Ukraine is the biggest country of Europe and it contains diverse and valuable forests of international importance. The largest continuous forest area is located in the West – in Ukrainian Carpathians. Carpathains also a home for amazing wild forests.
Recently, due to the Russian-Ukrainian Western Ukraine also became a shelter for many foresters from East, South and Center of the country. These professionals are willing to continue their work in their country, but also looking for temporary opportunities in other European courtiers.
Secretariat of Carpathian Convention calls the European forest sector community to support Ukrainian foresters and their forestry activities.
Besides European Wilderness Society is already supporting Ukrainian women-foresters and is working on further proper project ideas.
Open letter of Ukrainian foresters
We are sincerely grateful for the understanding and support to Ukraine in the conditions of Russian aggression. The actions of the aggressor made it impossible to work of the main forest scientific institute: Ukrainian Research Institute of Forestry and Forest Melioration named after G. M. Vysotsky in Kharkiv and the forest management planning organization in Irpin near Kyiv. The destruction and damage of infrastructure, office buildings and housing also posed risks to the preservation of existing valuable scientific and forest management planning materials and databases, forced migration of specialists to the Western regions of our country or abroad.
The State Forest Resources Agency of Ukraine and Ukrainian Research Institute of Mountain Forestry (UkrRIMF) together with forest enterprises organize opportunities for temporary residence of such migrants. However, because forest scientists and forest management planning engineers are now relocated across various areas with no opportunities to pursue the profession and receive a salary may make them need to look for work outside the professional area in safer regions of Ukraine or abroad.
There is no doubt that in the conditions of war and after its end the need for further scientific support of forestry activities is growing. And this can be possible in case of preservation and creation of conditions for work of the relevant qualified specialists. Given the above, as well as the urgency of preserving the scientific potential of the forestry, we propose to consider consultations with various organizations and institutions of your countries regarding the support of scientists and forest management planning engineers by signing an agreement (agreements) with UkrRIMF for performing scientific research and ensuring proper funding. This will make possible to attract, on the terms of official employment, temporarily relocated scientists and management planning engineers to scientific activities and gain new knowledge and experience that will be used for its intended purpose. One of the directions of such research may be to study the possibilities of practical aspects of the application in Ukraine of modern technologies and remote sensing for:
– assessment of the current state of forest stands and ecosystems, their development trends, taking into account the consequences of damage and pollution of water bodies and forest soils, including as a result of hostilities, climate change, crisis processes, etc.;
– identification of environmental aspects of forest exploitation, including the impact on the quality and quantity of water resources in forest watersheds;
– preparation of an up-to-date database on the state of forest areas in the context of forest management planning works;
– effective implementation of forestry activities;
– establishment of parameters of the forest transport network, volumes of erosion processes at its creation and use and influence on forest soils and quality of water resources;
– improving the processes of reforestation and afforestation and protection of forests from pests, diseases and fires.
Of course, there may be other areas of research. They will result in scientific reports that will include practical recommendations aimed at improving forestry activities and ensuring the quality of forest watersheds. Financial and logistical support in the form of targeted research will help preserve the scientific potential and employment of internally displaced persons (scientists and forest management planning engineers) and improve their skills in difficult military conditions, enabling to create one of the components of further effective activity of the forest sector.
With best wishes and hope for cooperation.
Head of International Cooperation, Science and Public Relation Division
State Forest Resources Agency of Ukraine
First deputy director for Science of the Ukrainian Research Institute of Mountain Forestry (UkrRIMF)
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