Before the project started, preparatory coordination work was
undertaken with the State Department of the Environment and Natural Resources in
Zaporizka Oblast (Division of Protected Areas and Ecological Network) in order
to identify the areas that should be protected; 12 potential areas were
identified. Field surveys were conducted at these sites in order to establish
protected areas of local importance.
The main goals of the field surveys were as follows:
- to assess the state of potential protected areas;
- to identify the present ecological state of small rivers;
- to identify violations of environmental legislation.
Two 10-day field surveys were conducted in Kuybyshevsky,
Berdyansky, Primorsky, Chernihivsky, Tokmaktsky, Pryazovsky and Yakimivsky
Rayons. The surveys were organised in order to identify the mouth, middle
reaches and sources of rivers. The field team, which included a hydrologist,
botanist, ichthyologist, hydrobiologist and herpetologist, studied the following
- sources of the Rivers Obitochna, Molochna, Kiltichiya and Berda;
- middle reaches of the Small and Large Utlyuk, Tashchenak, Molochna,
Domuzla, Korsak, Lozovatka, Obitochna and Berda;
- mouths of the Small and Large Utlyuk, Tashchenak, Molochna, Domuzla,
Korsak, Lozovatka and Obitochna; and
- most of the river tributaries.
The results of the field surveys showed that seven areas should
be protected and used wisely through the establishment of protected areas.
Scientific rationales were produced for each of them in order to establish them
as protected areas of local importance:
- "Source of the River Berda", "Volova
Gully", "Steppe Slopes of Tykhy Ravine" protected
landscape areas and "Steppes near the River Gruzenka" protected
botanical area in Kuibyshevsky Rayon;
- "Steppes of Saltychsky Granite Open Pit" and
"Source of the River Molochna (Tokmak)" protected landscape
areas in Chernihiv Rayon;
- "Steppes Bordering the River Tashchenak"
protected botanical area of local importance in Melitopolsky Rayon.
In order to reinforce the project results and ensure that
activities aimed at establishing the protected areas took place, co-operation
was started with the State Department of the Environment and Natural Resources
in Zaporizka Oblast, Melitopol Interregional Ecological Inspection, the Oblast
Department of Land Resources, rayon administrations and village councils.
Seven booklets of the type "A Small River Flows…"
were published and distributed.
Booklets were produced on the following topics:
“Small Rivers of the Northern Azov Sea Region”,
“Ecological Problems of Small Rivers in the Northern Azov Sea Region”,
“Legal Protection of Small Rivers (environmental law)”,
“The Most Valuable Protected Areas and River Sites in the Northern Azov Sea
“Rare and Red Data Book Plants of Small River Basins in the Northern Azov Sea
“Rare and Red Data Book Animals of Small River Basins in the Northern Azov Sea
“The Protection and Management of Small Rivers (basin
Five hundred copies of each booklet were distributed to the local
population during field surveys, city schoolchildren, members of groups in the
Eco-naturalists' Centre, university students and NGOs. Some of the booklets were
distributed among the population of the villages where it was planned to plant
trees near small rivers.
Violations of environmental legislation were identified
Field surveys in small river basins permitted the identification
of violations of environmental legislation. The most typical violations were:
- non-compliance with legislation relating to the width of protected
- pollution of areas near rivers and forest belts with household rubbish;
- illegal felling of field-protection and water-protection forest belts;
- non-compliance with legislation relating to protected areas of local importance;
- illegal building of dikes and other hydrotechnical constructions;
- illegal introduction and acclimatisation of some fish species.
Descriptions of the violations were put together to make a
package of documents that was sent to the State Department of the Environment
and Natural Resources in Zaporizka Oblast as an activity carried out as part of
the work to describe the current ecological status of small rivers in the
Northern Azov Sea Region.
The planting of trees and bushes was organised in areas near
In accordance with the recommendations of the State Department of
the Environment and Natural Resources in Zaporizka Oblast, trees were planted in
Stepanivka and Olexandrivka villages, Pryazovsky Rayon; 500 trees of different
species were planted in two groups. In order to guarantee that the trees were
cared for, agreements were signed with the relevant village councils and
commercial bodies conducting economic activities on land within the jurisdiction
of the village councils.
Materials were produced for the mass media
The results of the project results were publicised via the
dissemination of press releases to the local media. In total, six press releases
were prepared and distributed:
- “Man-made Ponds: Are They Good or Bad?”;
- “New Protected Areas in Our Region”;
- “Ways of Conserving Biodiversity in the Small River Basins of the Northern Azov Sea
- “Rivers of the Northern Azov Sea Region as Centres for the Conservation of Plant
- “Experience in Environmental Activities of the Melitopol NGO, “Tavriiska Aid for Protected