Clean Air for Ukraine is a joint project of Arnika and an informal network of local non-governmental organizations from the industrial regions of Kryvbas and Donbas in Ukraine. Our objective is to improve access to information and strengthen public participation in decision-making. A public monitoring network of air pollution, analysis of soil, river sediments, and foodstuffs in five regions, and a capacity building programme for the civil society are some of our main achievements. We bring the transformation experience of the Czech Republic, involve scientists and experts in public campaigns, publish analyses, and suggest solutions.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 92% of the world’s population breathes air polluted beyond the acceptable limits. Moreover, Ukraine, as no exception, had (on the basis of the ranking from September 2017) the most deaths (out of 120 countries) attributed to atmospheric air pollution per 100,000 people. Another study, from the European Society of Cardiology, published in 2019 showed that the Ukrainian excess death rate per 100,000 members of the population is over 200 each year, which means that approximately 83,960 inhabitants per year die from air pollution. High levels of atmospheric air pollution have also been observed not only in typically industrial regions, but also in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, which often ends up ranked as the world’s most polluted city in the Air Quality Ranking. For decades, the government has ignored the overall state of the environment. As a result, more than four million people are breathing extremely polluted air. The main source of this pollution is metallurgical and coal power plants which still use outdated technologies. Emission permits for the factories are issued on the basis of outdated Soviet-era legislation, and accurate information on the real levels of air pollution is not accessible to the public. The state environmental inspection is ineffective, as is the enforceability of the law in general.
The Clean Air Project seeks to unite citizens and civic initiatives in industrial cities affected by air pollution and helps to strengthen the public campaigns to achieve improvements.
In Ukraine, there is no functional governmental air monitoring. Several cities run their own systems, but their design is often inadequate and the data is usually inaccessible to the public. That is why we invented Oxygen – EcoCity stations – a new generation of public air monitoring stations – and began to measure air pollution thanks to a network of activists and volunteers. If air pollution concerns you as well, you can join us!
Arnika (Prague), established in 2001, is uniting people seeking a better environment. We believe that natural wealth is not only a gift, but also an obligation to save it for the future. Since its foundation, Arnika has become one of the most important environmental organizations in the Czech Republic. We base our activities on three pillars: engaging the public, professional arguments, and communication. Since the beginning, we have been leading public campaigns both in the Czech Republic and internationally. The organization focuses on nature conservation, toxics and waste, access to information, and public participation in decision-making.
Eco City (Ivano-Frankivsk) – a team of technical experts on civic air quality monitoring in Ukraine. We manufacture monitoring stations available to the public and coordinate a web-resource for all Ukrainian to inform the public about the level of air pollution and its quality in individual towns. We actively involve students and young people in our activities based on social entrepreneurship. Together with Arnika, we have developed Oxygen, Air Fresh Max, and Sapphire – a new generation of air monitoring stations that measure the concentrations of six pollutants.
Join the air pollution fighters in your town!
ZAPORIZHIA: Dzyga. We аre an initiative of people who want to make Zaporizhia clean, green and comfortable for everyday life. Our goal is the protection of environmental rights to a clean air and the development of environmental projects, ideas and actions. Our activities are the development of a network of public and state monitoring, adaptation of the city to climate change, landscaping and conducting public campaigns to protect environmental rights.
KRYVYI RIH: Pravo E. We are a civic initiative striving to increase the interest of the public in the law and to educate the public about human rights. Our goal is to increase the level of legal awareness. We defend the rights of citizens and protect their interests on the municipal, regional, and state levels. We monitor the activities of the central national and regional authorities to ensure that the policies that are adopted will improve the social and economic situation in the country.
Stop poisoning Kryvyi Rih. We are a coalition of civic initiatives uniting various groups of Kryvyi Rih residents, declaring that we are joining forces in the coalition “Stop poisoning Kryvyi Rih.” Our goal is to accomplish the best possible environmental quality of life in Kryvyi Rih, while maintaining the town’s position as a great industrial centre.
MARIUPOL: Let us breathe! We are an environmental initiative in Mariupol that was formed by ordinary residents of the town as a reaction to the environmental injustice inflicted by metallurgical power plants. We put our effort into the protection of environmental rights and the clarification of environmental issues. We represent the environmental interests of all Mariupol residents. We are also fighting for better air with our new website stopsmog.com.ua.
KHARKIV: Good Will. We are a civic initiative that has been working for 10 years in educational activities, support of initiatives in the areas of ecology, energy saving, culture and education in Kharkiv and also development of communities in the region. Our mission is improving the quality of life of the residents by supporting local initiatives, informing, educating and harmonizing the relationship between the public, the government, and industry on the basis of openness and partnership.
Ecocid.net. We are a non-governmental organization interested in environmental protection and monitoring in the city of Kharkiv. Our members conduct an active campaign to protect the environmental rights of residents who are in the area of influence of coke production in the city.
Solonitsevka Live. We are a group of activists formed in 2018 to protect the rights of residents of the village of Solonitsevka (near the city of Kharkiv). We conduct active information and educational campaigns and are engaged in social activities. In 2019, our group joined the public air quality monitoring systems and launched an advocacy campaign to protect the environmental rights of citizens living in the area influenced by the industrial enterprises of Solonitsevka.
NIKOPOL: Nikopol CLEAN Air Monitor – air monitoring project. Our initiative was established in 2019, when preparing a festival ‘’Mysternya Mista Nikopol’’: we raised awareness about environmental issues in our town and we organized and conducted several events as a part of this workshop. We focus on the monitoring of air pollution. Our goal is to use reliable and publicly available data on air pollution to demand change from the polluting industries.
SEVERODONETSK: Crisis Media Centre Seversky Donets. We are an analytical centre and a communication platform with vast public support. We have real influence on public decision-making and we help to develop social capital. Our goal is the development of a society with high levels of trust and cooperation, where the decision-making processes are transparent and democratic. We do this through the development of our own potential and mobilization of public support through the development of an analytical resource center and a dialogue communicative platform.
SLOVIANSK: Centre of civic initiatives “Donbas”. We are a team of active citizens from the Donetsk region who have united to: promote the development of civic activity within the region through the support of local initiatives; conduct informational, educational and training campaigns; help with the development and promotion of regulations of local action; create a public coalition to defend the public interests of citizens.
Drukarnia. We work to promote international cooperation, joint learning and the exchange of experiences. Our main interests are the environment, informal education, media, and development of civic society. We believe that a democracy is stable only when interested citizens actively participate in it and we work to support and assist this process.
KRAMATORSK: Community Development Fund. We aim to improve the quality of life of Kramatorsk residents through the development of philanthropy and leadership in the city community, following the vectors of humanistic, social and economic innovations..
DNIPRO: Save Dnipro. We joined our forces to fight for a clean environment in Ukraine. Our main goal is to reduce emissions of Pridniprovska TEC to a safe level. We fight for reducing emissions of deadly substances into the air! We want ecological modernization of the Pridniprovska TEC. We stand against issuing a station permit for emissions with high concentrations of harmful substances! We have created an environmental bot to monitor information about the environment of Ukraine and its industrial pollutants: Saveecobot.
ECODIIТ. We are a professional ecological community that unites environmental engineers, scientists and students-ecologists in the city of Dnipro. Our community was founded in 2012 on the basis of a certified ecological laboratory of the Dnieper National University of Railway Transport and is engaged in projects of ecological and climatic education, implements environmental monitoring. Since 2019, community members have been helping community activists to implement public air monitoring systems in Ukraine.