The Chornobyl Exclusion Zone: Nuclear Desert or Paradise for Wildlife?

Julia Makliuk, senior researcher of the Chornobyl Center, Cand. Sc. in Biology, made the report “Ecology of the Chornobyl zone: nuclear desert or paradise for wildlife?” during IX International Youth Environmental Forum, which was traditionally held in Slavutych on April 24, 2014.
As always, Julia’s speech drew special attention of the Forum audience; she is in research activities for many years and within the Chornobyl exclusion zone as well. Her experience and opinion are respected not only by pupils and students, but also by scientists and a wide range of public. During her report the audience got to know about location, status, objectives and condition of the Chornobyl exclusion zone, and specifically its contamination after the accident and at the present time; landscapes; radiation effects on its flora and fauna, their development and recovery. Julia involved scientific facts and vivid examples to make the listeners understand, why the present-day Chornobyl zone is nearly a “paradise” for the wildlife including a large number of Red Data Book species, as it has been developing and reverting for 28 years with a scarce human influence. “The Chornobyl zone is a test of maturity for people, a test to check how wise our solutions can be… Global reduction of support to science implies not only misunderstanding, absurd ideas and additional fears; it will have more serious consequences: high risks of new accidents, unjustified expenditures, as well as inability to organize comfortable and eco-friendly life. Science should be strong and wise, it needs real support and respect”, – Julia summed up.

Shortly before, on April 17, during the Third Scientific and Practical Conference of grades 8-11 pupils in Slavutych named “Future Outlook of Slavutych”, Julia Makliuk was awarded a gratitude from the Slavutych City Department of Education for many years of scientific support to research activities of the pupils-members of Kyiv regional branch of the Small Academy of Sciences (Chemistry Section) (http://www.slavutich.cn.ua/news_438.html). This year three papers were prepared for SAS by the pupils with the participation of Yulia Makliuk.