On 09.02.2023 forestry specialists discussed the operational planning for the implementation of remote sensing-based forest inventory (RS-Inventory) in Ukraine, which is foreseen as a joint venture of International and Ukrainian experts. Maximilian Sperlich, leading German RS-Inventory expert, presented the draft plan. He pointed out the clear distinction between the three main topics: the preceding RS concept study, the implementation of the terrestrial NFI campaign, and the implementation of the RS based support of the NFI.

The RS-Inventory is foreseen to get implemented based on special financial support by the German government, donated in light of significant damages and losses of forest inventory capacities caused by the Russian aggression. So far a concept study is developed, which describes the methodology and procedures. Now, after identification of terrestrial data collection points, field data gathering is planned to start in March 2023.

Viktor Mуroniuk, SFI-expert on RS-Inventories, drew attention to advantages and disadvantages of an RS-Inventory in comparison to a terrestrial NFI. He highlighted the need to elaborate on the estimation procedure of forest attributes using RS-derived maps, which meets expectations from the RS-Inventory in Ukraine.

“Yes, we have to take care about accuracy, and explain transparently the differences of the two approaches, but with the war in our neck, there is currently no other way to get robust forest data, in short time on all Ukraine.” said Volker Sasse, SFI-Project leader.  Although, there still seem some challenges on the way, all participants were confident that the objective – RS-Inventory completed by end 2023 – can be reached.