On November 6, 2001, the UN General Assembly established the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict. Enormous damage is made to nature as a result of conflicts – ecosystem cannot recover for a long period of time, natural resources and people are affected, which became a prerequisite for the adoption of the UN resolution.
The consequences of the armed conflict unleashed by the Kiev authorities on the territory of Donbass are not only inevitable civilian victims and the destruction of infrastructure, but also serious damage to the environment of the Donetsk region. Shelling, which produces harmful emissions, destruction of chemical plants and sewage treatment facilities that causes pollution to air, soil and fresh water, and frequent shelling of the Donetsk Filtration Station, which has a warehouse with chlorine – this list of environmental threats that may affect Donbass residents is not exhaustive. It will take years to address the consequences of hostilities.
Given the threat of an environmental disaster, on February 17, 2017, the Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic approved the “Humanitarian Program for the Reunification of the People of Donbass”. The document was introduced at a meeting in the Minsk format and approved by the Coordinator of the Humanitarian Subgroup, OSCE Representative Tony Frisch. As part of the program, the Donetsk People’s Republic is carrying out a number of initiatives aimed at improving the environment. An inspectorate was created to monitor the safety of enterprises and infrastructure located in the territory of Donbass by conducting comprehensive inspections. Successful achievement of the stated goals is only possible through a peaceful dialogue with the Ukrainian side to ensure unrestricted access to the territory of the Donetsk region for specialists from competent environmental and humanitarian organizations.
The International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict is of great importance for the DPR residents, as it gives us the opportunity to reiterate our firm commitment to the creation of a safe environment for future generations.