A press briefing was held in Kyiv on June 5 related to the opening of the Kyiv office of the Chornobyl Radiation and Environmental Biosphere Reserve under the management of the State Agency of Ukraine on the Exclusion Zone Management (SAEZ) and supported by the Global Environment Fund. The main office of the Reserve is located in the village of Ivankiv, and Kyiv office employs workers who are not directly involved in the activities in the Chornobyl zone.
“The administration of the Reserve has actually two important tasks: the development of a land management project and the project for the reserve territory arrangement. The second document actually determines the activity areas of the reserve”, SAEZ First Deputy Head Oleh Nasvit stated.
The reserve covers almost 227,000 hectares that are 2/3 of the territory of the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone. Similar reserves are in the world in the Urals and in Belarus, but it is unique in Ukraine, moreover it is the largest in the country. There is a great variety on its territory: 23 terrestrial and 7 aquatic phytosystems, five different types of landscapes, 303 species of vertebrates, 1256 species of higher plants, 120 species of lichen and 200 species of moss.
“Radioactive contamination affects biological systems; but many factors caused by economic activity of people affect more. Therefore, evacuation of the public and decrease of economic activity became the main factors that affected the ecological variety formation in the Reserve”, Denys Vyshnevskyi, Head the Flora and Fauna Ecology Department of the Chornobyl Radiation and Environmental Biosphere Reserve stated.
The Acting Director of the Chornobyl Radiation and Environmental Biosphere Reserve Taras Melnychuk noted the environmental, scientific, historical and cultural potential of the Reserve. Scientists carry out applied scientific research of flora and fauna on the territories affected by the Chornobyl disaster. The reserve employees also perform educational activities among young people, hold meetings for students from Kyiv and Kyiv oblast.
One of the most important tasks of the Reserve is to report reliable information on the situation in the exclusion zone. Therefore, the website of the Reserve and its webpage in Facebook social network is under active development; press tours and other events for the mass media and the public are arranged.