Ukraine: Soil degradation

Here you can read about soil degradaton processes in Ukraine and Dutch-Ukrainian cooperation in this field.


KYIV. June 17 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukraine is moving into a zone of ultra-high temperatures and cataclysms due to weather changes, and in the next 30-40 years, the country is threatened with desertification of vast territories, which threatens the loss of biodiversity, lack of water, the spread of poverty, hunger and mass migration of the population, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources reported on its website on Thursday.
According to the ministry, in Ukraine, 13 million hectares of agricultural land are exposed to the harmful effects of water erosion, more than 6 million hectares - of wind, up to 20 million hectares are covered by dust storms.
The ministry clarified that the development of degradation processes is largely influenced by the high level of plowing of the land (54% of 33 million hectares of the total arable land).
The ministry noted that for Ukraine, combating desertification and land degradation is one of the priority areas of environmental policy. For this, an action plan to combat this phenomenon until 2025 was approved and a coordination council was created to combat land degradation and desertification.
"Our state has joined the process of establishing and implementing voluntary national targets to achieve a neutral level of land degradation. This work is being carried out within the framework of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. To achieve a neutral level of land degradation, we must implement measures to stabilize the increase in the content of humus in soils," the ministry quoted Minister of Ecology Roman Abramovsky as saying.
Earlier, Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine Roman Leshchenko said that two-thirds of Ukraine's territory is located in the zone of risky farming, 6 million hectares of agricultural land require conservation. This process is especially noticeable in the south of the country.

Distribution of soil and landdegradation processes in Ukraine
Beeld: ©FAO

The most large-scale degradation processes include soil erosion caused by water and wind (nearly 57% of the country’s territory), waterloggingof land (about 12%), acidification (almost 18%), salinization and alkalinization of soil (over 6%). According to various criteria, approximately 20% of Ukrainian lands are polluted. Almost 23 thousand cases of landslides are registered yearly. Abrasion is the cause of destruction of 60% of Azov and Black Sea coastlines and 41% of the Dnipro River reservoirs coastlines. Over 150 thousand hectares of land are disturbed by mining and other activities. The number of underground and surface karst phenomena amounts to 27 thousand cases.

Ukraine: Soil fertility to strengthen climate resilience
Beeld: ©

Ukraine: Soil fertility to strengthen climate resilience. Preliminary assessment of the potential benefits of conservation agriculture

The report can be downloaded here:


Foreword                                                                                v

Acknowledgements                                                                 vi

Acronyms and abbreviations                                                   viii

Executive summary                                                                ix

1 The resource base                                                                1

  • Soils                                                                           1

2 Crop production                                                                   3

3 Soil erosion in Ukraine                                                          5

4 Climate change uncertainties over Ukraine’s breadbasket role 7

5 Soil fertility and climate change resistance                           10

6 Approaches to address soil erosion                                       12

7 CA feasibility in Ukraine                                                        14

  • CA experiments in Ukraine                                          14

8 CA adoption in Ukraine                                                         16

9 Potential benefits from CA adoption                                      18

  • Specific advantages for Ukraine                                   18

10 Soil carbon sequestration                                                   21

  • Phasing CA adoption                                                   22

11 Benefits and economics of CA                                             23

  • Farm/enterprise level                                                  23
  • National level                                                              24
  • Global level                                                                 25

12 Next steps 27

  • Verification of preliminary estimates                            27
  • Land markets 27
  • Agricultural technology/advisory services                    27
  • Financial services                                                        27
  • Risk management                                                       27
  • Food security                                                              27

Annex 1 Ukrainian soils                                                           29

Annex 2 Erosion of Ukrainian soils                                           36

Annex 3 Land, cropping structure, and yields                          40

Annex 4 Climate change in Ukraine                                         47

Annex 5 Resource-saving technologies in Ukraine                    59

Annex 6 Carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation 64

Annex 7 Financial and economic analysis                                 71

Annex 8 Institutional settings                                                  77

Soil degradation neutrality Ukraine
Beeld: ©

The report can be downloaded here:

1. Summary                4
2. Leveraging LDN            5
2.1 Implementation of the National Action Plan to Combat Land Degradation and Desertification, other plans and programs            5
2.2 Adaptation and implementation of SDGs in Ukraine            5
2.3 Establishing and functioning the Coordination Council to Combat Land Degradation and Desertification            8
2.4 Integrating LDN issues in the climate policy, strengthening the synergy with the other environmental agreements and processes            8
3. Assessing LDN            10
3.1 LDN trends and drivers            10
3.2 Comparative analysis of global and national indicators            12
3.2.1.Land cover/land use            12
3.2.2.Land productivity dynamics            15
3.2.3.Soil organic carbon            18
3.3LDN baseline                20
4. Setting LDN targets            21
5. LDN Transformative Project Opportunities         26
6.Conclusions            28
Annexes            29

Ukraine, FAO unite to save healthy soil

Ukraine has productive and healthy soil, called chernozem, that is rich in organic matter. However, leading Ukrainian soil scientists estimate that water erosion affects 13.4 million ha, including 10.6 million ha of arable land. Erosion directly impacts soil fertility and agricultural production, which can lead to significant economic losses of more than Hrv 20 billion annually.


Moreover, the development of national approaches to combat land degradation has been slowed by complicated institutional structures, a lack of updated research in the field of soil erosion, and an absence of stable soil monitoring.

The international soil community is ready to support Ukraine in building a unified and recognized platform that avoids fragmented efforts and wasted resources.

The Ukrainian Soil Partnership (USP) was established today during a two-day international seminar organized by FAO as part of an ongoing project funded by the Global Environment Facility to benefit Ukraine’s forest-steppe. It comes under the umbrella of the Global Soil Partnership.

Read more:

2018.07.27 - Agroport Kherson seminar "Saline Agriculture"

Seminar "Saline Agriculture: practical solution for global problems" took place 27/07/2017 in the framework of Agroport South in Kherson, Ukraine. We discussed the soil degradation and salinity and also how to run agro production on these soils.
The event was organized by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ukraine in cooperation with FAO, Salt Farm Foundation and Koppert Biological Systems, with participation of the Institute of Water Problems and Soil Reclamation of the NAAS.

Read more