Recovery Ukraine

What will become of war-ravaged nature?

Flooding, pollution and desolation: hundreds of thousands of hectares of Ukrainian land have been damaged or destroyed by the Russian war of aggression. This might be an opportunity to rethink the way we treat nature.

Eva Bolta
Project "30%"; Robert Bosch Stiftung
May 31, 2024
Reading time
3 Min.

In addition to the rebuilding cities and infrastructure, the topic of "green recovery" is important for Ukraine. The war also destroyed much of the country's natural environment: Around 170,000 hectares of forest were either mined, burned or cut down for the construction of fortifications. The destruction of dams on three Ukrainian rivers is changing the surrounding ecosystems in the long term. And much of the agricultural land has been rendered unusable by bombing, mines and heavy metal emissions.

With their project "30%", Nina Dyrenko and Daryna Pyrogova showed the effects of war on nature in insistent documentary films at Ukrainian Pavilion on La Biennale di Venezia 2023, initiating a discussion about what should happen to these areas once they have been reclaimed. Based on the European Green Deal and international agreements on biodiversity protection, they propose that potentially these areas should be turned into nature reserves in the future instead of, for example, rebuilding destroyed dams or using the land for industrial agriculture again. In this way, the war could become an opportunity to fundamentally change our attitude to nature.


Vidnova Lab

to the project

The programme aims to strengthen the role of Ukrainian civil society during the reconstruction process. To this end, civil society actors are enabled to exchange ideas with the authorities and contribute their proposed solutions to the political discussion. For example, during the "Ukraine Recovery Conference" on 11/12 June 2024 in Berlin.

to the project

Daryna Pyrogova is a fellow of the "Vidnova Lab" programme funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and MitOst e.V. This programme offers her the opportunity to further develop her "30%" project in an international context. The focus is on networking with stakeholders who already have experience with nature conservation programmes in war-torn areas. Daryna Pyrogova is also creating a magazine to present collected materials on preservation and conservation in printed visual and text form.

View of the podium at the Civil Society for Recovery in Ukraine event on June 10, 2024 at the Robert Bosch Stiftung Berlin.

Ukraine Recovery Conference

Read the press release

The Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation (US) have initiated the "Foundations for Ukraine" platform to better coordinate support for Ukraine.

Read the press release
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