Ukraine is one of the largest countries in Europe and in the west rise the Carpathian Mountains. The highest peak found there is Hoverla, measuring 2,061 m.

The north of the country is covered by Polesia's wet lowlands. The other lowlands in the country are to be found around some of its important water features, the Dnieper River and the Black Sea, which forms the country's southern border. In the south the Crimean Peninsula is bordered by the Black Sea to the southwest and the Sea of Akov to the northeast.

Ukraine signed the Bern Convention on 17 August 1998, which entered into force in 1999. As part of its commitment to preserving the country's biological diversity, Ukraine works on the setting-up of the Emerald Network since 2008.

Ukraine has listed nearly as many threatened habitats for protection as its neighbour Russia. These include dunes, pine forests and cypress, juniperus and yew forests. Examples of Ukraine's precious biodiversity include the wolf, Canis lupus, the great bustard, Otis tarda, the largest game bird in Europe and the Crimean orchid, Steveniella satyrioides.

194 sites have been identified as suitable to join the Emerald Network in the country (by February 2016), 159 of which have already been officially nominated as candidate Emerald sites by the Standing Committee to the Bern Convention in December 2015.

The 194 potential Emerald sites cover 53612.55 km2, 8.88 % of the country territory.

Latest activities in Ukraine


Emerald Network Biogeographical Seminar for all habitats and species (except birds) for the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation and Ukraine

Kyiv, Ukraine 6-8 September 2016
Photo credit: Vladimir Litovka Photo credit: Vladimir Litovka

A new Emerald Network evaluation Seminar took place in Kyiv (Ukraine) from 6 to 8 September, bringing together national delegations, NGOs, independent scientific experts as well as representatives of the Council of Europe and the European Union.

This evaluation seminar targeted the Steppic region (Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation and Ukraine), the Alpine Caucasus (the Russian Federation), the Marine Black Sea (Ukraine, the Russian Federation) and the Marine Caspian Sea.

The aim of the seminar was to assess the sufficiency of the proposed Emerald sites in the above mentioned countries for ensuring the long-term survival of the species and habitats of European importance.

It can be concluded that all three countries have progressed in ensuring the completeness of the Emerald Network on their territories, although work still needs to be done to achieve a fully representative and complete Emerald Network on their territories.

The percentages of sufficiently covered species and habitats by Emerald sites vary from country to country, within the range of 25.5% to 61.5%. Ukraine demonstrates the highest sufficiency performance, specifically with its current Emerald Network being adequate for the survival of 61.5% of the Emerald plant species.

These statistics are very encouraging, but it should be kept in mind that they are only one criterion among many others used to assess the progress of the Network implementation process. Factors such as the territorial coverage and the quality of the scientific knowledge are also important to have an overview of the situation.

The final conclusions of the Seminar will guide the countries’ work as they indicate exactly to which animal and plant species or habitats they should pay a particular attention in the future.

More information on the species and habitats discussed at the event, including maps, can be found on the webpage of the seminar.

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Contact person in Ukraine

Mr Leonid Protsenko
NGO Inter-eco-centre