Protected territories

Biodiversity is all species of plants and animals that inhabit certain ecosystem. In turn, ecosystem is a combination of living organisms (plants, animals, fungi, bacteria) and conditions of their existence (landscape, climate, etc.). High level of biodiversity is one of the major features of ecosystem’s stability. Every species has its own “profession”: it consumes and produces certain sources, interacts with other organisms and extinction of only one “professional” leads to destruction of these interconnections. Ecosystem can compensate such kinds of loses by replacing one species by another ones butit can last only to certain edge. And besides, the process requires time. If species disappear too fast the ecosystem begins to ruin.

Nowadays the described processes occur mostly as a consequence of human activity. The negative impact on the inhabitant of wild species as well as uncontrolled or illegal extinction in the living nature grows constantly. Especially suffer those species that are of a commercial value: are used in production of food, drugs, perfumes, goods of wide consumption; and rare species because of attractiveness to many amateur collectors.
Any change in the environment caused by human activity is resulted by negative consequences in economy field, social life and the people’s health itself. Thus, deforestation in Carpathian mountains led to catastrophic floods, building of cascade of water reservoirs on Dnipro river caused vanishing many valuable commercial species of fishes, cattle overgrazing in steppe regions led to desertification, melioration led to salinization of soils and caused changing of hydrological mode of many rivers, global atmosphere pollution caused greenhouse effect, acid rains, etc. Non-rational economic activity makes restoration and existence of many flora and fauna species impossible. Therefore the need of legislative, science-based regulation of such activity and protection of all species of living organisms that still exist on our planet is obvious.
Today there exist few types of protected territories and the most common are natural reserves, national parks and wildlife preserves. Reserves that are aimed to store ecosystems can be natural reserves, where economical activity and using of natural resources are completely prohibited, and biospheric reserves. Biospheric reserves consist of a core (reserved territory), buffer zone (that protects core from anthropogenic influences), zones of ecosystems restoration with established economic activity and zones of economic use. There are more then 10 000 different protected territories in the world. National parks usually occupy big territories and zones similar to the zones of biospheric reserves. The majority of economical activities are prohibited here. But unlike reserves all territory or the majority of the territory is opened for regular recreational visits. In wildlife preserves certain animal species, plant species and a part of natural territories are protected in certain seasons or all year round. Economical activity is allowed as much as it doesn’t harm protected objects.
Gradually it became clear that protection of the certain species in certain countries is non-effective – it is important to save the environment in whole. The international legislation was created that includes environmental conventions, norms for usage of natural sources, quotas for environment pollution. One of the global ideas of the recent years in this field is the proposition to join various natural reservations into ecological network through natural corridors.
Ukraine has a number of environmental legislative acts and international conventions. But nature and reservation fund of Ukraine is only about 5,5% of the territory, that is almost three times less than in the majority of European countries. That is why the activity of many environmental organizations is directed to saving and creation of natural reserves.