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PRESS RELEASE- VDN_Pressedienst 03.03.2022
Support for the people in the protected areas of Ukraine
In these difficult times for Ukraine and for humanity as a whole, it is an urgent concern for us to stand together as protected areas in Europe and to work for the people and their livelihoods. Nature conservation knows no borders. In order to act as quickly, purposefully and addressee-oriented as possible, we want to bundle our networks and competencies and therefore join the call of the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS).

FZS has been active in Ukraine since 2002 and works with almost 20 national parks and biosphere reserves in Ukraine. Most of these protected areas are located in the Carpathians and Polesia, in important natural and cultural landscapes of Central Europe. Part of the Carpathians is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe”, while Polesia, in north-western Ukraine, is home to one of the largest natural floodplain landscapes on the continent, also covering parts of Poland, Belarus and Poland Russia expands.

The war in Ukraine has shaken us all deeply. In the last few days, the FZS has mainly tried to get its Ukrainian project partners and colleagues to safety. Some have already reached Poland. However, most of the Ukrainian protected area employees are still on site and everyone is helping where they can. FZS is supporting this team to deal with the massive challenge associated with the influx of people fleeing their homes across Ukraine to the west of the country: to parts of Polesia and the Carpathians. These regions are still relatively quiet at the moment. The Ukrainian protected area workers and FZS are continuing their work on the ground to the best of their ability, albeit in a new reality. The protected area infrastructure is now home to many displaced people.

In the Carpathians, FZS works not only in Ukraine, but also in Poland, Slovakia and Romania. The partners in these neighboring countries have mobilized and are trying to get urgently needed relief supplies across the border. Within Ukraine, the FZS and the employees of the protected areas distribute these materials to the people who are in their region and infrastructure. Protected areas in neighboring countries are also opening their doors to welcome people who make it across the border, including families of workers in Ukraine.



As registered “nature conservation NGOs”, neither the ZGF e. V. nor the two umbrella organizations of the National Natural Landscapes - NNL e. V. and VDN e. V. - directly provide funds for humanitarian aid, as this does not correspond to our statutory purposes. However, we can very well provide the protected areas in Polesia and the Carpathians with the support and supplies that are still urgently needed. This includes sleeping bags and mats, other camping gear, flashlights, heaters, as well as support for the protected areas' basic running costs - fuel, heating, salaries - at a time when they are cut off from other funding. The FZS is still in direct contact with the protected areas in Ukraine and has a list of urgently needed relief supplies from them. In order to provide these relief supplies, FZS collects earmarked donations and subsequently organizes a transport to Ukraine made possible by these donations.

From our point of view, the FZS is the partner across Europe that guarantees that our support is most effective for the protected areas and the people who live and work there.

We therefore call on all National Natural Landscapes to join us and to call for donations in their regions to support the helping and refugee people in the protected areas of Ukraine. Please use the following dedicated FZS donation account:

Emergency aid for the Carpathian protected areas
IBAN DE63 5005 0201 0000 0800 02

We thank you for your support and our thoughts are with our colleagues in Ukraine.

>> Here you can find more information about FZS appeal for donations.
>> You can see the press photo on the website under the area Press photos .
>> You can call this as a PDF here .

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