High evaluation of UNESCO’s experts

         On the 50th anniversary of Ukraine’s membership in UNESCO, an international conference was held in Rakhiv. The main subject discussed during the conference was “Optimization of borders and strengthening activities in the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve”. UNESCO organized this scientific meeting in co-operation with the national UNESCO MAB committee of Ukraine, the National UNESCO committee, the Ministry for Environmental Protection of Ukraine, the State Service for Nature Protection, and the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve. The CBR was included into the UNESCO network in 1993.

         During the first day of the conference participants got acquainted with natural beauties and the activity of the CBR. They also learned about its co-operation with the local authorities and with the population of the area.

         The concept for biosphere reserves, adopted by UNESCO, and the Seville Strategy state that every biosphere reserve has to fulfill three indivisible functions. First of all, they have to preserve genetic resources, species, ecosystems, and landscapes. Secondly, biosphere reserves are aimed to support the sustainable development in the area of their location. And, at last, their task is to provide all the needed supply for demonstrative projects, ecological education and training, for the research and monitoring, and also to decide the problems of sustainable development and nature protection on both national and worldwide levels.

         So, the biosphere reserves serve as a tool for the intergovernmental scientific UNESCO program “Man and Biosphere”. One of the most important tasks for them is to gain balance between the two contradictory goals: the conservation of biodiversity and fulfillment of the local population’s needs. It is worth mentioning that a man is regarded as a part of biosphere, that’s why it is incredibly important to evaluate the influence of people’s activity upon the ecosystems, and to harmonize relationships between men and nature.

         The same day the participants visited the Center of Europe, where the ecological and cultural complex is being constructed. They also followed the route to the Falcon Rock in the Kuziy-Svydovets forestry.

         The meeting of the conference began the next day in the assembly hall of the District State Administration. The director of the CBR Dr. Fedir Hamor spoke the preliminaries.

The deputy head of the Regional Administration Mr. Hulyanych, the head of the Rakhiv District Administration Yuriy Kabal’, the expert for MAB UNESCO Jane Robertson Vernhes, the member of the MAB committee Olexandr Maznychenko, the director of the Botany Institute named after M. Kholodnyi, Prof. Didukh, and others greeted the participants.

Then the participants of the conference delivered their speeches. The head of the State Service of nature protection H. Parchuk spoke about the development of the biosphere reserves in the context of the Seville strategy. The member of the National Ukrainian MAB Committee Jacob Didukh spoke on the topic “The conditions and perspective of the development of the Ukrainian network of biosphere reserves”. “Ways of improvement of the forest management in the area of the CBR’s location” was the theme of V. Kychura’s speech, who is the deputy head of the Regional Forestry Department. During the conference the director of the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve Dr. Fedir Hamor told the participants, by means of what the CBR fulfills the three functions set for biosphere reserves, that is the conservation of biodiversity, sustainable development and the logistic function. The report about “The experience of co-operation between bodies of local government and the CBR, aimed to decide the problems of local population” was made by the head of the District Council Mykola Berkela. The assistant lecturer, a geographer from the L’viv University named after Ivan Franko, Mr. Yuriy Zin’ko made a report on the extension of boundaries and improvement of the CBR’s activity. A scientist from the Research Institute named after P.Pasternak, Prof. Parpan spoke on the topic “The role of the CBR in research work and monitoring”. The deputy head of the Regional Department on tourist’s issues Mr. Shaban delivered a speech on the theme “The role of the CBR in the tourism’s development”. The perspective action plan was drawn by the deputy director of the CBR on the scientific issues, the Candidate of sciences Mr. Dmytro Sukharyuk.. Professor from the Botany Institute Tetyana Andrienko and the representative of the Romanian delegation, the head of the Ecological Union of the Maramorosh area, Mr. Philip Moisei told the auditory about the perspective of creation of the  Ukrainian-Romanian transboundary biosphere reserve “The Maramorosh Mountains”.17 scientists made reports at the conference, all in all.

         The conference was highly estimated by an expert from UNESCO Secretariat Jane Robertson Vernhes, by the UNESCO expert on transboundary biosphere reserves Juliet Fall, and by the representative of American Embassy in Ukraine Michel Van Rayan. They made some comments and gave several suggestions as for the development of nature protection in Ukraine.  

         The participants of the conference visited the Museum of Mountains’ Ecology, which is situated in one of the CBR’s administration buildings. They also learned much about the history of nature management in the Ukrainian Carpathians.

         Undoubtedly, the results of this conference will be fruitful and will contribute much to the sustainable development of the region.

                                                                                                              Ivan Voloschuk