The currently used soft and hardware for data gathering and controlling of NFI field data, seems operationally reliable, but is characterised by serious risk elements, which puts sustainable implementation of NFI over medium and long terms in question.

In light of this SFI Project purchased five sets of tablet computers and Field-Map software (IFER, Czech Republic) with the objective to improve field data gathering, processing and analysis respectively to increase data quality due to strict data controlling management and finally to overcome risks, hidden in the currently used data management system.

During first steps of Field Map implementation specialists of the Centre of National Forest Inventory Centre (CNFI) drew attention to the need to improve the ergonomics of the new software, to create a special project for controlling of data collected quality as well as to access and manage the output data base easily.

In light of this a field seminar was organised by SFI-Project, which took place in Lviv oblast, 09-13.10.2023, with participation of SFI-Project experts, CNFI specialists as well as researchers from the Ukrainian Forest Research Institute (URIFFM).

The seminar led to a test version of a special “сontrol project” along with the draft documentation for results of work control. Ihor Buksha, national expert of SFI-Project, said: “Concrete challenges have been revealed now, while working in the forest. This is the best cooperation compared to many online meetings.” The short term task is to apply this Field-Map “control project” for verification of NFI data, collected during 2023 on 172 NFI data collection plots.

According to Vitaliy Storozhuk, National Coordinator of the SFI Project, successful implementation of Field-Map in Ukraine requires further capacity building on NFI and GIS database management, mainly for Ukrainian NFI practitioners at CNFI. In a closing session of the seminar Volker Sasse, SFI-Project Leader, underlined that the current NFI data gathering system, Small Forests, although having a series of serious risks, is the only technology to serve any NFI developments in Ukraine at this stage. During coming months SFI – Project plans to elaborate a “Concept for further NFI implementation in Ukraine”, where, among others, opportunities and risks of remote sensing based approaches as well as a comprehensive application of Field-Map for NFI purposes will be assessed in close collaboration with SFMPA / CNFI.