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08 January 2009

Mott MacDonald studies help establish National Park in Ukraine

Studies conducted by Mott MacDonald, the global management, engineering and development consultancy, have been used to help secure the future of the Lower Dnister River Basin in Ukraine after the country’s President, Victor Yuschenko, announced plans to turn the region into a National Park.

The creation of the Lower Dnister National Nature Park in the Odessa Oblast, a remote and beautiful part of Ukraine, will help protect the rich natural resources and rare wildlife of the region and safeguard its importance as an area for conservation and scientific research.

Wim Verheugt, Mott MacDonald's project manager commented, “The Lower Dnister delta comprises approximately 300km2 of wetlands, riparian forests, and associated upland habitats, and contains some of the richest biodiversity in the Black Sea region. The wetlands are home to thousands of egrets, pelicans and cormorants as well as other rare wildlife species. The establishment of the Lower Dnister Nature Reserve Park is a major conservation success and will help the local administration to manage conservation interest and regulate the recreational and economic use of the area. The Park will consist of a core zone that is strictly monitored and protected, and an area where activities such as fishing, hunting and reed cutting, which are sanctioned in the Park, will be permitted.”

Mott MacDonald was commissioned by the Odessa regional government in 2000 to provide technical assistance on the project, which was funded by the European Union. This involved conducting extensive biological inventories and economic surveys of flora, fauna and habitats over a two-year period, and establishing a GIS* database of the proposed Nature Park in the Ukrainian sector just south of the border with Moldova. As part of this, Mott MacDonald produced maps indicating zones of high and low species biodiversity and proposals for zoning within and outside the Park area, as well as preparing a management strategy for the Park describing zoning, education, research activities and management measures. Public consultations were also undertaken with each of the communities situated on the edge of the Park.

The Park has been established under Ukraine Law on “Natural Reserves Funds in Ukraine” and encompasses an area of 21,311ha on the territory of Belgorod-Dnister, Beliaev and Ovidiopol rayons of Odessa oblast. It is hoped that The Lower Dnister Nature Reserve Park will eventually join up with a proposed Moldavian Park to create a transboundary Nature Park.


Notes for editors

*Geographic Information System

Additional information:

- President Yuschenko signed a decree on 13 November 2008 establishing the Lower Dnister Natural Reserve Park under the auspices of the Ministry of Natural Protection of Ukraine.

- Mott MacDonald was commissioned to undertake the Lower Dnister River Basin Project between Jan 2006-Dec 2007. With funding from the European Commission the project helped to prepare an integrated regional Lower Dnister River Basin Management Plan with the aim to ensure sustainable improvement of the water quality and protection/restoration of the Lower Dnister ecosystems using the European Union's Water Framework Directive as a general reference framework.

The project furthermore focussed on:

(i) Development of a regional cross-border cooperation enabling common Dnister River Basin management approach between Ukraine and Moldova with participation of the Trans-Dnister region authorities;

(ii) Sustainable improvement and protection of the Dnister water quality in the area used for the intake of drinking water for Odessa and neighbouring municipalities; and

(iii) Support for the establishment of the Lower Dnister National Park.
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