21.02.2023 Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine (MEPR) invited SFI-Project as well as State Forest Resources Agency (SFRA) and State Forest Management Planning Association (SFMPA) to a meeting on SFI-project progress, project plans for 2023 and project registration.

Volker Sasse, leader of the project “Technical Support to Forest Policy Development and National Forest Inventory Implementation” (SFI Project), gave an introductory presentation, where he highlighted challenges caused by the Russian war on the one hand and the presentable outputs on the other hand. The most important subject of support by the project is the implementation of a National Forest Inventory (NFI). “Recent Project Steering Group advised to expand a sample plot-based inventory to remote sensing-based forestry inventory (RSI). Considering the challenging framework project made huge progress, e.g. the elaboration of a concept for RSI. Due to additional financial support provided by the German government (i) lost and damaged inventory equipment can be purchased, (ii) field data gathering and analysing carried on and (iii) the RSI implemented by National and International forestry experts.

Oleksandr Krasnolutskyi, Vice-Minister of MEPR, underlined the interest of the Ministry in the support provided by the SFI- project. He pointed to various technologies available for forest in-ventories and appreciated the input of SFI-project on the National Forest Inventory using now RSI approach.

Igor Budzinskyi, Head of Forestry Department of SFRA, confirmed that the shift to RSI have been agreed with the MEРR, and normative documents are being prepared for submission to the Ministry of Justice for approval. He noted the results of the project’s work on legislative recommendations. It was emphasized that Ukraine’s reporting obligations to international organizations include NFI. Only NFI provides a on time national scale method for determining forest extent, growth and quality parameters.

Viktor Melnychenko, General Director of SFMPA, reported on the signing of two agreements on the implementation of international technical assistance with the executing company unique land use GmbH. Preparations for field work are in progress. He explained the method of realistic calculation of forest growth and the advantages of NFI compared to forest management planning approaches.

Oleksandr Shevchuk, Head of Center of National Forest Inventory of SFMPA, informed that most issues related to the methodology have been agreed upon. The selection of executives staff and preparation for the training and theoretical course are ongoing. Further the meeting discussed technical issues related to project registration. There was consensus that SFI-project should be registered as soon as possible. MEPR will support the registration process.