"Tavriiska Aid for Protected Areas" Public Organisation, Melitopol city

Contact information

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Demchenko, Victor Oleksiyovych
P.O. Box 33, Melitopol city,
Zaporozhska Oblast, 72312
Tel: (06192) 69077
E-mail: demvik@bigmir.net
Members of organisation


To promote the improvement of the ecological situation in Melitopol city.

Main areas of activity

  • supporting environmental-protection activities;
  • developing and protecting the region’s Nature Protection Fund;
  • conducting scientific research in ecology and socio-ecology;
  • taking an ecological approach to culture, science, arts, education, sport and tourism;
  • publishing activities and popularisation of environmental protection through the mass media;
  • creating environmental information networks, including Internet-based networks;

The organisation's experience in the conservation of small rivers

In February-October 2002, the organisation carried out a project entitled "Conservation of landscape and biological diversity of the basin of the River Molochna". It aimed to protect the areas of the River Molochna basin that are important for landscape and biodiversity rehabilitation by creating nature-protection areas. Those involved were:

  • 10 people who took part in practical activities: most were postgraduates and were doing research or were working as teachers and dealing with educational activities. The average age of the project participants was 24.
  • 5 officials from the State Department of Environment and Natural Resources (Department of Conservation Activities and Ecological Networks);
  • 8 representatives of Melitopol Interregional Ecological Inspection;
  • approximately 20 heads of rural and regional Councils of Deputies, who made the decisions about creating protected areas;
  • 25 people – members of the “Meotida”, “The Association of Nature Friends”, “EuroClub – Melitopol” public organisations.
  • 3,000 people who received the leaflet, “The wonderful water of the River Molochna is a miracle of nature”, including approximately 1,500 schoolchildren from Melitopolsky and Tokmatsky Rayons, 350 members of the Melitopol Environmental Nature Centre for Children and Young People, 200 citizens of Tokmatsky Rayon, 700 citizens of Melitopol and Tokmak cities, 150 students from Melitopol universities, and 100 young environmentalists from Zaporizhya, Smila, Rivne and Melitopol cities who took part in the activities of the “Prostir – 2002” (“Open space – 2002”) environmental camp;
  • 67 participants of the final forum aimed at drawing conclusions from the city’s marathon environmental effort;
  • 300 teachers, environmentalists and NGO representatives in the region, who were presented with a book entitled “The River Molochna – nature’s miracle”;
  • 6 scientific consultants, who assisted in writing the scientific and popular book;
  • 7 technical workers, who typed and laid-out the leaflets and book;
  • approximately 2,143 readers of the “New Day” newspaper, who familiarised themselves with the activities of the “Tavriiska Aid for Protected Areas” public organisation.

 The project was carried out in Zaporizka Oblast, Melitopolsky, Chernigivsky, Tokmatsky, Prymorsky, Pryazovsky, Berdyansky, Kuibyshevsky Rayons, the River Molochna and its tributaries (the Rivers Chyngul, Kainkulak, Yushanly and Kiltichiya). Within the framework of the project, there was a plan to carry out a number of sub-projects, aimed at improving the ecological status of the basin of the River Molochna by creating protected areas. At the same time, it was planned to involve the population in creating and protecting water basins by disseminating leaflets and publishing articles in the oblast and regional press. The unique water basins with their meadow flora, gullies, shallow water, floodlands and spawning and fattening sites for many fish species were identified as prospective areas for preservation. The final stage of the project was the publication of the book "The River Molochna - nature's miracle".

The outcomes of the activities were:

  • five scientific papers were written to give reasons to create Nature Protection Fund sites;
  • three protected areas were established;
  • an information brochure on the River Molochna was published;
  • the book “The River Molochna – nature’s miracle” published;
  • collaboration was established with local and oblast authorities;
  • a substantial quantity of scientific material on the ichthyology of the basin of the River Molochna was collected and handed over to the Museum of Zoology under the National Academy of Sciences in Ukraine;
  • a database was created on the ecological status of the River Molochna (hydrochemical, hydrological, climatic and other indices);
  • mechanisms for solving environmental problems in small-river basins were considered and developed using the River Molochna as an example.

In April-September 2002, a camp was organised: the All-Ukrainian Environmental Camp "Open Space - 2002". The aim of the camp was to improve the level of environmental education among young naturalists from the different oblasts of Ukraine and to develop their practical skills in conducting field scientific research with the aim of further disseminating the knowledge in every oblast. The participants: 14 main leaders, 20 lecturers from the Melitopol Universities, school teacher and 100 schoolchildren from different cities in Ukraine (Kyiv, Zaporizhya, Kirovograd, Melitopol, Dnipropetrovsk, Nova Kakhovka). The activity was carried out in Zaporizka Oblast, Yakymivsky Rayon, Leninske village, the River Molochna and the "Plavni of Molochny Liman" reserve.

The modern level of extracurricular activities envisages the improvement of children's abilities and skills in studying and preserving natural complexes, the skills to conduct nature observations on their own. The children had the opportunity to improve their level of environmental awareness and acquire practical skills in conducting field scientific research in the "Plavni of Molochny Liman" reserve. The reserve is included in the southern latitudinal ecological corridor and its surrounding areas, which are regarded as wetlands of international importance (Molochny estuary, Kyziyarske and Pishchanske streams). The project involved environmental improvement (clearing surrounding areas of rubbish, clearing the surrounding woodland belts, splash zones etc.)

The main outputs of the activity:

  • Young naturalists of the environmental nature centre and pupils from the schools of the city and region were involved in nature-protection activities and monitoring the ecological status of natural protected areas in the city, region and oblast;
  • Information on the work carried out was disseminated through the mass media;
  • Notice-boards giving information on the protection and economic use of the unique protected areas of the region were made.

As a result of the research data collected during the environmental camp, it is planned to write to the local authorities about an improvement in the ecological status of particular areas. Letters will be prepared emphasizing the importance of work on the rehabilitation of water-protection zones, protected riversides and other protected areas.

In January-September 2002, the organisation carried out a project entitled "Development of Environmental Education by Means of the Internet. Ecozoonet" aimed at popularising environmental and zoological knowledge among the public at large. There were 15 main project leaders, including Doctors of Biology and researchers from various Ukrainian universities. They took part in the preparation of scientific outlines on different topics ("Birds of Ukraine", "Mammals of Ukraine", "Marine Fish", "Freshwater Fish", etc.). The project was carried out in the Scientific and Natural History Museum under the National Academy of Sciences. The results of the project may be of interest to many people who visit our Internet site. Today a significant number of secondary and high schools have access to the Internet. Accordingly, the project was planned to provide the opportunity for schools to use the numerous collections of one of the main zoological institutions in Ukraine:

  • to familiarise themselves with fauna from all the continents of the world;
  • to facilitate the teaching of nature (the basic rules of ecology, its principles, laws, patterns, etc.) by photographs of different objects kept in the Zoological Museum.

As a result of the project a website was created (www.zoomuzeum.kiev.ua), where much useful and interesting information on nature protection for schoolchildren, students and scientists can be found, together with more than 150 photos of representatives of the main faunal groups. A database has been developed with notes on 1,450 CITES List and the Red Data Book species. Experts on systematisation and taxonomy have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with 2,247 type specimens and 199 vertebrate and non-vertebrate taxa, which are kept in the Zoological Museum and represent the common scientific property of mankind.

In January-April, 2002, "Tavriiska Aid for Protected Areas" organised a regional conference entitled "Melitopol Today! What will it be in future!?" in Melitopol, Zaporizka Oblast. Its aim was to draw attention to, stimulate interest in and define existing environmental problems and to develop ways to improve the environmental situation in the city and the region. The participants - 12 main project leaders and more than 100 other participants (scientists, university professors, teachers, student environmentalists, leading experts in ecology and heads of business enterprises and institutions in the city who deal with environmental problems in Melitopol and the region) and more than 1,000 inhabitants of Melitopol, who watched programmes about the conference on TV and read articles in the local press. Each environmentalist had the opportunity to describe the problems of his organisation and outline ways to solve them. Propositions to improve the environmental situation in the region were discussed and adopted.

In 2003, within the framework of the "Save your River" Small Grants Programme carried out by the Wetlands International Black Sea Programme, the project, "The Protection of Small Rivers of the Northern Azov Sea Region through the Implementation of a Range of Ecological Activities", was supported.

The project took place between April and December 2003. Its aim was to protect biological and landscape diversity in small river basins in the northern Azov Sea region by creating protected areas of local significance and planting greenery in areas bordering the small rivers in the region. The participants were 10 main presenters, five officials from the State Department of Environment and Natural Resources (the Department of Protected Areas and Ecological Networks); six officials from the Melitopol Interregional Environmental Inspection; the heads of village and regional councils of deputies who made decisions on establishing protected areas; nearly 1,000 people, schoolchildren, young environmentalists, who were presented with the brochures, "The Rivers of the Northern Azov Sea Region" and "Ecological Problems of the Rivers of the Northern Azov Sea Region".

The programme was implemented in Zaporizka Oblast, Melitopolsky, Chernigivsky, Tokmatsky, Prymorsky, Pryazovsky, Berdyansky and Kuibyshevsky Rayons, the Rivers Molochna, Saltych, Saltychiya, Kiltichiya, Chyngul, Kainkulak, Yushanly, Domuzla, Obytochna, Lozovatka, Berda, Gruzenka, Tashchenak and Karatyuk. The members of the "Tavriiska Aid for Protected Areas" public organisation (mostly scientists, researchers and postgraduates) plan to carry out a range of research activities on the rivers of the northern Azov Sea region.

The research results will become the basis for the scientific rationale for creating Nature Preservation Fund sites; for making recommendations to improve the situation in environmentally problematic aquatic or terrestrial areas; for making sound, fact-based complaints to local, regional and oblast authorities that claim to uphold the environmental law and solve specific problems; and for publishing scientific and popular brochures. Carrying out these activities will help to solve a number of existing problems in the basins of small rivers and will become a model for overcoming negative situations in other regions of Ukraine. In addition, the planting of greenery in areas bordering the small rivers in the northern Azov Sea region is planned.

Plans for the future and prospects

In the near future, the organisation plans to implement several projects following different trends in environmental improvement, including ecological and educational activities.

The main activities are as follows:

  • A review of the current state of and ways to preserve the Nature Protection Fund sites in Zaporizka Oblast;
  • Improvement and development of the environmental education of pupils in village schools by implementing a range of educational activities;
  • Establishment and dissemination of a comprehensive collection of environmental information in Melitopol and the region by creating a database and ecological atlas of the region.

The projects are currently in need of financial support.

The organisation takes an active part in implementing the Local Environmental Action Programme (LEAP). Within the framework of the programme, the local communities will be able to solve environmental problems by their own efforts; on this basis, an action group was founded. The action group applied for support to the Melitopol local authorities and received general approval for collaboration. A group of people interested in the problem has been created; the role of the group will be to co-ordinate and carry out the programme's objectives.


The River Molochna – nature’s miracle. 2002. [In Russian.] Melitopol. 100 pp. (doc, 3961 Кb)


The book tells the story of the geological and biological formation of the basin of the River Molochna and describes the history of land settlement in the river basin based on data in the literature and the personal observations of the author. The stages of opening up the river's natural resources by humans and the reconstruction of its aquatic areas are described. Details of the flora and fauna and a list of protected areas are given.


© 2005 Ukrainian Rivers Network
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