Forestry students of Uzhhorod National University learned about approaches of close to nature silviculture

Traditionally during the visit to Zakarpattya, volunteer from Switzerland, expert on close to nature silviculture Erich Oberholzer came to students and teachers of geographic faculty of Uzhhorod National University with the open lecture on uneven-age sustainable forest management.
Erich Oberholzer cooperates with foresters of Carpathian region of Ukraine since 2004, providing consultations to foresters and stakeholders on the approaches and methods of close to nature silviculture, or uneven-age sustainable forest management, respectively to different forest types and initial conditions of the forest stands. For example, clear cuts in Switzerland (except after windfalls, drying and other natural disasters) are restricted since 140 years, which makes selective methods of forest management dominating. Other important condition of forest management is ownership for forests, particularly 70% of forests in Switzerland belong to local communes, which means that local inhabitants, realizing that forests belong to them, feel responsibility for forest management activities and continuously control foresters, who make perspective and daily forest management decisions.
During the lecture Erich Oberholzer informed about main differences in forest management systems applied in Switzerland and in Ukraine, namely restriction of clear cuts and economic benefits of continuous cover forestry, among which regular income from sales of harvested high quality timber, minimization of costs for regeneration of forest and tending of young stands, as well as about differences in forest management planning and decision making. Erich also explained main features of uneven-age forestry (close to nature silviculture) and necessary preconditions for successful work on establishment and maintenance of uneven-age forest stands, about peculiarities of harvesting and rules of conversion of even-age forests into uneven-age mixed and what is important for forestry professional to pay attention to while managing forests in accordance with approaches of close to nature silviculture.
Asking students about their motivation to study forestry, Erich shared his own story of career growth and assured that work of forestry professional, who uses close to nature silviculture is much more complicated, but much more interesting and inspiring, and he never regret about his choice to become a foresters.
At the end of open lecture, Yuriy Derbal, expert of NGO FORZA on issues of sustainable forest management, presented handbook on close to nature silviculture in Carpathian region of Ukraine and Slovakia, prepared and published within the ENPI project “Foresters towards lifelong learning for better forest management”.
Lecture gathered more than 50 students from first to fourth year of studies at “Forestry and Horticulture”, due to excellent organization of the event from the side of Forestry Chair of Uzhhorod National University. Most active and interested students received personal copy of the handbook on close to nature silviculture.
Presentation, used by Erich Oberholzer during open lecture, can be found at:
Photo report is located at: