As war descends on Ukraine, it also sweeps across the wetlands of the Danube River Delta that Ukrainian conservationists have worked so hard to protect and rewild. Though many of us feel helpless in the face of the Russian onslaught, there is something you can do to help Ukrainian conservation.

Over the past five years, the Rewilding Europe team has labored to rewild the Danube River Delta and restore ecological integrity to Ukraine’s culturally and biologically significant landscapes.
Picture from Rewilding Europe, Laurien Holtjer, Deli Saavedra[/caption]

Initiated in 2017, Rewilding Ukraine is one of nine successful large landscape initiatives of Rewilding Europe. In record time, it has delivered stunning conservation achievements in Ukraine’s culturally and ecologically significant wetlands, lakes, and river deltas. By restoring the ecological integrity that benefits local communities by:

  • Returning fish to the rivers,
  • Improving water quality,
  • Reducing flooding of farmland, villages, and roads,
  • And creating new income opportunities.

Rewilding Ukraine has also successfully reintroduced two species – the kulan and the steppe marmot – to revitalize the Ukrainian steppe landscape at the northern edge of the delta.

The tremendous effort and success of Rewilding Europe and its Ukrainian team and partners is now in jeopardy of unraveling, along with the rest of Ukraine, in the tides of war. The half million-hectare Danube River Delta is Europe’s largest wetland area. War now imperils this delicate and globally important landscape.

During the Soviet era, the delta suffered due to the damaging effects of hydraulic engineering projects that severed substantial swathes of the floodplain from the river’s life-giving channels. This also harmed the residents of the region who lost access to clean drinking water while enduring heavier flooding, reduced fish stocks, and the disappearance of Ukraine’s magnificent wildlife.

The on-going Russian assault on Ukraine destabilises the ecological balance Ukrainians have worked so hard to achieve, and puts at risk the staff of Rewilding Ukraine, the managers of the Danube Delta Biosphere and associated nature reserves, and the local populations whose livelihoods depend on a healthy landscape.

The time to help is now! The people of the Danube River Delta need you to take action.

Please support the appeal of Rewilding Europe to purchase and transfer medicine, equipment, and any other priority item to cover the needs of staff, employees, local partners and their families in Ukraine.