About the Project

The Project “Support to Nature Protected Areas in Ukraine” promotes the conservation of the country’s outstanding natural richness. Many of Ukraine’s Nature Protected Areas host large tracts of natural landscapes, including primeval forests, making them a stronghold for many rare European plant and animal species. Many of these species are endemic (this means they only occur in one small and specific region of the world) and/or at risk of extinction, which makes their protection a task of global significance. However, compared to most European countries, the coverage of Ukrainian territory by protected areas is low.

The Project was developed a decade ago to support the conservation of this important natural heritage. After negotiations with the government of Ukraine, the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development decided to financially support the country’s Protected Areas Programme. In 2012 and 2013 a feasibility study was completed for the preparation of the project. The tender for the implementation of the project started in mid-2015 and the final kick-off was on 17th May 2016.

With the support of the Project, selected protected areas in Ukraine shall be strengthened but also the negative human impact on natural resources shall be mitigated. Among the main threats to the country’s rich biodiversity are:

  • 1
    large-scale clear-cutting in the Carpathians but also forest destruction in the Polissia region;
  • 2
    the conversion (and therefore the destruction) of natural habitat for intensified agriculture and inadequate forestry;
  • 3
    increased pollution and unsustainable management of water courses and coastal areas;
  • 4
    lacking enforcement of policies and laws but also growing poverty in some rural areas

The German Government, through the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), has provided a grant of up to 14 million EUR for the implementation of the project “Support to Nature Protected Areas in Ukraine”. The project is conducted within the framework of the German Financial Cooperation and financed by KfW Development Bank. The Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources (MENR) of Ukraine assumes overall responsibility for the implementation and execution of the project. AHT GROUP AG (AHT) in association with the WWF International Danube-Carpathian Programme, Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) and Ukrainian Society for the Protection of Birds (USPB) were awarded the contract by KfW on behalf of MENR to carry out this project as implementation consultant.

The main implementing partners are (i) the MENR, (ii) the managing staff of protected areas, (iii) the representatives of local communities and population groups, (iv) the concerned state agencies, (v) the Implementation Consultant and (vi) partners contracted for implementation activities (service providers, suppliers, construction companies, NGOs, auditors etc.).
Which Protected Areas are covered?

In preparation for the project, a feasibility study was carried out in 2012-2013. As a result of a multi-step and multi-criteria assessment of Ukrainian PAs, the study came up with a short list of nine PAs for which individual feasibility studies were developed. These include indicative lists of investments needs, identified opportunities for investment in socio-economic measures, detailed stakeholder analyses etc.

The project activities started in two selected PAs (defined in the ToR), namely the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve (CBR) and Gorgany Nature Reserve (GNR), but right after the inception phase, the work was expanded to other short-listed PAs.
The selection was undertaken based on a biodiversity assessment. The criteria comprised e.g.
  • 1
    Occurrence of rare or threatened species (the Key Biodiversity Area approach was applied)
  • 2
    Presence of important European natural habitat
  • 3
    Overlap with internationally important priority ecozones/ecosystems (e.g. WWF priority global 200, UNESCO World Heritage Sites etc.)
Furthermore, the possibility to strengthen the PA management through investments and also the institutional and socio-political framework were assessed.
The Project objectives and expected outputs
The main project objective is to improve the management effectiveness of selected Protected Areas (PAs) in Ukraine and to increase or maintain at a high level the acceptance of PAs in local communities.
Four outputs have to be achieved to meet the project objective:
  • 1
    Selected PAs hold the necessary planning documents for their development (such as updated area planning schemes, the so called “projekt organisatsij terroriy”)
  • 2
    Selected PAs have the necessary infrastructure, equipment and personnel (according to the relevant planning documents, see above). Such infrastructure can be cars and motorbikes for rangers, uniforms for rangers, new ranger posts and repaired administrative buildings as well as information and visitor centers).
  • 3
    The local people around the selected PAs accept the PAs as well as the relevant regulations and restrictions and benefit from investments in socio-economic measures in the vicinity of the PAs.
  • 4
    The administration and management of the national PA system (MENR) is strengthened through investments in selected areas.
The project duration is 6 years, from May 2016 to April 2022.
Project Team
Project Implementation Unit
(Project Coordinator – Mykola Kuzio, Deputy Minister for European Integration)
Advisory Committee
9 members Observers from KfW and Consultant
Steering Division
(Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources)
Implementation Division
(Team of Consultant)
Backstoppers, provide technical and management expertise
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