Welcome to the home page of the Darwin Initiative project Saving Ukraine's Lost Steppe. This 3-year project, which began in April 2002, aims to increase steppe land in Ukraine.
Summary. Huge areas of Ukraine were once covered by steppe, a landscape associated with cossacks and thus of particular significance for the nation's collective psyche. Almost all vanished into agriculture with Krushchev's disastrous policy to plough virgin lands in the 1960s (much former steppe land is now derelict). Many remaining fragments were swallowed by the military. The present political and socio-economic climate in Ukraine favours restoration of steppe, and this project tries to grasp that unique opportunity. It seeks to restore steppe by ameliorating degraded areas within nature reserves and protected areas, by encouraging regeneration of steppe in derelict surrounding agricultural land (for example through the establishment of seed banks, and by influencing the country's military sectors. The project is working on nature reserves in Crimea (particularly Opuk Reserve in eastern Crimea), and Donetsk oblast (particularly the Khomutovski Steppe part of the Ukrainian Steppe Nature Reserve). Work with Ukraine's military sector is principally in Kiev.