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Бондарук Г.В., Кагало О.О., Проценко Л.Д., Артов А.М., Проць Б.Г. Нормативно-правове забезпечення збереження біорізноманіття в лісовому секторі Україн...
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DESCRIPTION OF THE PPP DEG PROJECT (2012-2015)

 

Support Responsible Forest Management for a Sustainable Development in the Ukrainian Carpathians

 

1. Developmental background

Forests are covering about 40% of the Ukrainian Carpathians. Forestry is an important economic sector in the Ukrainian Carpathians, providing timber to the timber industry and long term jobs for the local people both in the forest management sector and in the timber harvesting and processing industry. These forests are threatened by illegal logging, corruption and changing management practice looking at short term economic gains for the timber industry. Key responsible authorities make little efforts to search for and introduce new approaches in forest management and to promote market mechanisms, like for e.g. credible certification in forest management. Lack of coherent policies regarding forest management and timber processing are favouring an increase of unsustainable management and harvesting. There is an urgent need to improve forest management in this region.

The existing forest management measures, although based on principles of sustainability, are not considering the incorporation of appropriate measures that help maintain critical forest habitats and rare and endangered species. Forest management plans do not have an inventory and assessment of these habitats and species and there is no guidance on appropriate management for their maintenance and/or improvement. There is no clear mapping of the last remains of pristine and old-growth forests, which might lead to harvesting in these forests and losing valuable areas that would need centuries to recover.

Timber companies have no information and no possibilities to check if the timber they are purchasing is coming from areas where special management measures would be required. Promoting responsible forest management by better incorporating biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services related concerns, as well as issues related to social needs of local communities will secure sustainable long term purchasing opportunities for timber companies.

The new EU Regulation No 995/2010 of The European Parliament and of The Council of 20 October 2010 regarding the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market provides a very good framework for the project activities that will support responsible forest management in Ukraine. This project will help timber companies in purchasing timber originated from forests that are managed with proper consideration of environmental and social aspects.

 

2.Brief description of the PPP-Project

The purpose of the project is to provide information and technical support to forest managers for responsible management, especially for forests of critical importance for the society, as well as to companies for appropriate purchasing policies that will contribute to responsible forest management in Ukraine. It will also increase public awareness for the significance of biodiversity and pristine forest.

The project will implement the following activities:

Mapping of existing forests showing areas that are important for maintaining biodiversity values and areas of pristine/old-growth forests that should be maintained through non-intervention management.

This includes:

  • Revision of criteria for the identification of High Conservation Value Forests (HCVFs) and developing of criteria for the identification of pristine/old-growth forests.
  • Desk research for establishing areas with critical habitats (HCVFS) and pristine/old-growth forests.
  • Identifying of priority regions for field inventory and mapping of forests with nonintervention management.
  • Field identification, including mapping and assessment of present status of HCVFs, with a special emphasis on pristine/old-growth forest.
  • Develop and regularly update the Carpathian Old Growth Forest Register as part of the on-line biodiversity database, the on-line register will have clearly defined chapters to be filled in based on field inventories and monitoring activities by forest experts who will have access to the on-line database. The on-line register will be developed by WWF and managed after the project life by the national forest research institute.
  • Prepare documents for formal protection of the critically endangered habitats of pristine/old growth (ravine, floodplain, rocky areas) by including them in forests reserves with the agreement of key stakeholders.

Improvement of relevant forest regulations for long-term conservation and sustainable use of the HCVFs, including pristine/old-growth forests and management capacity.

  • Development of recommendations for the forestry regulations to allow foresters to implement specific management measures for HCVFs and for the protection of pristine/old-growth forests.
  • Capacity building of national and regional forest authorities and foresters for responsible forest management, including on High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF).

Ecological education on the importance of forests and raising awareness of the general public on the importance of pristine / old-growth forests.

  • Development and production of education materials on the importance of forests for the use of protected area managers, foresters and schools in educational programmes for children (Forest Education materials for children).
  • Awareness raising campaign on the importance of old growth/pristine forests.

The project location is identified within Ukrainian Carpathians (in broad sense, including also Transcarpathian Lowland). This area neighbours to 4 EU countries (Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland). Total area consists of 26,000 sq. km.

WWF Danube Carpathian Programme (WWF DCP) is working in Ukraine with long-term consultants, i.e. a forester and a biologist/ecologist, who are coordinating the field activities. WWF DCP has its headquarter in Vienna, even though it is implementing projects in various countries in the region, having as priority countries Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine. Team members, working in countries where WWF DCP has no permanent offices, have to be hired as consultants. The two Ukrainian consultants are part of the Forest and Protected Area Team, coordinated by the Forest Coordinator who is based in Romania.

The project will run for 3 years from November 2012 – October 2015.

 

3.Significance of PPP cooperation for the partner company

Ukraine is an important country in terms of timber resource. WWF DCP has a leading role in promoting and supporting responsible forest management in the region. During the past years WWF DCP has developed a good partnership with regional forest managers in Ukraine. WWF DCP is cooperating with a bigger programme supported by IKEA ”Support Responsible Forest Management for a Sustainable Development in the Danube – Carpathian Ecoregion”, covering Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine to promote responsible forest management since 2005. This program aims at identifying some of the last remains of pristine and old-growth forests in the Carpathians. WWF is interested in identifying these High conservation Value Forests. However, IKEAs contribution to the Ukrainian activities is not sufficient to cover the project activities; IKEA provides the financial resources for some priority areas, estimated to about 20% from the entire area of the Carpathians. WWF is not able to contribute the remaining amount but will finance the major part of the contribution of WWF experts.

The present project is adding resources to cover further 20% with field identification of the pristine forests and other very valuable forests that should not be actively managed. It will also provide additional support for education and awareness raising activities that will help promote responsible forest management and old-growth forest. The WWF DCP is providing the technical expertise as well as the administrative work needed to develop and implement these activities. Further more, WWF is liaising with the key stakeholders, i.e. forestry units, forest authorities, timber companies, researchers and others.

 

4.Project effects which are important for development

The project will significantly contribute to the FSC certification process of the Ukrainian forest management, thus providing certified timber to companies and better access to the European wood market.

Timber purchasing companies, including IKEA, will benefit from the project, as it will lead to the maintenance of long-term timber sources and provide the needed information for purchasing only controlled wood by clearly indicating the areas where HCVFs are identified and properly managed.

The project will provide technical support to forest managers for responsible management, especially for forests of critical importance for Ukraine and the Carpathians, as well as to national and international companies for appropriate timber purchasing policies that will contribute to responsible forest management in Ukraine. It will also have significant impacts on conservation of biodiversity, especially through the protection of old growth and virgin forests, unique natural habitats, which have been already lost in most parts of Europe.

It is expected that the project outputs will lead to changes in forest management practices at least for the priority habitats. By developing guidelines and criteria, as well as model areas where these tools are going to be used, the project will provide the basis for extending sustainable practices to all regions in Ukraine.

The national authorities will have the instruments developed through the project to promote and implement responsible forest management practices after the end of the project.

 

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