive compensation.

I want to wish everyone that we never gave up in any case; we went to our goal, we recorded everything, and we believed that it would work, and it will definitely work!” says Polina Chervinska, head of the Department of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Zhytomyr City Council.

Among the lecturers of the course:

  • Oksana Abdullaeva, expert in environmental impact assessment, candidate of biological sciences, member of the expert group for the development of scientific recommendations for recording and assessing damage to the environment from the war at the Operational Headquarters of the State Environmental Inspectorate of Ukraine;
  • Serhii Panchenko, Doctor of Biological Sciences, Head of the Research Department of the Hetman National Nature Park;
  • Head of the Department of Ecosystem Assessment of Natural Resource Potential of the Institute of Environmental Economics and Sustainable Development of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Doctor of Economic Sciences Maria Ilyina;
  • Lawyer of the NGO “EkoPravo-Kyiv”, candidate of legal sciences Galina Levina;
  • Journalist, ecologist, and retired Armed Forces officer Oleg Lystopad;
  • Candidate of Physical and Mathematical Sciences Andriy Demydenko, member of the expert group for the development of scientific recommendations on recording and assessing damage to the environment from the war at the State Environmental Inspection.

“Now I understand better how and what to evaluate and who to contact in order to present this information to society in a more professional manner,” Nazarii Vivcharyk, editor of the online media “Procherk”, sums up his impressions. He already wrote about it in his media.

This ANTS Eco-School is a logical continuation of the online course on the popular educational platform “Prometheus” and public discussions on platforms such as Media center-Ukrinform.


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