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Nature-based Solutions For Ukraine’s Recovery Will Be Discussed At COP28

In the wake of Ukraine's formidable challenges arising from conflict and environmental devastation, the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP28 provides an opportunity for shedding light on how investing in nature can contribute to a sustainable recovery. Collaborating under the banner of environmental security, WWF-Ukraine, in partnership with the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine, the State Forest Resources Agency of Ukraine, and The Food and Agriculture Organization, is set to host a panel discussion on this topic Titled "Nature-based Solutions for Ukraine's Recovery: From Theory to Practice – Forests and Water," this event aims to chart a course towards sustainable reconstruction.

On December 10th, distinguished speakers from WWF-Ukraine and WWF International, alongside key figures from the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the State Forest Resources Agency, the State Water Resources Agency, The Food and Agriculture Organization, the Michael Succow Foundation, and UNDP in Ukraine will gather to share their insights on the crucial role of nature based solutions in Ukraine's reconstruction and the global fight against climate change.

The panel will tackle the pressing issue of Ukraine's environmental recovery amid the immediate need for humanitarian aid and economic stability. Despite the urgency of addressing war-induced challenges, the environmental aspect, including its climate component, cannot be overlooked. The devastation caused by warfare — from the destruction of urban areas to the contamination of water bodies and soil — results in economic losses, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and heightened vulnerability to climate change.

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Nature-based solutions present a holistic approach to building climate resilience, mitigating the risk of natural disasters, and fostering sustainable socio-economic development. The panel discussion will delve into practical strategies for integrating these solutions into Ukraine's recovery strategy and donor programs.

The objectives set for discussion include:

  • Harmonious Reconstruction with Nature: Shifting the paradigm towards rebuilding Ukraine in synergy with its natural environment.
  • Achieving Climate and Sustainable Development Goals: Aligning recovery efforts with international climate and sustainability targets.
  • Mitigating War's Impact on Natural Ecosystems: Minimizing the negative consequences of conflict on the environment in the context of climate change.
  • Incentivizing Nature-friendly Practices: Creating financial mechanisms to encourage environmentally conscious approaches.
  • Supporting Human Capital, Science, and Education: Nurturing the development of Ukrainian expertise in environmental sciences and promoting education for sustainable practices.
  • Building a Fair and Inclusive Society: Ensuring that the benefits of recovery are equitably distributed across all segments of the population.

The thematic choice of Ukraine's pavilion, rooted in President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's Peace Formula, underscores the nation's commitment to environmental security. By presenting its pavilion for the second time in history, Ukraine aims not only to showcase the environmental toll of conflict but also to propose solutions that resonate on a global scale.

As the world watches, COP28 stands as a pivotal moment for Ukraine to pioneer a path of recovery that not only rebuilds its infrastructure but also safeguards its natural treasures for generations to come. The discussions on December 10th promise to illuminate a way forward, where nature becomes a catalyst for resilience, sustainability, and a brighter future for Ukraine and the entire planet.

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