Environmental Protection in Ukraine

The protection of nature has become one of the most burning problems of the 20th century. The earth provides people with mineral resources, rivers, forests, fields — everything that makes the foundation of industrial and agricultural production. The development of industry has had a bad influence on the nature of the whole world. People often do things which pollute land and waters greatly. It is very dangerous because it damages health of the people. The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in April 1986 caused radioactive contamination of a vast area around the plant. Soviet statements indicate that 31 people died as a result of the accident but the actual number of deaths caused by the radiation is still unknown. More than 100,000 Ukrainian citizens were evacuated from the city of Chernobyl and other areas around the reactor site. Environmental protection is a great concern of the Ukrainian Government. The Ministry of Environmental Protection was founded in Ukraine. Their tasks are to control the state of the environment and sources of pollution, to protect the water resources of Ukraine, to extend the network of nature reserves and to maintain co-operation with international ecological organizations. Campaign for environmental protection is supported by public organizations and individuals. The Ukrainian Green Party is very active today. «Zeleny Svit» is the Ukrainian ecological newspaper. It calls on people to protect the natural wealth and to use it in a more careful and economical manner for the benefit of the present and future generations.

Protection of the environment in Ukraine is paid much attention to. The worsening of the ecological situation has been closely linked to the Chernobyl explosion. On April 26,1986, a fire burnt out of control and released radioactive materials. The disaster killed 31 persons immediately and caused the hospitalization of about 500 others. It has caused widespread illnesses and made the land in the area unusable. A radioactive cloud spread from the plant over most of Europe. Radiation even spread so far as to appear in Asia and in North America. Another issue of concern in Ukraine is the question of where to put nuclear waste. This waste is largely the spent fuel of reactors. It is radioactive, and some of its components remain so forever. The waste is held at temporary sites until a solution of the problem can be found. At present the most promising solution of the problem of waste storage is recycling. Another environmental problem is air pollution. One of its results is acid rain. It is caused by smoke from factories and transport. Nowadays the emission of smoke is strictly controlled by special governmental agencies. The activity of various environmental organizations helps to improve the situation. Among the leading environmental organizations in Ukraine are the Greenpeace and the Green Party. They are very popular with the youth in Ukraine.




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