World Environment Day was designated by the decision of the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 and was timed to the opening on June 5 of the same year of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, which resulted in the creation of a special United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). In its resolution, the United Nations, highlighting the responsibility of the world community for taking measures to preserve and improve the environment, as well as on the need for continuous international cooperation in this area, called on governments and organizations to hold appropriate events on this day, including those awareness-raising about the environment and issues of its protection.
Nature gives physical sustenance to humans, who at the same time, through the rapid acceleration of science and technology, have acquired the power to transform their environment in countless ways and on an unprecedented scale, exerting the ever-growing influence. Both parts of the environment, both natural and man-made, are crucial for their well-being and the possibility of fulfilling fundamental human rights, including even the right to life. The World Day is designed to encourage as many people as possible to take action to prevent a critical increase in the pressure on the natural environment.
Various risks and hazards to the environment arise in the context of armed conflict. Donbass is a region with a high population density and a large number of industrial enterprises, which itself causes certain environmental pressure. The ongoing military confrontation creates additional threats, since hazardous facilities in the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic often come under shelling by the armed formations of Ukraine. Attacks on civilian infrastructure objects, as well as actions aimed at hindering their operation, also have a negative impact on environmental security. In addition, there have been numerous reports on possible provocations by the Ukrainian side with the use of chemicals. Not only would it cause irreparable damage to the environment, but also lead to the death of dozens or even hundreds of thousands of people.
Such methods of warfare prove that the actions of official Kiev are contrary to the norms of international humanitarian law (IHL). As part of cooperation with international organizations, the Human Rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic informs the world community about the incidents of IHL violation by Ukraine. An impartial legal assessment and an uncompromising attitude of progressive humanity regarding the inadmissibility of the use of prohibited methods of warfare, which are intended to cause or may cause extensive, long-term and serious damage to the environment, are necessary prerequisites for effective deterrence of Ukrainian aggression. In its initiatives, the Donetsk People’s Republic calls for joint efforts in order to prevent tragic consequences for nature, the environment of Donbass and the people on both sides of the line of contact in conditions of armed conflict.