HYDROFOR project shared best practices of riverbank enforcement as a result of collaboration of foresters and communities

Within the HYDROFOR project “Systems of optimal forest management for enhancing the hydrological role of forests in preventing the floods in Bodrog river catchment”, on November 19 and 20 representatives of local self-governments and forest management from around the area of Uzh and Latorytsya river basins (Ukrainian tributaries to Bodrog river), visited community of Nyzhniy Bystryi village in Khust district to learn their experience of flood protection measures.
Initial idea of the study tour purpose was related to sharing experience on riverbank enforcement with the constructions built with joint efforts of water management authorities, forest management, namely state enterprise “Khust experimental forest management unit” and local inhabitants with the organizational support of Swiss-Ukrainian forest development project in Transcarpathia FORZA (2004-2010). Riverbank enforcement constructions were built on Shyrokyi stream, which in 1998 after heavy flood forced to move more than 400 people from the village upstream; besides this the purpose of the study tour was also related to the discussion of similar collaboration in other communities in order for local self-governments together with foresters to solve their local problems not waiting for the help from the center.
Besides this, participants of the study tours visited village council, where they met with current head Yuriy Mukhanyuk, who briefed about the village, previous head, who led the village for 12 years and collaborated closely with FORZA project, Stepan Brytvak, who presented how the community was participating in the development of Community Natural Resource Development Plan and how the implementation was organized during years 2004-2010, also at the meeting there were the secretary of village council Oksana Rohalyk, head of Tereble-Ritska Hydro-Power Plant Oleh Ihnatko, who explained how the large HPP works as well as newly constructed small HPP and what are the benefits for the community, and chief forester in charge Ivan Broda, who presented point of view of foresters regarding participation with community and FORZA project.
In order to explain the background and precondition of the Nyzhniy Bystryi community mobilization, community development and its processes and tools, NGO FORZA coordinator Nataliya Voloshyna told about the approach of inter-related planning of strategic community development and forest management planning, which was elaborated, tested, modified during the lifespan of FORZA project and at the end published as a handbook for community leaders and foresters being the main parties in this issue. Forest management expert of NGO FORZA Yuriy Derbal continued the story with the presentation of riverbank enforcement constructions on the Shyrokyi stream from the very beginning – development in 2005 of the Working Project of Shyrokyi Stream Regulation by the water management engineers, followed by construction of riverbank enforcements by the sub-contracted parties, next phase was implemented by Khust experimental forest management unit, and at the final phase – by the local inhabitants themselves, the ones, who needed to protect their households from floods, and with the help of the forest management unit, which provided of timber material at the special price.
After the meeting in village council participants visited small HPP, learned its technical parameters and got a chance to see, how the object looks like and ask questions of concern, after this short excursion participants moved to the riverbank enforcements at Shyrokyi stream, where they could judge reliability of these constructions, look at some minor mistakes, assess economically and environmentally viable Swiss approach to the building of riverbank enforcing bio-constructions.
At the end of the study visit participants visited rural guesthouse “Frialy”, where the host of the guesthouse Maria Stanko prepared excellent home-made food for the lunch.
All in all, there was enough information for consideration and replication in the communities of participants. In the future the success of this work will depend on the community leaders and their efforts to mobilize communities around solution of their local issues, not forgetting that each community has good potential partners around: foresters, water management, environmentalists, nature protection administration, international and Ukrainian foundations and organizations.
Project HYDROFOR: SystemsofoptimalforestmanagementforenhancingthehydrologicalroleofforestsinpreventingthefloodsinBodrogrivercatchmentisimplementedintheframeworkofHungary-Slovakia-Romania-Ukraine ENPI CBC Programme 2007-2013, Priority 2: Enhanceenvironmentalquality, Measure 2.2. Emergencypreparedness.
PHOTO REPORT please see at:
Participants from Velykyi Bereznyi and Perechyn districts, 19.11.2015: https://picasaweb.google.com/113805013373103711164/19112015?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCL2Et8fQn-6YTw&feat=directlink
Participants from Volovets and Svaliava districts, 20.11.2015: