An Examination of the River Zgar and the Development and Approval of the Local Environmental Action Plan to Conserve it

Grant Recipient

All-Ukrainian Committee on UNEP Activity Support (UkrUNEPcom)

Project Leader




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Roman Khimko

Contact

Vysotskogo St., 9, Apt. 65,
Kyiv city, 02222
Tel: +38 044 5325848
E-mail: ximko@i.com.ua

Goal

The development of a model local environmental action plan for the River Zgar.

Objectives

  • to complete the various research activities initiated in 1995 concerning the ecosystems of the River Zgar and the social and economic situation in built-up areas in the river basin;
  • to develop a local environmental action plan for nature management, land and water conservation, improvement of the river ecosystem and a decrease in the level of river pollution.

Project Area

Vinnytska and Khmelnytska Oblasts

Results

Two field surveys of the River Zgar were undertaken

Two field surveys to the Zgar river basin were organised. The first took place from 17 to 22 August 2003 and second from 20 to 27 September 2003. Research was conducted into the state of the river ecosystem (using zooplankton, phytoplankton and higher aquatic plants as indicators), on water quality (using permanganate oxidizability, dissolved oxygen, nitrogen content and phosphorus in different forms as indicators), and on the state of landscapes, floodplain ecosystems and the river valley. In total, more than 60 different samples were taken during the field surveys, and a similar number of aquatic plants were described.

Based on a summary of the data collected, 19 sites were identified where the state of the landscape and character of the economic activity were the same; the main problems affecting the river, factors that negatively affect the river, and local sources of pollution at each test site were also identified. In accordance with the primary thesis of the project, all the information collected proves that the river profits from or is damaged by some types of human activity in the river valley.

During the field surveys, meetings were held with local residents living in or near the river valley; these human settlements have most impact on the river. The river's problems were discussed with the residents and representatives of local authorities, as was the issue of how they understood the river's problems and what they could do to solve them. Various proposals for how to improve the state of the river and the socio-economic situation were discussed.

 

A draft Environmental Action Plan for the River Zgar was developed

Factors that have a negative impact at the river were identified at the places along the river where the ecosystem is degrading, and recommendations for integrated measures to reduce the negative impact on the river were proposed. As a result, a number of proposals were produced to improve the state of the river's ecosystem and water quality and restore its biodiversity. A Local Environmental Action Plan was established, which takes into consideration the proposals of the residents for improving the state of the river and the socio-economic situation in the river basin. The Plan envisages the following actions:

  • the introduction of a number of educational–awareness raising activities on river protection and restoration;
  • the establishment of local riverbank protection strips and the planting of several rows of trees and two-three rows of bushes on their external border, and the use of land within the riverbank protection strips as hayfields;
  • the renewal of work on the wastewater treatment facilities in Lityn city; an improvement in the state of roads, from where dust is washed into the river;
  • the introduction of systematic activities to eliminate rubbish, and a ban on the establishment of unauthorised rubbish dumps in the river valley;
  • the organisation of a number of educational activities to make the residents aware of their legal obligation to avoid the discharge of domestic and organic waste into the river.

    To encourage the natural processes of river rehabilitation:
  • restoration of the meanders in the Zgar river valley should be promoted;
  • trees should be planted at several sites on the floodplain and on terraced hillsides in the river valley;
  • weeds on exhausted hayfields should be cut and destroyed, and mixed grasses, and perennial grains and beans, should be planted;
  • an area of the riverbed in the upper part of the river should be partly cleared of the excessive mass of vegetation that has collected there;
  • trees should be planted around the springs that feed the river.

 

An Inter-Rayon Workshop was held, aimed at obtaining the agreement of the local residents and representatives of local authorities to the proposals in the Local Environmental Action Plan

On 10 September 2004, an Inter-Rayon Workshop, aimed at obtaining the agreement of the local residents and representatives of local authorities to the proposals in the Local Environmental Action Plan, was held at Lityn village. The participants in the workshop came from most of the human settlements that have land in the river valley. In total 14 representatives of village councils, two Environmental Inspectors - from Litynsky and Letychivsky Rayons - and several managers of enterprises in Lityn took part in the workshop.

 

Awareness-raising activities were organised

Information about the results of the field survey, "Data Analysis of the State of Economic Use of Landscapes of the River Zgar", were prepared and disseminated to the media. "Questions for Residents of the River Zgar Area about Environmental Problems in the River Basin" were sent to several local newspapers.

Awareness-raising materials about the project were presented to local, rayon and village councils, rayon and oblast administrations and the State Department of the Environment and Natural Resources in Vinnytska Oblast.

A summary of how to develop an Environmental Action Plan, a description of the landscapes and ecosystem of the River Zgar and how they are used in economic terms, as well as a number of proposals developed for the Local Environmental Action Plan were presented in a project summary brochure entitled "Our River Zgar. Its Current State and a Programme of Measures to Improve It"; 100 copies and 50 CDs were circulated.

 

 
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