19 February 2024

Assessing environmental damage in Ukraine

"The environmental consequences of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine are arguably better documented than any conflict in history." 


Environmental damage and degradation have been historically overshadowed in the analyses of the impacts of war. However, the development of digital technologies such as satellite-derived imagery, combined with the growing attention of the international community, has helped increase attention on environmental issues in Ukraine. The country had a relatively developed environmental data monitoring system already in place, and this has positively influenced the collection of data after the start of the war. The conflict’s consequences are in fact very well documented by historical standards, yet a deeper assessment reveals considerable gaps in the country’s capacity for data collection and analysis, which unless addressed, will threaten Ukraine’s recovery and accountability goals.

Building on these considerations, the authors of the report provide a few recommendations to the Ukrainian government and its international partners:

  1. Support the development of environmental monitoring and assessment infrastructures, by providing the necessary material and financial resources. In particular, improve the integration and collaboration with other international data collection actors.
  2. Develop a strategy for data collection and preservation that entails integration of the evidence into the Hague Register of Damage.
  3. Create a monitoring plan of organizational needs that covers the period of recovery, reconstruction and EU alignment, and begin to build the required capacity. This should be designed to include nationally relevant environmental trends, public and community participation, and regional and international obligations.


The text above is a short summary of a paper by CEOBS and Zoï Environment Network, which is part of the group's Environmental Compact for Ukraine. The full paper can be accessed through the link here.

Photo credit: Sayedqudrathashimy1991, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons