The meeting was also attended by: Vice President of the European Parliament Gaidi Hautala, President of Ireland in 1990-1997 Mary Robinson, Eco-Activist Greta Tunberg, Senior Advisor to the European Institute of Peace (the European Institute of PEACE), the leader In Eurasia, Roksan Kristesska.
The EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginius Sinkevichus, Professor, CEO of the European Climate Fund Laughs Tubian and a member of the Parliament of the Alder Islands, a member of the ecocidal alliance, Simon Holmstrom, spoke in the online format.
From the Ukrainian side, the Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Ruslan Strelets, Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin, Head of the State Property Property of Rustem Umerov, advisers of Presidential Office Dariy Zarivna and Alexander Bevz joined the work of the group.
Opening the first meeting of the International Working Group, Andriy Yermak thanked its participants for the support of Ukraine in the pursuit of justice and for the willingness to work together to bring Russia to justice for environmental crimes. “Today we are launching a very important project. The Russian Federation against Ukraine is not a local conflict.
This aggression creates numerous challenges for all humanity - from the threat of nuclear catastrophe and the blasting of food security to increased anthropogenic factors of climate change. I'm not talking about the likely risks - it's already come true. The consequences of the Russian terrorist attack on the Kakhovsk hydroelectric power station, we face daily: wetlands, desertification and disappearance of species, ”said the head of the office of the Head of State.
According to him, Ukraine has lost almost a third of its forests through fighting. Ecosystems are either on the verge of extinction or are already lost. During the year of the war, the emissions of greenhouse gases reached hundreds of thousands of tons. “This is a question that worries everyone. Russian aggression has led to an ecocide of such a scale that is difficult to evaluate. Although this should be done. Russia must be responsible for its crimes against the environment.
This can only be achieved by combining international efforts, ”Andrei Yermak stressed. He noted that the created international working group will focus on three specific areas: 1. Assessment of the effects of the war for the environment. 2. Development of recommendations for the search for mechanisms of bringing the aggressor responsible for environmental crimes so that Russia will pay full for it for its destruction. 3. Ecological recovery. “We have to take lessons from the tragedy.
We need to use this opportunity not just to restore the country, but to build it again - friendly to man and nature. And we would be very grateful for the recommendations of the international group on this, ”said the head of the office of the Head of State. He said that the International Working Group aims to work out a comprehensive document that covers the above points.
“Along with the Kiev security agreement, which should become the basis of security guarantees for Ukraine, the Ukrainian environmental agreement should create the conditions for reliable environmental protection. It is important that the documents below can become a model for any country that faces the challenges and threats that Ukraine now overcomes, ”Andrei Yermak said.
The head of the Presidential Office noted that the members of the group are unprecedented, difficult tasks, but expressed his belief that they were able to cope with them. “So, we get to work. It is necessary to fight for the preservation of nature, for Ukraine. For the whole world, for himself, ”Andrei Yermak emphasized. On Thursday, the International Working Group has already met with representatives of the eco -community of Ukraine.
Ukrainian eco -activists have informed guests, in particular, how Russian aggression affects the environmental situation in the country.
It was separately emphasized that the consequences of one of the greatest Russian crimes - a terrorist attack at the Kakhovsky Hydroelectric Power Plant - were affected not only in Ukraine and its environment, but also affected the Black Sea and the maritime space of many states, influenced the countries The Ukrainian region, where traditionally grown agricultural products.
Separately, activists called for an ecocidal recognition of crime, insist on paying for the consequences of environmental crimes, as well as to develop mechanisms for rapid response to environmental crimes. As a result of the constituent meeting, members of the International Working Group on the Environmental Consequences of the War supported a joint statement.
When communicating with media representatives, after the meeting of the International Working Group, Margot Walstrom thanked the President of Ukraine, Head of the Head of State, Ministers, Prosecutor General and Representatives of the Environmental Groups of Ukraine, with whom she communicated today. “We were struck by the work and the amount of what has already been done to evaluate the damage caused. We were struck by the way you think about your future, and you can already list a lot.
Our meeting today is a manifestation of solidarity and support of Ukraine, ”she said. Margot Walstrom stressed that Russia should certainly be held accountable for crimes against Ukraine.
The co -chairman of the international working group called the constituent meeting fruitful and expressed the belief that all its members will be able to use their contacts to disseminate information about environmental crimes in Ukraine, develop recommendations, carry out assessments that can give a complete picture of the consequences for the environment and its restoration.
Margot Walstrem emphasized the importance of involving the group as many representatives of the expert community as possible, who will be able to provide qualified assistance in solving the tasks set for the assessment of losses caused to the Ukrainian environment, holding responsibility guilty of crimes in the field countries. She also noted that the members of the group will be glad to welcome the replenishment of its participants from the regions of Asia, Africa, South America.
Mary Robinson, for her part, emphasized that her main tasks were to fight impunity and to properly assess the environmental damage. She positively evaluated the involvement of representatives of the Ukrainian ecological community in the international group. Gaidi Hautala added that overcoming the environmental consequences of Russian aggression against Ukraine when communicating with media representatives is one of the points of the President Vladimir Zelensky Peace formula.
She expressed the opinion that the international group should ensure its implementation. “Ukraine is in the spotlight, but we are also doing it to show the world that such destruction of ecology and the horrific consequences of conflicts and war should not remain unpunished. There should be responsibility, ”she said, adding that she will use all the platforms available in the EU for this purpose.
The environmental activist Greta Tunberg emphasized: “Ecocide, environmental destruction is a form of hostilities. Unfortunately, Ukrainians now understand it very well. Russia intentionally aims its actions against the environment, against the life capacity of people. " “I think we need to put dots over" i ": danger, threat of war, suffering of people and ecocide - this is all related.
None of us should leave the terrible things that are happening in Ukraine now, the crimes that Russia commits here. I very much hope that we will be able to collect evaluations of what is happening from central, local authorities and environmental organizations to assess the environmental damage that Ukraine is now experiencing.