BES Statement on Russia’s war on Ukraine

Our thoughts are with ecologists and everyone affected by the war on Ukraine and other conflict zones around the world.

We watched with horror the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

All BES staff took part in the one-minute silence in the UK at 11:00 today (24 February) to mark the one-year anniversary of the war.

The Russian invasion was an outright violation of international law. Tens of thousands of lives have been lost and the destruction on the ground is there for all to see. Moreover, Russia’s actions lay waste to the international values of human rights and freedom that are crucial to science.

The tragedy that continues to unfold in Ukraine is one of many conflict zones around the world, with people displaced and lasting damage caused to nature and the environment. The ecological damage wrought by any war on any continent has long-term effects on society and biodiversity, at a time when we need international collaboration to tackle the twin crises of climate change and nature loss.

We are seeing the extent of war damage to Ukraine’s important natural environment and praise those in the country’s strong science community attempting the dangerous work of recording and monitoring the environmental damage.

As a scientific society with members all around the world, our thoughts are with ecologists in Ukraine and other conflict zones, and we look forward to a time when they can return to their work in safety. We also offer our solidarity to those from Ukraine working elsewhere around the world.