The Chernobyl Ecology and Radiation Biosphere Reserve was created in accordance with the Decree of the President of Ukraine No. 174-2016 dated April 26, 2016 on the territory of the Ivankiv and Polissia districts of the Kiev region within the Zone of Exclusion and Zone of Unconditional (Mandatory) Resettlement (EZ and ZU (O) R).
The objective of the establishment of the Reserve is to preserve the most typical natural complexes of the Polissia in a natural state, to support and improve the barrier function of Chornobyl EZ and ZU (O) R, stabilize the hydrological regime and rehabilitate areas contaminated with radionuclides, to facilitate the organization and conduct of international scientific research.
The rest area is a radius of 10 kilometers around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant which is still an industrial zone with the nuclear power plant, the complex “Vector”, radioactive waste deposits “Buriakivka”, “third stage of the nuclear power plant of Chernobyl ”,“ Pidlisny ”and other facilities.
The legal registration of the Chernobyl Radiation and Environmental Biosphere Reserve is the starting point that allows starting work on administrative measures for the operation of the biosphere reserve, preparing estimates and training personnel.
The idea of creating the biosphere reserve in the Chernobyl zone is very good as it is not possible to use land from the Zone for agriculture due to contamination by Ameri-241 (half-life - about 432 years) and Plutonium-239 (half life) - about 24 110 years).
The Chernobyl Radiation and Environmental Biosphere Reserve also allowed the development of populations of birds and animals, the growth of trees and plants without human presence.
The main tasks of the Reserve are the following:
- Minimization of environmental risks and conservation of the natural resources of EZ and ZU (O) R, prevention of the emission of radionuclides outside the territory of radioactive contamination zones;
- Recovery and conservation of the natural diversity of the landscapes, the set of genes of the flora and fauna of the Reserve, the maintenance of the general ecological balance;
- Periodic inventory of natural resources, investigation of phenomena and processes that occur in the ecosystems of the Reserve;
- Implementation of ecological, medical and biological monitoring and radiation of the territory;
- Scientific research in the field of environmental protection;
- Protection of the territory of the Reserve with all natural objects;
- Maintenance of the territory in adequate conditions of sanitary security and fire protection; organization of fire protection of natural complexes;
- Ecological and educational work, etc.
The area of the Reserve is 226,964.7 ha.
The territory of the Reserve is characterized by eight types of landscapes, a large amount of wetlands and grasslands, about 30 types of forest vegetation, 23 of highlands and 7 of aquatic phytocomplexes, 12 of highlands and 8 of aquatic zoocomplexes.
1228 species of higher vascular plants, of which: 5 species of moss, 6 species of horsetails, 13 species of fungi, 7 species of clavaria, 269 species of monocots and 928 species of dicots.
The Red Data Book of Ukraine includes 60 species of vascular plants, and the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature includes 21 species of them.
Among the rare species are pasqueflower, snowdrop, grouse, moss, aconite, spring snowflake, Siberian iris, pussy willow, etc.
The total number of vertebrate animals registered is 339 species, 60 species of which are fish, 12 species are amphibians, 7 species are reptiles, 202 species are birds and 58 species are mammals.
58 species are listed in the Red Book of Ukraine, among the rare species are Ukrainian lamprey, smooth snake, shoulder blade, black hawk, stork, black stork, white-tailed eagle, European barbastelle, brown bear, lynx, otter, Przewalski horse, bison, etc.
Sources (in English)