The Ukrainian Carpathians have become a shelter for people fleeing conflict in the east of the country. An estimated 65,000 internally displaced people have sought refuge in the region. The majority of the 13 protected areas in the Carpathians have converted visitor centers, tourist cabins, and offices to accommodate those in need – more than 1,000 lodging possibilities were made available at their infrastructure and staff houses. An estimated 2,000 people have also arrived in and around protected areas in Polissia with roughly 80 people hosted at one park.
To help the protected areas face this new reality, over 35 metric tons of goods – food, medicine, sleeping bags, blankets, generators, and more – have been sent to Ukraine since the escalation of the war on February 24th in a combined FZS-coordinated response with partners in Romania (Foundation Conservation Carpathia), Slovakia (Aevis) and Germany (Nationale Naturlandschaften e. V.). Supply chains are in place and needed goods continue to be regularly delivered to Ukrainian protected areas and the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) they host.
FZS sent seventy extinguisher backpacks to three protected areas in Polissia and another 50 are on their way to eastern parks bordering occupied territories. Romanian partners transferred 15 metric tons of food, also 800 sleeping bags, warm jackets; beds, sheets, and mattresses; electrical appliances; kitchenware; medicine, and sanitary items, and eight generators to provide an alternative power source at IDP shelters. From a collection point at the Sächsische Schweiz National Park with the help of the Nationale Naturlandschaften e. V. NNL. sleeping bags, mattresses, utensils, products and hygiene products were transferred. 1.4 metric tons of goods came from Slovakia, namely heaters, sleeping bags, blankets, food, medicine, and kitchenware.
Within Ukraine, FZS staff works closely with parks and reserves in the Carpathians, Polissia – and now also in the embattled east of the country – to convert park infrastructure, accommodate IDPs, and tackle emerging threats to the protected areas.
Details in newsletter.