Crimean Tatar Resource Center Calls Ukraine to Join Indigenous Peoples Initiative to the UNSG Climate Summit

September 3, 2019

On Tuesday, 3 September at noon, in the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center, the Crimean Tatar Resource Center held a briefing, where the speakers called Ukrainian government to join officially the indigenous peoples initiative to the UNSG Climate Summit. Speakers explained why it is important for Ukraine to join this initiative and how it relates to the deterioration of ecology in the occupied Crimea.

The CTRC Head of the Board, Eskender Bariiev, in his opening speech reminded that on 23 September 2019, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres will hold a Summit on climate change, in which the question of the role of indigenous people in preventing climate change will be raised.

“The UN Secretary-General António Guterres called climate change “the main problem of our time, and solving this problem will be a turning point in our history”. We still have time to stop the negative consequences of climate change but it will require unprecedented efforts of all people”, noted the CTRC Head of the Board.

The member of  Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, Eskender Bariiev stated that in order to have a chance to preserve the world ecosystem, we need to protect the rights of indigenous people to use the land, forests, and to preserve their traditional farming. As far as the occupied Crimea is concerned, Russia takes up projects that destroy its ecosystem, for example, global building and construction projects that do not conform with indigenous people, or various military exercise that violate international law.

“We, the representatives of indigenous people of Ukraine, whose territory is being exploited today by the occupying Russian Federation, appeal to the Ukrainian government to officially join this Declaration. We call the Ukrainian government to help with all possible means, both diplomatic and legal, to protect our territory and participate in global efforts to fight climate change”, added Eskender Bariiev.


“In a few years, the problem of climate change with have direct implications for the Crimean citizens. According to the Ukrainian and foreign scientific data, the level of Black and Azov seas will be rising to 30-35 cm until 2050. As a result of these changes, Crimea will become an island. Therefore, we will face a different set of political and economic issues”, said the CTRC expert, professor, PhD in Economics, Ievgen Khlobystov.

Ievgen Khlobystov emphasized the importance of designing a strategy of adaptation to the climate change under the current conditions.

“These strategies should become a part of the Ukrainian state policy. They should be constantly accommodated and perfected because one thing is to predict the situation, and the other thing is to react on it”, added the CTRC expert.


“Global warming is related to both ecological and energy problems. The ecological problems are obvious: the increasing level of air pollution, where energy is a major factor. Some states, unfortunately, are benefitting from global warming, and the Russian Federation is one such example”, said professor at the Postgraduate Legislation Institute of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Borys Babin.

Borys Babin outlined two ecological risks in Crimea: deforestation and dehydration. They are obvious and will continue to exacerbate if the situation does not change. Besides this, there are two new electric stations in the occupied Crimea that consume natural gas and substantially increase the carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere. Ukraine, unfortunately, cannot control this.

“Without a doubt, international events, particularly the participation of Ukraine in the Summit, cooperation with the civil society, indigenous people and protection of them, is very important to us”, said Babin.

The CTRC Head of Board, Eskender Bariiev, explains what it would mean for Ukraine to join this initiative: 

1. Demonstrate its commitment to protecting the rights of indigenous peoples.

2. Claim its territories and demonstrate its care for the future of Crimea that is currently occupied.

3. Confirm its commitment to the Paris Agreement.