In Ukraine, 30,000 people die annually due to air pollution, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and by February 2022, it was one of the most serious environmental problems there. Four times more people died in the country due to air pollution than in the five cleanest countries on the planet, and in terms of the ratio of deaths due to air pollution relative to population, Ukraine was ranked as the worst country in the world.
Unfortunately, military aggression by the Russian Federation in February 2022 turned life in the entire country upside down. The military conflict is causing immense humanitarian, economic, and environmental damage. We have therefore had to adapt our activities to the current situation.
Helping war-affected Ukraine
We have supported our colleagues, and Ukrainian society since the Russian aggression against Ukraine began. Initially, mainly through the delivery of humanitarian and material aid. Since February 2022, we have collected and delivered almost one million crowns worth of aid to Ukraine. We could never have done this without you!
We are currently trying to rebuild a citizen network of air monitoring stations in Ukraine. We would be very happy if you would contribute to the restoration!
Clean Air for Ukraine
In the current situation, information about the state of the air and the possible presence of hazardous substances or increased radiation is even more important for Ukrainians than in peacetime. At Arnica, we have been working on air quality projects in Ukraine since 2017. Together with our Ukrainian partners from the Clean Air for Ukraine campaign, we have created a network of monitoring stations operated directly by citizens to fill the information vacuum on air pollution levels. Today, the stations involved in the network warn of dangerous pollution in the event of explosions, fires, and industrial accidents. The EcoCity network is often the only source of air pollution information for the public. All of our stations and the current air quality status can be found online at any time on the EcoCity map. The network of stations measuring air cleanliness now has a new, highly important function. The stations can warn of certain hazardous substances and radiation, helping in civil defense and ensuring the safety of men, women, and children. Unfortunately, of the original nearly three hundred stations, about a third are damaged or destroyed, and we are now trying to rebuild this network.
We are studying the war's environmental impact in cooperation with colleagues from Dnipro and Czech experts. At the same time, we are continuing our long-term research activities on air pollution and monitoring.
What have we achieved in the country?
In the past years, we have helped to create a network of monitoring stations in Ukraine, operated directly by citizens, and since 2017 we have installed more than 700 stations.
The EcoCity network is one of Europe's best-functioning and most extensive citizen air monitoring networks. It is essentially the only source of information on the state of the air for Ukrainian citizens. It also acts as an element of civil defense during the ongoing war conflict. We are rebuilding destroyed stations and expanding the network to other areas to improve access to this important information.
In cooperation with the Czech start-up World from Space, we have published a unique study based on European Space Agency and Copernicus satellite measurements.
Information in other languages:
More information in English and Ukrainian can be found at https://cleanair.org.ua
Our work is supported by the Transition Promotion Program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and the National Endowment for Democracy, USA.