According to the World Health Organization, chemical and biological pollution of air, water, soil, the noise, the anthropogenic climate changes and changes in the ecosystem are among the factors that directly affect human health1. This comes as no surprise, as consuming polluted water, consuming products grown on polluted lands, inhaling polluted air daily, a person receives doses of various harmful substances that accumulate and adversely affect his/her body. What is interesting is that the major part of population in Ukraine agrees with this statement.
Thus, according to the results of surveys hold in November-December 20182, the greater part of respondents agreed that environmental problems directly affect their daily lives and health (see diagram 1).
Diagram 1. Please tell, how much do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements: “Environmental problems directly influence your everyday life and health”. (% of all respondents, N=2034, NWest=565, NCenter=697, NSouth=497, NEast=275)
At the same time, 59% of respondents indicated that they had not participated in activities aimed at preservation of the environment (participation in volunteer clean-ups, environmental projects, participation in public hearings on construction of new facilities, local environmental problems, participation in environmental protest actions, providing comments on draft strategies, plans or programmes, filing requests for environmental information, appeals to the authorities on environmental issues, getting involved in tackling local environmental problems, creating or distributing of the environmental content in mass media or social networks, membership/volunteering in environmental NGOs).
It bears mentioning that in 2016 there was a similar situation. So, despite the fact that 76%3 of respondents agreed that the environmental status affects human life and health, only 2% of all respondents were active participants in the environmental movement. Moreover, in case of violation of environmental rights, 30.7% of respondents admitted that they would not apply to any authorities or NGOs to protect the violated rights.4
The survey results show that although the majority of the population are aware of the negative effects of environmental pollution, only a few are willing to contact the authorities and take more active measures. And what exactly the Ukrainians are ready to do to protect the environment – read in our next piece of news.
Natalia Kuts, firstname.lastname@example.org
+380 32 225 76 82
1 WHO data, Preventing disease through healthy environments, WHO, pages 21-23, https://bit.ly/1kXYCZE
2 The survey was conducted by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology ordered by International Charitable Organization “Environment-People-Law”. As part of the study, 2034 interviews were conducted with respondents living in 110 localities of Ukraine. The questions were taken from the questionnaire of the Eurobarometer international comparative research project (Special Issue).
3 24% of respondents believe that the environmental status significantly affects health, 52.1% – that the environmental status somehow affects life and health; https://bit.ly/2NV4R3z
4 Attitude of the population to environmental issues, survey results, EPL, https://bit.ly/2NV4R3z