This was one of the major conclusions of a round table organised 11.07.23 by the Project “Technical Support to Forest Policy Development and National Forest Inventory Implementation” (SFI-project). More than 20 Ukrainian experts, representatives of state forestry administration, state forestry business, forestry science and NGO´s took part and discussed options for development of an efficient Forest Management Planning (FMP) system in Ukraine.
The background for this event is related to the war of russia in Ukraine. Since February 2022 significant areas of Ukrainian forests, particularly capacities of Ukrderzhlisproect have been significantly affected. Also, the recent reform of state forest management impacts FMP, thus during ongoing restoration a more general review in terms of the legal framework as well as an efficient organisation and financing of FMP, including forestry controlling function seems advisable.
Ihor Budzinskyi, Head of department of forestry and forest restoration of State Forest Resources Agency, welcomed participants, and underlined the role of FMP for governing state forestry in terms of sustainable forest resources development. Due to the Russian war FMP capacities are significantly demolished. Recovery is urgently required and should be based on European best practises. In light of this consultancy advice by the SFI-project is very welcomed.
Anatoliy Borsuk, chief forestry specialist at the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine (MEPR), welcomed participants. He pointed to the importance of close-to-nature forestry and to the experiences in Germany in this regard.
The representative of “Forest of Ukraine”, Head of the Forestry Department, Volodymyr Kasiukhnych, underline the importance of FMP for his enterprise and the intentions of his organisation to follow European best practises.
Victor Melnichenko, General Director of Ukrdershlisproject, talked in more details about current challenges for FMP in Ukraine. Special focus he drew to modern methods of information processing, which is important for all the various areas of activities related to FMP.
The main part of the event was allocated to Dirk-Roger Eisenhauer, SFI-expert, Head of the Competence Centre for Forests and Forestry at state forest enterprise “Sachsenforst”, who presented the outcomes of a report on current status of FMP in Ukraine (elaborated by Volodimir Savchyn, Chief Technologist of Lviv State Forest Management Planning Expedition), experiences in Germany/Saxony and conclusions for an efficient organisation and financing of FMP in Ukraine.
Eisenhauer presented modern, remote sensing-based FMP methods, applied in Saxony and referred in this context to reduced costs and increased accuracy of FMP data. As a key message he pointed to the need in a clearly defined legal framework, sufficient financing for FMP activities as well as a strong controlling role of FMP, followed by execution feedbacks on forestry institutions. Eisenhauer also drew attention to the increasing multifunctionality of forest land use, comprising not only timber production, but whole range of ecological and social requirements by the public. “Modern, efficient FMP-system should reflect these increasing public needs adequately.”, said Eisenhauer. He also addressed modern Inventory systems and, in this context, outsourcing to commercial providers, where he suggested to avoid dependencies and develop sufficient state IT-resources.
During the discussion a broad range of issues have been discussed, among them the long-lasting administration of urgent forest damages as well as the high portion of clear cuts in total fellings in Ukraine.
Volker Sasse, SFI-project leader, drew attention to shortages of capacities of MEPR, related to timber production and particular forest management planning. Considering this he invited the representatives of forestry and timber processing industry to intensify their lobby activities: “MEPR should increase capacities related to a multifunctional forest land use, particularly to production and international trade of timber. Timber production and processing industry would benefit from such an approach.”, said Sasse. In order to transfer FMP competencies of Germany to Ukraine the SFI-project will explore opportunities for a practicum in Germany for leading staff of the Ukrainian FMP-system as well as comment on the Ukrainian FMP legal framework, based on German expertise.