National Nature Park “Zacharovanyi Kray” hosted practical seminar on issues of close to nature silviculture and hydrological functions of forests

In framework of the HYDROFOR project “Systems of optimal forest management for enhancing the hydrological role of forests in preventing the floods in Bodrog river catchmentrepresentatives of protected forest areas of Carpathian Region of Ukraine learned approaches of close to nature silviculture.
Goal of this practical seminar-training, which took place on 8-9 of October at the territory of NNP “Zacharovanyi Kray”, was to discuss issues of forest management in context of proper hydrological functioning of forest ecosystems as well as to learn through practice the main principles and approaches of close to nature silviculture – system of forest management, which is the optimal also from the point of view of forest stability and functionality.
For achieving its goal, the seminar composed of two parts: theoretical – introduction of HYDROFOR project activities and results to participants, presentation of the history, goals and activities of NNP “Zacharovanyi Kray” and basics of close to nature silviculture as a holistic forest management system, and practical – training on practical use of close to nature silviculture principles through practical work in the forest.
Participants of the seminar were, first of all, professionals from the hosting park “Zacharovanyi Kray”, as well as National Nature Parks “Skolivski Beskydy”, “Hutsulshchyna”, “Verkhovynskyi”, “Synevyr”, Nature Reserve “Horhany”, representatives of the Department of environment and natural resources of Zakarpattya regional state administration and National Forest Technical University of Ukraine in Lviv.
After welcoming and presentation of work of “Zacharovanyi Kray”, NGO FORZA expert Mr. Yuriy Derbal presented main results and achievements of HYDROFOR project, among which results of surveys on factors influencing flood occurrence, impact of trees, forest and forest management on water balance of watersheds. Mr. Derbal also presented some recommendations for forestry practitioners regarding improvement of forest management practices for enhancement of hydrological functions of forest, prepared jointly by Ukrainian and Slovakian partners of the project. Among the recommendations – introduction of integrated natural resources planning and management system based on watershed principles, use of close to nature silviculture approaches and restriction of all kind of clear cuts (besides of clear cuts after fires and natural disasters (windfalls, windbreaks, drying trees). Concluding the presentation, Mr. Derbal mentioned, that healthy uneven-age mixed managed forest is the best natural protection from floods and droughts.
Logically sequenced was the presentation of volunteer from Switzerland, consultant on issues of close to nature silviculture Mr. Erich Oberholzer “Practice of uneven-age forests: proper approach widely used in forest management of Europe, nature parks and reserves”. Expert from Switzerland explained that forest management can be done through different environmentally-oriented forestry system, among which the most sustainable contemporary selective forest management system, known in Europe as close to nature silviculture, or as uneven-age forestry, or as Pro Silva approach, aimed at formation and maintenance of uneven-age mixed stable forest stands (continuous forest cover and development of forest stands).
Second part and following day of the seminar were dedicated to practical group works, task of which was to assess and analyze forest stand, define future interventions and marking of trees for harvesting, justification of choice, presentation of the results of group work and discussion of these results. Practical work was done in forest stands with different age and specie composition parameters, thus each next group work required special analysis and justification of decisions made by the group.
Particularly practical work was assessed by participants as the most interesting and useful, besides this all participants were grateful to Mr. Oberholzer for experience and ideas exchange, pleasant friendly environment and search of solutions for better future of our forests.
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.
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