EU gives money to save 'Polissia Reserve'

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Jan. 20, 2012, 12:38 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Ukrainian and European specialists are studying the Polissky Nature Reserve in Zhytomyr region in order to save it.
© Serhiy Zhyla

Ukrainian and European specialists are studying the Polissky Nature Reserve in Zhytomyr region in order to save it, the press service of Zhytomyr Regional State Administration reported on Wednesday. Under a European Union project entitled "Including Climate Change Issues in the Management of Vulnerable Ecosystems: Reserved Territories of Polissia, Ukraine" which is to run for three years with a budget of EUR 100,000, Ukrainian and French specialists have been studying the state of the reserve about a year.

"The participants in the project are studying a present state of Polissia reserve as a sensitive ecosystem to predict its future and, mainly, to draw up an action plan for saving of this nature reserve as an important influence on the European climate. The peat bogs have started to be submerged and small dams are being built in the reserve," the text read.

According to the reserve's director Serhiy Zhyli, the artificial restoration of the bogs is a millennial tradition.

The reclamation of neglected melioration systems, in which the reclaimed fields are returned to their previous condition, will also favor the renovation of this ecological system.

"The Polissia bogs are a climate hope of Europe. One hectare of peat bog can absorb about 15 tonnes of carbon dioxide in a year. It significantly influences the reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and softens the consequences of climate change. Conversely, dry and degraded peat bogs become a source of emissions of greenhouse gases - about 25 tonnes of carbon dioxide per a hectare per year," the text reads.

The reserve is located in Ovrutsky and Olevsky districts of Zhytomyr region.
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