During International Green Week in Berlin, various events were held in the framework of the Global Forum on Food and Agriculture to further align the SFI project activities. The aim of the consultations was in particular the further improvement of the project implementation in terms of project results with impact on efficiency of forest policy and the implementation of a National Forest Inventory in Ukraine.
For 2023, the application of a remote-sensing based forest inventory is planned, which will provide basic information about the forest area and other important forest parameters for the entire forest area of Ukraine, including occupied territories. To overcome war-related damage and losses, the Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL) has provided additional special funds of around EUR 550,000, to be used for procurement of inventory equipment, carry out field data surveys and for advisory services by experts. For possible forest policy advice beyond 2024, it will be necessary to improve the base for forest policy decision-making, e.g. through analyses of challenges caused by the war and the organizational country strategy decisions made beforehand in the area of forest management, but also through coordination with the reform offers and demands of the EU.
Furthermore, the SFI project was represented at a Consultation on German project work in Ukraine, organised by BMEL. The meeting was attended by representatives of the German embassy in Kiyv, GFA Group, forest science, the timber industry and various NGOs. Matthias Schwoerer, head of the European and international forest policy department of BMEL, outlined the aim of the event, which was to promote the mutual exchange of information and the development of potential synergies between the various German actors in the forest, timber and forest nature conservation sector in Ukraine should. “As a result of Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine, the situation there has changed dramatically. Help and support in all areas, including the forest sector, are urgently needed. Apart from the generally critical overall humanitarian situation, there has been massive destruction of forests, infrastructure and material, as well as large-scale problems due to pollutant inputs and mining in forest areas,” said Schwoerer. Therefore, BMEL has initiated additional multilateral support for the forest sector within the framework of FOREST EUROPE and encourages cooperation across sector boundaries. Volker Sasse, head of the SFI project, reported on interim results and current challenges in SFI project implementation. Despite the considerable strain on social life in Kyiv, the SFI project is working intensively together with the Ukrainian partners with the objective to implement the SFI project goals.
As part of the GFFA, representatives of the SFI project implementers, unique land use GmbH and IAK Agrar Consulting, took part in a meeting with Federal Minister, Cem Özdemir, and the Minister for Agricultural Policy and Food of Ukraine, Mуkola Solsky. Both ministers paid tribute to the work of the projects of the Bilateral Cooperation Program of BMEL in Ukraine, including the achievements of the SFI project, in particular the contributions of Ukrainian project partners.