Ukrainian plan to protect UNESCO beech forests

On 21 of December, 2018 Government of Ukraine approved a plan of measures to preserve the Ukrainian part of the UNESCO World Heritage site “Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe”. Plan also foresees the sustainable development of the surrounding areas.

At present Ukrainian part of the UNESCO World Heritage site includes ancient and primeval beech forests of :

  • Carpathian Biosphere Reserve
  • National Nature Parks: “Uzhanskyy” “Zacharovanyy kray”, “Synevyr” and “Podilski Tovtry”,
  • Natural Reserves: “Gorgany” and “Roztochya”.

The Plan of the measures foresees a range of activities to be implemented by the abovementioned protected areas, as well as by different Ministries, Transcarpathian, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv and Khmelnytsky Regional State Administrations. The reports on Plan implementation should be submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on the annual basis.
So the 5-year Plan implementation will start in 2018 and will last until 2023.

Ministries tasks

Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Education and Science and State Agency of Forest Resources of Ukraine will:
a) ensure:

  • coordination of work on the preservation of the Ukrainian part of the UNESCO World Heritage site. Particularly will participate in the:
    – meetings of the Joint Management Committee on the of the World Heritage site;
    – creation and implementation of the integrated system of the Site management;
  • cooperation with institutions of other European countries that protect primeval and ancient beech forests. First of all with the Romanian and Slovak institutions located along the Ukrainian-Romanian and Ukrainian-Slovak borders;
  • operation of the national management group of the World Heritage Site on implementation of decisions of the Joint Management Committee.

b) create conditions for the development of the Ukrainian protected areas, comprising UNESCO ancient and primeval beech forests, particularly, to:

  • approve methodological recommendations on the management of sites of the World Heritage Site and its buffer zones, as well as on cooperation with local authorities;
  • ensure proper protection of the site of the world heritage and establish a system for sites´ and buffer zones monitoring;
  • ensure the scientific research of the biotic and landscape diversity of the World Heritage Site;
  • provide protected areas with transport, communication and research equipment, uniforms;

Promotion of the World Heritage Site

Regional Administrations and protected areas of the 4 involved regions of Ukraine in cooperation with several Ministries will promote World Heritage Site and its value during celebration of the neighbourhood days, via media and on the websites of the abovementioned institutions.

Logo of UNESCO, World Heritage Site and involved protected areas will be promoted.

Different handouts, dedicated to the World Heritage Site values will be published.

Enhancement of the cross-border cooperation

Ensuring the sustainable development of the adjacent to the World Heritage Site territories will be implemented through development of the Project Proposals. Projects on tourism, nature protection and recreational infrastructure will be submitted to different EU Donors.

Possibilities to open international Ukraine-Slovakia and Ukraine-Romania border-crossing points will be further investigated.

Roads to World Heritage Site

The repair and maintenance of the road infrastructure, leading to the World Heritage site of the protected areas will be insured. And the issue of those roads inclusion to the list of roads of state importance will be investigated.

Modernization of the area

The public-private partnership instruments for sustainable development of the World Heritage Site adjacent territories will be developed and implemented.

Renovation of the municipal heating systems, reconstruction of sewage treatment facilities and watersheds , construction of sewage networks, centralized and non-centralized drinking water supply networks, collection and disposal of domestic waste at the adjacent territories of the world heritage, encouraging the population to switch to alternative energy sources (heat pumps, solar panels, electric heating, wind power installations) will be conducted.

New workplaces

Creation of additional workplaces on the World Heritage Site the adjacent territory will be ensured. Attraction of investments for the creation of enterprises with deep wood-processing,
processing of wild fruits, berries, mushrooms and other natural resources will investigated.

European Beech Forest Network and UNESCO World Heritage

The European Beech Forest Network overall goal is to build and grow a platform of interested parties to develop and share knowledge and experience with the expressed intention of influencing policy, management and overall protection of the European beech forest ecosystem. A special emphasis is on old-growth forests in wild and Wilderness areas.

 One of this International Network´ objectives is to support the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site “Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Ancient Beech Forests of Germany” and its extensions.

Therefore European Beech Forest Network and its members (one of which is European Wilderness Society) are ready to support proper management of the World Heritage property in different European countries.

Please also read: European Beech Forest Network Response To UNESCO Complaint.

European Wilderness Society and UNESCO World Heritage

European Wilderness Society already included
topic of abovementioned UNESCO World Heritage site to its educational programmes in different European countries. As a part of it, we also conducted a workshop “Future of the Wilderness and UNESCO World Heritage site in the Ukraine” in May 2018 in Uzhhorod. And we are ready to continue our support.

Max Rossberg
Chairman of the European Wilderness Society

Representatives of UNESCO sites from Carpathian Biosphere Reserve, National Nature Parks “Synevyr” and “Zacharovanyy kray” as well as other stakeholders participated in the workshop.  They discussed the biggest challenges and most pressing issues in managing UNESCO sites as well as support and contribution needed to overcome these challenges.

This information was included to the development of the Project proposals by the European Wilderness Society.

We also already audited several Wilderness, which are also a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site not only in Ukraine, but also in other European countries. One of the latest is Darvaika Wilderness in National Nature Park “Synevyr”. More details are here.

It would be great if Ukrainian Plan to protect UNESCO World Heritage is implemented jointly by involved protected areas under coordination and supervision of the Management Committee and proper experts. That would save a lot of efforts and resources, as well as perform good unified results in the end,

Iryna Shchoka
Ukrainian manager of the European Wilderness Society

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One thought on “Ukrainian plan to protect UNESCO beech forests

  1. Full support for your efforts as all natural areas are actually owned by the whole world but administered by the host country on our behalf

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