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Ukraine is losing its nature reserves in Crimea


      On October 13, 2009 the Accounting Chamber of Ukraine published the release of its Collegium meeting of September 8, 2009:


      World practice of nature preservation provides evidence that establishment and maintenance of the scientifically sound and effectively managed system of territories and objects of nature reserve fund is a main device for securing and preserving natural diversity of landscapes, gene pool of flora and fauna. While in European countries number and area of nature reserve is steadily growing, in Ukraine we observe an opposite trend. And this process is explained not by the catastrophic overpopulation, but by inefficiency of protective status of reserve areas, by simplicity of overcoming this status.
     Accounting Chamber audited effectiveness of management and use of the state funds allocated for development and preservation of natural reserves of the national significance in Crimea. There are 43 natural complexes with special regime of protection, reproduction and use, including 6 natural reserves – Opuk, Kazantip, Yalta Mountain and Forest Reserve, Crym, Karadag and Martyan Cape.
     The Accounting Chamber thinks that responsible state and local bodies failed to provide effective management of reserved and protected areas, control over their functioning and preservation. These bodies are Ministry of environmental protection of Ukraine, State Committee of Ukraine on Forestry, State Department of Affairs, National Academy of Sciences, Ukrainian Academy of Agrarian Sciences, Soviet of Ministers of Crimea, Crimean Committee of Environmental Protection. As a result, Ukraine is gradually losing territories and resources of nature reserve fund of Crimean Peninsula; planned protective and management measures are implemented on a limited scale.
     Nature reserves and parks are in the domain of responsibility of different ministries and committees. And that is why it is hardly possible to find among officials a person at fault when it goes about responsibility for protection of nature reserve fund.
     Normal functioning of any reserved territory depends on properly established boundaries. Work on establishment of boundaries of natural reserves and parks in Crimea goes for 10 years, and there are still no boundaries defined and established in kind (on surface).
     Over 200 hectares was taken from the territory of Yalta Mountain and Forest Reserve on the basis of decisions of central and local authorities. Natural reserve Martyan Cape contrary to the Law of Ukraine on Natural Reserve Fund of Ukraine is still missing appropriate legal status (of legal person); project for organization of the territory of this Reserve is still to be drafted.
     Business activities are taken place at the territories of reserves despite direct prohibition established by the law. Crym Reserve and Yalta Mountain and Forest Reserve in 2006-2008 earned UAH 2.6 million from those illegal activities.
     Administration of Crym Reserve allowed felling of trees in a scale that 15 times higher of permitted level.
     Scientific works in reserves are taking place without any system, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine failed to fulfill its role of coordinator of scientific research…
    The state is missing long-term perspective program approach towards functioning and development of nature reservation in Ukraine. There is still no National program for development of nature reservation for the period till 2020 which should have been developed on the basis of the Governmental decision of February 8, 2006 # 70-р.
    Departmental disregard towards nature reserve fund prevents implementation of effective management and financial policy.


    Source: Accounting Chamber of Ukraine, 2009

    Translation: Center for Land Reform Policy in Ukraine, 2009

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