Can the border strip be coordinated with the territories of the nature reserve fund? Can this strip itself become a protected area? Strengthening the protection of Ukraine’s state border with aggressor countries and consideration of draft law 7475 made this topic more than relevant.
Strengthening the state border is directly related to nature protection, because the largest amount of valuable nature is located on the periphery of our state. Here there are the most uncut forests and unimproved swamps. By the way, many nature conservation areas were created precisely in the border strip.
Almost all these territories – forests and impassable swamps – are excellent natural obstacles for the advance of enemy troops. In the spring of 2022, russian tanks stuck in the swamps of our Polissia. Therefore, in order to increase defense capability, swamps in the north of Ukraine should be irrigated.
Most protected areas are much larger in size than the width of the border strip. And if they are maintained in their natural state, stop logging and restore the former water level of the swamps, this will increase the border strip in some places many times over!
The border strip itself promises to be more than a protected and controlled territory. Ukraine has the best experience in the world in creating nature conservation areas as a result of strict restrictions on the people presence. In 30 years, the exclusion zone of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant turned into the largest natural area in Central Europe. Now it is a biosphere reserve. Therefore, even reclaimed swamps, not to mention natural swamps and lands of forest farms that have fallen into the border strip, will soon become oases of biodiversity.
174.4 thousand hectares of the border strip along the aggressor countries are natural territories which are not included to the nature reserve fund. Nothing prevents Ukraine from declaring them the territory of the NRF with a particularly strict protection regime. This will be extremely beneficial for biodiversity conservation, as the main driver of wildlife loss is economic activity, which does not exist there.
At the same time the economy of the state will not suffer from such a decision in any way.
We are ready to prepare a scientific justification for the creation of such a protected object.