Delegate Name: Sarah Zaruba
Over time the Earth has been slowly heating up due to climate change, causing raging wildfires worldwide. Although fire traditionally is used for clearing out land and heating, these events can become life threatening very quickly. Today, the climate impacts our environment and health more than it has ever before. The societal impacts of fire include the destruction of homes and buildings, rising evacuation costs, and death of humans and animals. Fire prone areas face destruction of economic stability and lose their precious land. Perhaps most importantly, areas affected by these fires are vulnerable to ecological destruction. Fires can pollute the air and water, accelerate climate change, and rob wildlife of their natural habitats. Solving the wildfire issue varies greatly by region because of diverse cultural, social and economic factors, and especially differences in ecosystems.
While the total number of fires each year differs due to weather, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine reports between 36,000-56,000 fires in open ecosystems burning across the country. In 2019, wildfires caused nearly 100 deaths in addition to financial losses of about UAH 3.4 billion (US 120.6 million). Fire safety and prevention is constantly developing in Ukraine by using new technology like fire suppression systems and evacuation alerts for communities. In our landmines Ukraine had 5 different explosive fires go off due to hazards inside the mine, killing many Ukrainian citizens. Ukraine has addressed that the two main factors for our growing amount of fires: climate change and human activity, which are difficult to stop. Especially concerning is the spread of wildfires in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone as research has shown that fires in highly contaminated areas can resuspend radioactive elements in smoke plumes that can get carried along long distances.
The country of Ukraine recommends that we quickly implement both short term and long term effective solutions to prevent wildfires. Long-term prevention strategies are to preserve natural areas that take in carbon dioxide like forests. Short-term plans include constantly reporting the drought-prone areas to keep them fire-free. Ukraine plans to find solutions that will ease wildfires and ensure a safe country.