Khortytsia Island Nature Reserve.
Forests of the Volyn region were destroyed by illegal amber mining and extraction.
Due to Russia’s military aggression, Ukraine needs more support and help than ever from its friends and partners, which are the European Union.
Khortytsia Island Nature Reserve
Khortytsia, the largest island on the Dnipro river, is located In Zaporizhzhia, below the Dnipro Hydroelectric Power Station.
Nowadays Khortytsia is one of the most important educational, cultural and historical centres of Ukraine.
The peculiarity of the island of Khortytsya is the presence on it of all the landscape zones of Ukraine – from steppes to mountains. In the pits, tracts, floodplains of the island there are 1052 species of higher plants, 657 of which are native wild flora, 41 species – relicts (that is, the remains of ancient times) and endemics (plants inhabiting small areas).
In the National Reserve Khortytsya registered 27 species of higher plants included in the Red Book of Ukraine and 11 species included in the European Red List.
Threat from rocket attacks
Since February 2022, the city of Zaporizhzhia and the island of Khortytsia have been under constant rocket fire. Not only the city’s infrastructure is being destroyed, but also the natural area of the reserve.
There is a great risk of losing very rare plant species.
Our project is looking for sponsors and partners to collect a seed bank of plants for later planting in a safe location (in Denmark or Western Ukraine).
After the end of hostilities, we will use our plant bank to restore the natural landscape of the nature reserve.
Disappearance of forests in Volyn region
Illegal amber mining has been strongly developed in Ukraine.
On December 19, 2020 the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine supported in second reading and as a whole the draft law No. 2240 on the regulation of amber mining. Real changes in the control of illegal amber mining began.
But at that time, in the area of about 6 thousand hectares, irreversible microclimatic changes had already taken place in the looted areas – the disappearance of forests and swamps, pollution of rivers and loss of fertile soil layer.
Even if foresters plant trees, they do not grow or wither away. Therefore, the acidity of the soil changes, as amber releases acid when it comes into contact with water.
Restoring the woodlands in the area where amber was mined requires a lot of work by scientists on a plan to restore the acid balance of the soil.
A large number of tree seedlings are then required.
Our organisation is launching a project to restore forested areas in the Volyn region. We are looking for sponsors and partners to carry out research work and create a bank of tree seedlings.
From January 2023, we are starting a volunteer search programme to get the project started from February 2023.
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