Ukrainian Ministry of Ecology suggests adding Ternopil region caves to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This was announced by the Ecology Minister Ostap Semerak, as the ministry’s press service reports.
“Ternopil region is known all over the world for its unique natural sites. This is the only such complex of caves on the European continent. There are similar caves in the United States. I do not think there is a need to persuade anyone that such natural sites belong to more than one country, that they are a natural heritage of mankind, therefore we have initiated the enlistment of Ternopil caves in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites,” Semerak told.
He noted that the ministry held preliminary consultations with the Institute of Geological Sciences of Ukraine and Ternopil Region State Administration was also involved.
In particular, it is proposed to add Optymistychna Cave to this list. The length of explored paths of this cave is 214 km. Earlier it was included in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's largest gypsum cave and as the second largest cave trail in the world. Optymistychna Cave is second only after the Mammoth-Flint Ridge Cave System in the United States.
In general, the system of caves of Ternopil region has over a hundred caves. Among them are Ozerna (Blue Lakes) - 83 km 400 meters, Mlynky - 14 km 330 meters, Verteba - 7 kilometers 820 meters, and many others located near the villages Kryvche, Koralivka, Shuparka, Horodok, Skovyatyn, Uhrin, Ulashkivtsi, Kudryntsi , Sapohiv, Zbruchanske, Mizhirya. The majority of these caves have the status of natural monuments of national or local significance and are part of the Dniester Canyon National Nature Park, and now, at the initiative of the Ecology Ministry, they can enter the list of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.
The National Commission of Ukraine for UNESCO supported the proposal of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine to declare 2025 the International Year of Caves and Karst.
As it was reported earlier, the city hall of the Ukrainian capital plans to develop the scientific documentation, which provides for including Kyiv's main street, Khreshchatyk into the UNESCO World Heritage list.