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Black Sea Women protect the coastal Wetlands as the best natural adaptation mechanism to Climate Change

Started by: slesarenok@ukr.net


Black Sea Women protect the coastal Wetlands as the best natural adaptation mechanism to Climate Change

I am living in low located(below sea level) Black Sea coastal area. Women living in coastal areas learn the environmental sciences not from smart books but from everyday practice. Very often they should to survive in permanently flooded houses or to look for protection from storm water,  but in time of good weather they enjoying by environment. In pervious centuries people appreciated the Wetlands territories as bad lands and used its for industrial purposes. The poorest people used these lands as the place for their habitats. Very often these territories were poluted by industrial pollutants. The same story happened with place of my living, coastal area in Odessa city, Ukraine. Here lived former workers of soviet factories, which were destroyed in the end of 20 century and thousands people became in one moment unemployed. Permanently these territories as the low located were flooded from city's sewerage system, the air and land were polluted by oil industrial facilities, located very close to houses. In 1996 local women, mothers from Odessa's coastal district, concerned about environmental problems on their place of residence united their efforts for better changes. They created civil society organisations and insisted on closing the oil facilities. Thanks to local women activities on local, nationa and even international level the oil facilities werev closed in 2000. In the same year the sewerage facilities were improved. But women not stoped their activities, they insisted on cleaning  surrounding wetland and lakes from oil, which rested after closing of oil facilities. Majority of polluted by oil lakes were cleaned up till the 2006,but still some of small wetland's lakes contain the rest of oil. Later women created more broad organization and united their efforts in Black Sea Women's Club with women leaders looking for improvement and their river & land protection. Women participated in elaboration the General Plan of Odessa region and Odessa city. They protested against plans to build the multy-storey houses on the territiry of natural Wetlands. Their evidences were heard. For protection the local Wetlands by Odessa oblast Council were developed and adopted special program to which was included the idea to create the Odessa's Wetland Parc. This Wetland Parc will demonstrate to our children and future generations the saved Wetlands and will demonstrate that the Wetlands is the  best natural mitigation and adaptation mechanism to Climate Change and the most valuable lands. 

Reasons for working in this topic, project or business:

Wetlands belong to the most productive ecosystems on the earth. Wetlands provide the good living conditions for people and production of goods. Wetlands provide for local people food, fuel,building materials and the best recreation places. The role of Wetlands in environment and in human life is exstrimely big and diverse. Wetlands perform to the nature a number of important ecological function, such as: accumulation and storage of fresh water, removal from the atmosphere & storage the carbon, regulation of surface & groundwater flows, maintenance the groundwater level, purification of water, retention of pollutants,stabilizing the climate conditions,especially temperatures and precipitations, re-entry in atmosphere oxygen, erosion control & stabilization of bancs, support of biological diversity, providing habitats for many species of of plants and animals, maintaining maximum biological productivity of marine ecosystems. Wetlands perform many essential functions, supporting the life of plants, animals and our life and the most importantly - its maintain the good quality of environment.

Root causes of the problems in this field and main barriers:

Root causes of the problems include (1) the pressure of urbanization to Wetlands, (2) bad practices of spatial planning of coastal territories and (3) lack of understanding of the important role of Wetlands in the supporting good quality of environment and providing good living conditions for people.

What is needed to overcome barriers to implement solutions:

To demonstrate the real values of the global Wetlands for mitigation and adaptation to Climate Change and Earth health.  To stop the global shortage of Wetlands territories and its using for industrial and building purposes. To increase the public participation in spatial planing of coastal territories  & Wetlands and to use the best practices of spatial planning of Wetland territories. 

Specific needs and/or support requests:

Local women need to receive the assistance & help from wetland experts in planning Odessa's Wetland Parc development.

Suggested best local solution for this topic:

A real Public Participation in spatial planing  in order to save the natural environmental places and rest of global Wetlands. Providing the awareness raising on explaning the importance and unique role of Wetlands in mitigation and adaaptation to Climate Change. Organisation the Wetlands Parcs which save the Wentland's natural functions and in the same time demosnstrate to people its natural values and serve as the source of information.

Networking opportunities:

Black Sea Women's Club working on the Black Sea regional level as well as participating in global women's  organisations such as Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF), Gender CC - women's initiative for Climate Justice, Women for Water Partnership. 


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