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Military combat impacts on ecosystem services in Ukraine

Autor: Oleksiy Vasyliuk, Ukraine War Environmental Consequences Work Group

Military hostilities have a significant destructive effect on nature. They not only cause the death of living organisms, but also lead to the destruction of natural ecosystems. As a result, ecosystems lose their ability to support biological species, including humans.

Loss of ecosystem services

All our needs for everyday living depend on the state of the environment: air quality, temperature, precipitation, and food, all of which are directly related to natural ecosystems. For example, 60% of everything that humanity consumes originates from plants pollinated by wild insects. Virtually all plant foods consumed by humankind are grown on soils, while animal-based foods (except seafood) come from animals that rely on fodder also grown on soils: a complex and important ecosystem. It is also not hard to imagine what would happen if plants did not have time to restore the oxygen supply in our planet’s atmosphere. All of these factors point to the fact that the quality of our life and the suitability of lands for our existence depend on the preservation of ecosystem functions. 

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