HYDROFOR project opens new horizons for cooperation among Ukrainian and Slovakia scientists and forestry practitioners

Final conference of the project “HYDROFOR Systems of optimal forest management for enhancing the hydrological role of forests in preventing the floods in Bodrog river catchment”, which was held on October 14-15 in Kosice, Slovakia, gathered more than 60 participants from Ukraine, Slovakia, and Switzerland in order to discuss further introduction of project achievements and define new horizons of cooperation for foresters and scientists of two project countries.
Main tasks of the conference were presentation of project implementation results and exchange of knowledge and ideas among colleagues for further improvement of forest management in direction of enhancement of hydrological functions of forest landscapes.
During the first day of the conference main project results were presented and conclusions regarding improvement of forest management discussed, particularly Ivan Barka, coordinator of HYDROFOR project from National Forest Center (NFC) and Lesya Loyko, project manager, head of NGO FORZA, delivered common presentation of project achievements, among which – analysis of factors, which influence flood formation and its impact rate, analysis of the role of forest stands in forest hydrological functions, digital modelling of forest hydrology depending on different forest cover conditions, impact of forest transportation network on forest hydrology, carrying out series of practical seminars for foresters of Slovakia and Ukraine on issues of hydrological functions of forests, meetings with local communities and discussion of joint activities around this topic, elaboration of scientifically-based recommendations for forestry practitioners on improvement of forest management activities for enhancement of hydrological functions of forest. (This and other presentations you can find in Ukrainian language at our web site in the Publications menu).
In particular, integral part of the above mentioned scientific background is composed of the results of scientific survey of twin watershed comparison and results of digital modelling of hydrological situation, presented in details by Tomas Hlasny, head of environmental lab of NFC; as well as of the proposals on organization of forest management in mountainous conditions of Carpathian mountains for enhancement of its hydrological functions, and that is the watershed management approach, applied in forest management system, which enables balanced sustainable forest management with proper fulfillment of all forest functions, explained by Vasyl Parpan, professor, Doctor of Biology, director of UkrRIMF; and of the proposals on optimization of transportation network within activities on surface flow reduction and flood risk reduction in mountainous areas, very clearly formulated by Volodymyr Korzhov, PhD, first deputy director of UkrRIMF.
Traditionally, innovations in forest inventory, particularly more precise and clear mapping of forest stands and transportation network under forest canopy, which can be done with the help of laser scanning, was presented by Ivan Sackov, expert of the NFC, and perspective ideas on the innovation means of timber skidding was presented by Stefan Ilcik from Technical University in Zvolen.  
Conclusions of the first day of the conference was done during the speech of Vladimir Caboun, professor, forest engineer, project expert of NFC, who particularly finalized importance of proper forest management for proper implementation of hydrological functions and protection and risk reduction of floods.
Field day of the seminar – excursion in the Kosice city forests, welcomed participants with rain, which didn’t influence quality of the information provided by hosts and enthusiasm of participants. Kosice city forests have what to show: forest management is done at almost 20 000 ha, of which 82 % – forests of special purpose, 15 % – water protection forests and only 3 % – economic forests, nevertheless the enterprise is harvesting around 90 000 m3, which doesn’t impact look of the forests, because forest management is done mainly by forest regeneration system and selective intervention tools. Hosts from Kosice city forests, deputy director, forest engineer Miroslav Tököly, and forest ranger of forest park Julian Tomastik, explained also about introduction of Pro Silva approaches (close to nature silviculture) as well as about transportation network in the forests, which is one of the most dense in Slovakia, and about recreation activities in the city forests, which is specially important because forest massives of city forest play important role in recreation of citizens and visitors of Kosice and vicinity. Conclusions were drawn in newly constructed Visitor Center, established with the EU co-financing.
Project partners: National Forest Center, NGO FORZA and UkrRIMF are very grateful to all participants of the final conference for active participation, exchange of ideas and perspective vision of new cooperation opportunities.

Project HYDROFOR: Systems of optimal forest management for enhancing the hydrological role of forests in preventing the floods in Bodrog river catchment is implemented in the framework of Hungary-Slovakia-Romania-Ukraine ENPI CBC Programme 2007-2013, Priority 2: Enhance environmental quality, Measure 2.2. Emergency preparedness.

Photo report find at:
Photographs of Roman Novikov, publishing house “Eco-Inform”: https://flic.kr/s/aHskmWq6Yf