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Protected Areas and local communities

Conservation status is a very important tool for the protection of valuable territories

The Protected Areas ( called in Ukrainian “Nature Reserve Fund of Ukraine”) - territories of water or land that have special conservation, scientific, aesthetic, recreational or other values. Today, there are more than 8,000 protected areas in Ukraine with a total area of ​​3.3 million hectares, which is almost 7% of the country's territory. Nevertheless, the protected areas in Ukraine are insufficient and will remain much smaller than in most European countries, where the average percentage of protected areas is over 20% of the country area.
The protected areas are created to protect populations of Red list species, rare habitat types, valuable landscape types; restoration of native habitats and species; supporting migration corridors for rare species of animals to neighboring critical for them territories; improvement of hydrological functions of certain territories; support for many valuable ecosystem services and other critical values.
An important function of the conservation of valuable areas is also played by local communities located near the protected areas. On the one hand, community poverty is often the cause of the destruction of valuable habitats and species - illegal logging, high unemployment rate, poaching, illegal harvesting and sale of rare plants and animals, etc. On the other hand, in the local communities, where development takes place on a sustainable basis, the particular attention is paid to the conservation of rare species, habitat types and natural landscapes, it allows the local communities to benefit, for example, by making money from tourism.

To support the development of protected areas and involve local communities into solving environmental issues, the Danube-Carpathian Programme works in the following areas:

  • establishment and building capacity for protected areas, training of protected areas staff;
  • development of ecological network and stakeholders involvement;
  • working with local communities to increase their support for protected areas and awareness of sustainable development;
  • providing support for conflict resolving situations between protected areas and stakeholders.

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