Bernd Wippel and Volker Sasse, experts of SFI project, visited 11.09.2022 Ukrainian forests to get acquainted with the progress of National Forest Inventory (NFI) and the data gathering quality in the field. They have been accompanied by Viktor Melnychenko, General Director of Ukrainian State Forest Management Planning Agency, and other Ukrainian experts, involved in the implementation of National Forest Inventory In Ukraine. Melnychenko drew attention to the impacts by Russian aggression, which makes currently access to all Ukrainian forests impossible. So far a small group of NFI staff is working on data gathering, but further financing is endangered.
After a tedious ride and walk into the deep Carpathian forests German experts have been informed about practical field work on NFI, particularly about procedures for controlling data quality. They recognized the strong commitment to the officially approved NFI procedures, the high professionalism of Ukrainian NFI staff and their withstanding of underfinancing by applying simple but effective solutions. During the expert discussions Wippel mentioned, that data quality control is an essential prerequisite for successful NFI implementation in Ukraine. Realised controls have shown a quite good quality of originally gathered data. Some features of further improvements, e.g. blind controls, have been discussed and will be addressed during further SFI project implementation.