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Under the co-chairman of the Head of the Presidential Office of Ukraine Andriy Y...

Andriy Yermak and Margot Walstrom held the second meeting of the international working group on the environmental consequences of the war

Under the co-chairman of the Head of the Presidential Office of Ukraine Andriy Yermak and ex-Vice Prime Minister, former Foreign Minister of Sweden Margot Walstrom, the second meeting of the International Working Group on the Environmental Consequences of the War took place.

Videoconference also participated in the meeting: Ireland President in 1990-1997 Mary Robinson, EU Commissioner on Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginius Sinkevicus, Professor, CEO –2016 Isabella Tisheir, Vice President of the European Parliament, Gaidi Hautala, member of Sweden Parliament Rebecca Le Muan.

On the Ukrainian side were joined: Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Ruslan Streach, Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin, advisers to the head of the Presidential Office Dariya Zarivna and Alexander Bevz. Opening the meeting, Andriy Yermak noted that the continuation of Russian aggression is constantly increasing the number of crimes against the Ukrainian environment, so the effectiveness of this international working group is extremely important.

The head of the head of state stressed that the protection of the environment, as well as the rest of the aspects of the Ukrainian formula of peace, requires a joint vision and effort. “The ecological direction is aimed at developing and implementing a holistic plan of ecological restoration of Ukraine from the consequences of war.

The relevant mechanisms that will be developed and applied to Ukraine should be universal and effectively prevent environmental crimes in the world, be reflected in the relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly and other documents of the international law system, ”he is convinced. As Margot Walstrom noted, what is happening in Ukraine today is important to the whole world.

"We need to have a powerful answer to the war against the ecology and maintain all efforts to be held accountable for these crimes," she is convinced.

Margot Walstrom presented the framework document of the international working group, which defined three priorities of its work: the most complete assessment of the damage caused to the environment, the search for the best strategy for determining and ensuring responsibility and compensation for these crimes, as well as recommendations for the post -war transition of Ukraine to the "green" economy.

Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin informed that 14 cases of ecocide, committed during the aggressive war of the Russian Federation against our country, are investigating in Ukraine. There have already been 252 war crimes that have caused harm to the environment. On June 6, an investigation into a war crime and ecocid was launched on the day of intentional exploration of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station.

Andriy Kostin stressed that Ukraine has become the first state to make efforts to prosecute for environmental crimes and ecocide. According to the Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine Ruslan Stilts, today about 700 thousand hectares of Ukrainian forests are located in the occupied territories or in the war zone, 2. 4 million hectares of forests - in the liberated territories. These forests need recovery. 20% of Ukraine's security territories were affected by the war.

Under the Russian occupation, there are 10 national parks, 8 natural and 2 biosphere reserves. Ruslan Strifle reported that the mission of the UNP program from the environment (UNEP) has prepared a project of assessing the impact on the environment of the destruction of the dam of Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power plants, and the development of the environmental recovery program is expected.

Ukraine has sowed hundreds of hectares of the Kakhovka reservoir of annual plants to protect against dust storms and the spread of foreign species. To restore natural ecosystems, the implementation of the President Vladimir Zelensky's program "Green Country" with 1 billion trees is ongoing. In particular, in the spring, more than 112 million forest seedlings were planted, at least 90 million trees were planned to be planted in the fall.