Live, Our River!

Grant Recipient

"Zeleny Svit" (Green World) Environmental and Humanitarian Association
Photoarchive

Project Leader




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Olexandr Stepanenko

Contact

Lesi Ukrainki St., 8, Apt. 1,
Chortkiv town,
Ternopilska Oblast, 48500
Tel: +38 03552 21843
E-mail: steps@greenworld.ch.te.ua

Goal

The protection and rehabilitation of important natural sites and complexes in the valley of the River Seret as a part of “Moklekiv” regional landscape park; advocating the kinds of economic activities that are based on the principles of sustainable development; the development of a positive attitude on the part of the local population towards the establishment of protected areas; an improvement in the level of public awareness of environmental problems; raising environmental consciousness.

Objectives

  • to carry out the initial work to establish the “Moklekiv” (own version of name) regional landscape park (RLP) based on the important natural, historical and cultural sites in the valley of the middle reaches of the River Seret through activities aimed at cleaning up and planting protected riverbanks that have suffered from human activities;
  • to collect descriptions, photos and cartographic information to develop proposals for the future of the RLP project, and to popularise activities to establish protected areas among the communities of Chortkiv town and Bila, Ugryn’, Rosokhach and Yagilnytsya villages;
  • to hold a workshop, “Prospects for establishing protected areas in the basin of the River Seret”, for representatives of the local authorities, educational institutions and partner NGOs.

Project Area

Ternopilska Oblast

Results

Field surveys were organised in the valley of the River Seret and its tributaries

In July-October 2003, five 1-day field surveys were organised. In March-May 2004, nine field trips were organised in the valley of the River Seret and its tributaries, namely the small rivers Mlynka, Cherkaska, Bilavina and Biluy Potik. Eighty people took part in the field trips: members of "Green World" NGO, "Kovcheg" club and pupils of Shashkevich High School, Chortkiv. About 140 km of riparian landscapes were researched and described, and photographic and cartographic material was collected. Test questionnaires for monitoring the environmental state of the small rivers Cherkaska, Mlynka, Bilavina, Pereyma and Bily Potik were completed. A set of documents, "Monitoring the environmental state of a river", was produced. Based on the results of the monitoring, appeals were written to the heads of local authorities with the aim of attracting attention to the environmental problems of small rivers.

A public environmental trail was established along the banks of the river in the suburb of Berdo, near Chortkiv. At the beginning of the route, a rubbish dump was removed and notice boards were installed appealing to visitors to the forest not to leave litter.

"Green World" studied the natural habitats of early flowering ephemeral plants, including the rare, endangered species and herbs: Adonis vernalis, red Helleborus, Arum besser, Dictamnus albus, forest lily, white lily and forest anemone. In "Zvirynets" riparian forest massif, an information board was installed at the site where rare ephemeral plants grow.

Based on the results of the field surveys, "Green World", together with "Kovcheg" Ecological Club, developed proposals to establish protected areas in the Seret basin that will became key elements of the protected area of the future regional landscape park. Proposals were made to protect the following sites:

  • within the area belonging to Biletsky Village Council – “Stinka Biletska” (steep-sided site in the valley of the Seret, formed of Silurian slate), “Biletsky Gorytsvity” site of special botanical interest (the largest population of Adonis vernalis in the region);
  • within the area belonging to Chortkiv City Council – the landscape around Berdo and the “Zvirynets” forest massif;
  • within the area belonging to Ugrynsky Village Council – the “Stinka Ugrynska” and “Vurvana” landscapes (steep-sided parts of the natural ravine on the west bank of the Seret, interesting from the point of view of biodiversity and as a site of geological exfoliation of sandstone and Silurian slate);
  • within the area belonging to Rosokhatsky Village Council – landscape of the valley of the small River Bilavina as a part of the “Lazorkova Valley” meadow-steppe site and “Bilavina” forest massif;
  • some areas in Chortkiv city, Yagolnytsya, Nagiryanka, Rosokhach and Ugryn villages, where historical-architectural monuments and sacred natural landscapes are located.

 The descriptive, photographic and cartographic data were collated in order to produce a scientific rationale for the establishment of a regional landscape park to be called "Moklekiv".

 

Actions were organised to plant trees and tidy up protected riversides

Five public events were held to clear household rubbish from the protected banks of the Rivers Seret and Bilavina, to tidy the site up and plant trees in areas covered by Chortkiv City Council and Yagolnytsky and Rosokhatska Village Councils. One hundred and twenty people took part in the actions: members of "Kovcheg" Children's Environmental Club, students of Barvinsky Pedagogical Institute, Chortkiv, pupils from Chortkiv High School, and Secondary Schools #6 and #7 in Chortkiv and Rosokhach villages. During the action, two unregulated rubbish dumps in the valley of the River Bilavina were removed and 50 ornamental trees were planted, hence the state of some degraded and polluted sites on the protected banks of the River Seret and adjacent forest massif was improved.

 

A photo exhibition was organised

On 10 March 2004, a photographic exhibition entitled "Looking in the Mirror of the Creator" was opened. The title of the exhibition relates to an expression of John Muire's, who is considered to be the Father of the American environmental movement: "Wild nature is like a mirror, which reflects the Creator". The concept for the photo exhibition is very well illustrated in the words of a famous Ukrainian philosopher, Grygoriy Skovoroda: "The heart doesn't love, if it doesn't see beauty". His expression contains an understanding of the sources of patriotism, nurtured by picturesque views of the native land; it embodies the concept that a person needs the beauty of nature just as much as he or she needs bread, rest and prayer. The exhibition illustrated the aesthetic value of the Chortkiv region, where protected areas are proposed.

In April-May, the exhibition was held in Chortkiv Central Rayon Library, Shashkevych High School, Chortkiv, and Chortkiv Medical College.

 

A workshop was held for representatives of local authorities, educational institutions and partner NGOs

With the help of Chortkiv Rayon Council and Ternopil Oblast Council, a workshop entitled "Prospects for the Establishment of Protected Areas in the Valley of the River Seret" was held on 11 March 2004. Representatives of local authorities, Chortkiv Rayon State Administration, Ternopil Pedagogical University, NGOs and the mass media took part in the workshop (in total - 50 participants).

 

A bulletin was published

An illustrated, full-colour information bulletin, "An Initiative to Establish a Regional Landscape Park in the Seret Valley. First Step", was published (circulation 200 copies, 12 pages, А5 format). The bulletin was disseminated among schoolchildren and students, NGO representatives and local authorities.

 

A number of publications were produced for the mass media

Two video-reports were produced for Ternopilska Oblast TV (opening of the photo exhibition and the workshop). Local publications, namely "Ratusha", "Golos narodu" (Voice of the People), "Vil'ne zhyttya" (Free Life), "Lyudyna i ecologia" (Human Beings and Ecology) and "New Ternopil" newspapers published thematic articles about the goal and process of project implementation as well as articles on the project participants. Information was sent to the Oblast newspaper "Ecologichny spolokh" (Ecological Warning) and Ternopil Oblast Council's "Rada" (Council) magazine. Information about project implementation was disseminated via partner organisations' websites: articles and photos were placed on the WETI fund and "Zeleny KIT" group's websites.

 

Activities were undertaken to popularise the establishment of protected areas among local authorities, local communities and educational institutions

  • Information about the goal of establishing a regional landscape park was given at sessions of Chortkiv Rayon Council, Nagiryanska, Rosohatska and Ugrynska Village Councils, and at public meetings in Chortkiv city and Bila village;
  • In April 2004, members of “Green World” NGO and “Kovcheg” Ecological Club presented two reports at a scientific conference with a practical component, organised by the Department of Geography of Ternopil Pedagogical University; 
  • Educational discussions were conducted in Shashkevych High School, Chortkiv, and with Chortkiv schools #6 and # 7 and Rosokhach village school.
  • Heads of local authorities received letters giving information about the goal of establishing “Moklekiv” regional landscape park and NGO activity within the framework of the “Live, Our River” project.
  • “Green World” held consultations with the Commission on Environmental Policy, Use of Natural Resources and Sustainable Development of Ternopil Oblast Council, Chortkiv Rayon Council, Division of Protected Areas of the State Department of the Environment and Natural Resources in Ternopilska Oblast, local authorities, land users (especially with the Administration of Chortkiv State Committee of Forestry) as well as with scientists about co-ordinating further activities on the establishment of a regional landscape park.
 

 
© 2005 Ukrainian Rivers Network
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