Spotlight on our Ukrainian partners – Ecoclub Rivne

Article by Julie Ostapjukova

Since the very onset of the full-scale war on Ukraine this year, WECF has made sure to utilize its relations with local NGOs and foundations and has tried to support its Ukrainian partners in their fundraising efforts, while spotlighting their important work. This time we would like to put the spotlight on our partner Ecoclub from Rivne. 

Ecoclub Rivne, a local environmental conservation organization in the city of Rivne, has been at the forefront of not only spreading awareness about the underlying drivers as well as inevitable consequences of the conflict through webinars and other online presence, but has also been actively compiling humanitarian aid throughout the crisis and distributing it across the Rivne Oblast.

Oksana Pohl, Ecoclub’s Board member, pictured upon arrival from Munich to Rivne with another humanitarian aid shipment

Close cooperation

Prior to the culmination of Russian aggression last February, Ecoclub Rivne and its myriad of projects focused on, for example, increasing the energy efficiency of public institutions as well as private homes; improving local and national energy policy; developing other public organizations and initiatives; effectively managing the Association of co-owners or multi-apartment buildings; developing renewable energy source; and reducing overall human influence on climate. The three-year EU funded project ‘CLEEN,’ which aimed to join civil societies in Armenia, Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine towards energy efficiency as well as increased accountability within energy saving, represented the close cooperation between WECF and Ecoclub before the Russian invasion. Needless to say, the habitual concerns and activities of the organization have experienced a significant shift since.

Working from shelters

Given the continuous shelling of civilian infrastructure as well as the country’s energy industry, including its nuclear plants, the Ecoclub Rivne has been steadily providing updates on the air condition and radiation levels in Ukraine using the Saveecobot software and consulting Ukrainians with tips on how to temporarily live without heating or repair their housing with a minimal carbon footprint. In regard to post-war reconstruction more broadly, the Ecoclub asserts that it should by no means entail the country merely returning to its pre-war state, but rather that a full-fledged, sustainable development projects as well as closer integration into the European community should take place, all in alignment with the European Green Deal.

The importance of the energy transition

The organization continues to place significant importance on energy transition and maintains that the damage done to Ukraine’s solar and wind power plants is of an immense scale, calling upon renewable power producers to step in following Ukraine’s much-anticipated victory. Ecoclub also points out that energy transition of Europe as a whole is likely being accelerated as a by-product of Russian aggression and the consequent push to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian gas and oil.

Medical and humanitarian aid

Ecoclub’s large network of mutual cooperation, formed as a result of the organization’s impressive list of activities during the country’s relative peacetime, has proved to be of crucial importance during the current state of affairs, ensuring a series of remarkable assistance in terms of medical and humanitarian aid. But while the assistance received thus far is beyond worthy of being commemorated, the war is still ongoing and there is much damage yet to be repaired, which is why we once again invite you to support local initiatives like the Ecoclub Rivne via our website or through their own donation website. WECF and Ecoclub Rivne appreciate your support.

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