The Development and Implementation of an Action Programme on the Analysis, Preservation and Rehabilitation of the Biodiversity and Historical and Cultural Heritage of the Valley of the River Domotkan'

Grant Recipient

"Orlan" (White-tailed Eagle) Environmental Tourist Association
Photoarchive

Project Leader


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Petro Chegorka

Contact

Druzhby Narodiv Ave., 31, Apt. 184,
Dniprodzerzhynsk city,
Dnipropetrovska Oblast, 51940
Tel: +38 05692 92641
E-mail: postmaster@eco05.dp.ua

Goal

To obtain objective data on the current status of the hydrological regime, protection of natural ecosystems in the river valley, and existence of historically and culturally important places; to identify factors that impact negatively on the valley; to carry out a programme of practical activities aimed at improving the situation; to devise recommendations to rehabilitate the river ecosystem; to disseminate information about the river's problems among the population; to attract the attention of the local authorities to the river's problems.

Objectives

  • to conduct an integrated investigation into the current status of ecosystems and the historical and cultural heritage of the valley of the River Domotkan’: to study species biodiversity and the structure of the zooplankton and benthic cenoses; to undertake an integrated assessment of water quality according to bio-indicators; to study the hydrological characteristics and geological features of the estuary, as well as the floral and faunal biodiversity, the existence and state of sites of historical and cultural importance, place names, etc.;
  • to produce an historical outline and make an inventory of the remaining historically and culturally important places; to collect ethnographic information; to involve the population and authorities in solving the river’s problems;
  • to organise an environmental camp for children, “Domotkan’ 2003”, on the estuary, and to conduct activities: research excursions led by scientists, biotechnical activities, stream cleaning, trainings in how to be a good tourist, preparing and setting up nature-protection posters, etc.;
  • to publish a brochure, “Natural, historical and cultural heritage of the valley of the River Domotkan’‘‘.

Project Area

Dnipropetrovska Oblast

Results

An analysis of literature and archival sources was carried out in order to make a retrospective assessment of the state of the river

On the basis of topographical surveys carried out since the 1950s, specialists from the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Water Committee produced maps (scale 1:25,000), covering all areas of the river basin. Thus it became possible to conduct a retrospective assessment of changes that have taken place in the area, i.e. changes in the stream. In the process of this work, new data on the structure of the vegetation community, spread of rare plants and animals, presence of objects of historical and cultural heritage etc. were added to the maps.

 

Integrated research was carried out on the state of ecosystems and historical and cultural heritage in the river valley

The research was conducted according to conventional hydrological, hydrobiological, geobotanical and zoological methods. A description was made of the geological structure of the river basin. Water samples from different parts of the river and aquifers were taken for hydro-chemical analysis.

An important part of the project was the preparation of a historical review, production of an inventory of historical and cultural monuments, and the collection of ethnographical materials, in particular, traditional Ukrainian household items, examples of folk arts and crafts. Participants in the project also studied the place names of the area as well as the potential of the river for recreation (primarily for the needs of the local population).

 

A "Historical-Ethnographic Review of the Valley of the River Domotkan'" was produced

The author of the review, Volodymyr Moroz, is a historian and an honoured worker of Ukraine. The review covers the period from the 16th century to the beginning of the 20th century. It contains data on the chronology of settlement and development of the river valley and material about the foundation of the major settlements in the context of the main historical events in the south of Ukraine (destruction of Zaporizka Sich, formation of New Serbia, development of capitalism, etc.). A summary brochure, "Domotkan': Past, Present, Future", was produced as the output of the project (see below). The review was included in the brochure and was used to prepare the video scenario.

 

Recommendations to enhance the river ecosystem were developed

The first task is the environmental education of the local population and managers at all levels. The steps are as follows:

  • to stop ploughing valley slopes steeper than 3? and to convert them into meadows. At present, large areas of such slopes are covered with weeds, and there are not enough meadows in the valley;
  • the planting of new forest, if necessary, should be done only on ploughed land and never on natural steppe slopes. Forests planted on dry steppe slopes with poor soils are stunted and crooked and they gradually degrade, being not able to compete with grass;
  • to identify and implement a number of actions to reduce and stop water erosion, firstly actions to improve meadows;
  • to undertake activities, as laid down in the Water Code of Ukraine, to identify protected riverbanks and water-protection zones and to comply strictly with requirements to limit activities on them.

Only after the above-mentioned activities have been implemented can a start be made on restoring the riverbed by cleaning it up. This should be done in accordance with the specially developed projects, strictly according to the line of the existing riverbed and following its natural meanders. In the areas that have already been cleaned up in the form of straightened canals, the original riverbed should be restored.

 

An Environmental Camp for Children, "Domotkan' 2003", was organised

The camp was held from 8 to 16 July at the mouth of Chaplynka gully (the main east-bank tributary of the Domotkan'); 42 people (33 children and 9 adults) took part. Activities were organised under the following main headings:

  • ecological (learning to undertake botanical, zoological, hydrobiological and hydrological research; making videos and taking photographs of natural objects);
  • ethnographic (identification and study of the state of the historical and cultural heritage; collecting decorative items of practical use and finding out how they were used; collecting arts and crafts items and artefacts relating to family life; studying local place names);
  • practical (riverbed clearing; maintaining the sources of the river and an environmental trail; preparing nest boxes for bats; establishing nest platforms for birds of prey; producing and installing children's own environmental posters);
  • sport and health (learning water tourism and hiking skills).

 

A video, "Domotkan' - a River Going Nowhere", was produced

A video (duration 19 minutes) was distributed to educational and environmental institutions in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. The video was shown by "Author-TV", TV company of the year, and Dnipropetrovsk Oblast TV ("Dyvosvit" (Wonder World) and "Humans and Nature" programmes).

 

A brochure, "Domotkan': Past, Present, Future", was published and distributed

The brochure was distributed to educational institutions and libraries in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast and to active environmental NGOs and specialists.

 

Based on the results of the project, a public awareness-raising campaign was conducted

The campaign included the following activities:

  • a joint action by the "Ecoanima" Studio for Aesthetic Education and children from Vodyanska Secondary School to maintain an environmental trail, clean up the sources of the river and install environmental posters in Vodyana gully;
  • a photo exhibition, "Domotkan': Past, Present, Future", was held at the Department of Ukrainian Studies of Dnipropetrovsk University of Railway Transport; 1,500 people visited the exhibition (mainly students and lecturers);
  • presentations of the video and brochure were made:
    • at the Department of Ukrainian Studies of Dnipropetrovsk University of Railway Transport (75 participants);
    • at the meeting of the "Ridnokray" Local Studies Club, which is run by the Oblast Scientific Library (35 participants);
    • at the conference "Problems in Developing the Nature Protection Fund of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast and Ways to Involve Young People in Solving Them" (60 participants);
    • in the Oblast Eco-naturalists' Centre (25 people);
    • in Vodyanska Secondary School (90 people);
  • publications in the "Zorya", "Silski Novyny" (Village News), "Jerelo" (Source), "Vidomosti" (News) and "Pridniprovsky Komunar" newspapers (Upper-Dnipro region);
  • broadcasts of the "Flower of Imagination" and "Dumka-Shumka" collections (by Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Radio);
  • a TV report, "Ecological Camp on the Domotkan'", in a Dniprodzherzhynsky Cable TV programme.
 

 
© 2005 Ukrainian Rivers Network
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