Slovakian and Ukrainian foresters, hydrologists, nature protection and water management specialists discussed ways of enhancement of hydrological role of forests at the example of Uzh river basin

As it was planned, professional forestry discussion, started in May and June of this year in Slovakia, was followed by joint field seminar in Zakarpattya region on July 7 and 8, in framework of HYDROFOR project.
The seminar gathered 54 participants, namely: from Slovakia there were partners from National Forest Center in Zvolen, Slovakian Academy of Science, representative of environmentally friendly harvesting technologies project, representatives of forest management of different ownership types and nature protection areas from Presov region of Slovakia; on the side of Ukraine there were representatives of state forest enterprises and nature protection areas from Zakarpattya, Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv regions, partners of the project from Ukrainian research institute of mountainous forestry (UkrRIMF) in Ivano-Frankivsk, representatives of Uzhhorod national university and National forest technical university of Ukraine in Lviv, forest inventory specialists from Ukrainian state forest inventory institute and Lviv forest inventory expedition, head of Carpathian regional training center, affiliate of Ukrainian center for training and re-training of forestry specialists, head and specialists of Tysa river water basin management, representatives of the department of ecology and natural resources of Zakarpattya regional state administration, State ecological inspection in Zakarpattya region and partners from FORZA NGO.
First, introductory part of the seminar, contained presentations which explained goal and main milestones and achievements of HYDROFOR project, particularly Lesya Loyko, head of NGO FORZA, presented preconditions of project development and respectively, its goal, structure and implementation logic, starting from the current state mapping and finishing with elaboration of practical recommendations for foresters, aimed at enhancement of hydrological functions of forests through forest management practices. You may find complete presentation in Ukrainian at:
Hydrological role of forests in Uzh river basin was presented by professor Vasyl Parpan, Doctor of Biology, director of UkrRIMF, scientific expert of HYDROFOR project, particularly taking closer look at the components of hydrological role of forests and bringing attention to the importance of introduction of watershed management principle to the forest management system, which ensures sustainable forest resources use with the proper implementation of forest functions at the same time. Presentation (in Ukrainian only) you may find at:
Yuriy Derbal, expert of HYDROFOR project, shared with the participants results, elaborated jointly by Ukrainian and Slovakian partners within the project, particularly on the interrelation between forest management systems and methods and flood protection, more details (in Ukrainian only) you may find at:
Role and impact of forest transportation network and possibilities of enhancement of hydrological role of forest areas through improvement of forest infrastructure was explained by another expert of HYDROFOR project, Volodymyr Korzhov, first deputy director of UkrRIMF, his complete presentation (in Ukrainian) is available at:
After the discussion, which followed the presentations, participants watched video about reasons of flood occurrence in Carpathians, impact of contemporary agricultural and forestry practices on the formation of floods and droughts in the region and ways of solving these problems. The video was created as one of the results of 7 years of work of activist Stefan Valo, who promotes changes in land use patterns, particularly in establishment of forest road network and skidding trails in mountainous conditions. After the video participants had a chance to see demonstration objects and continue discussion of issues, brought up by Stefan Valo.
Program of the field part of the seminar consisted of seeing demonstration objects in private ownership of Stefan Valo and at the national forest fund lands, where participants learned about examples of flood prevention measures in forest management and discussed these issues in the group, using the possibility of multi-disciplinary consideration of the topics in concern. Particularly participants had visited:
Man-made water reservoirs of Stefan Valo in Perechyn town, where at the territory of the enterprise in 2009-2010 five ponds were made with total area of 3 ha. Man-made multi-functional water reservoirs were constructed for retention of water and provision of water to the enterprise. Water objects do not only increase humidity and inter-soil and underground water balance of the nearby areas, but are also used for fish and domestic aquatic birds farming and nesting of wild aquatic birds. Inner islands were made in the ponds. During summer and spring period new ecosystem has evolved at the newly created water objects. During the hottest periods in 2009 and in next years observations showed intensive evaporation of water and quick filling of ponds during rainfalls. That is why at one of the ponds with area of 1 ha the wall was raised up and other lakes were deepened by 0.8 m, all of them are united and related by the system of pipes and runoff. Today 3 ha of man-made lakes hold 60 000 m3 of water.
Demonstration watershed HYDROFOR-Perechyn, located in Perechyn forestry of Perechyn state forest enterprise in forest park area of the green belt of Perechyn, with total area of 747.1 ha, including covered with forest – 707 ha. Forest cover ratio is 94.6%. More than 30% of forest stands in the watershed is attributed to the close to natural type, taking into account its age, vertical and horizontal structure. There is a new forest road with the length more than 2 km built in the watershed; the road has wooden water drainage trays and side ditches. As the demonstration example remediation of several skidding trails was done and waterfalls at the stream.
Genetic reserve of Douglas fir of Turja-Remeta (breed is registered in Registry of vegetation breeds of Ukraine in 1995, certificate # 486), with the area of 1.8 ha. The area is located in Turja-Remeta forestry of Perechyn state forest enterprise in protected site of local importance “Roztoky”, designated in 1983 at the area of 430 ha, established for protection and preservation of Douglas fir stands, which have scientific and research importance. At the plot there are clear forest cultures of Douglas fir with the age 114 years. Average height of the stand is 60 m, some trees are more than 60 m high.
Forest seed plot of White fir. Forest seed area of white fir in Poroshkovo forestry of Perechyn state forest enterprise with the area of 3 ha is located in Shepovets area and referred to recreation forests. At the plot there are forest cultures of white fir and occasional beech trees with the age of 97 years, sanitary cuts are allowed.
Participants of the field seminar during visits to the uneven-age forest stands of demonstration watershed and forest cultures of Douglas fir and white fir have discussed necessary and possible forest interventions, particularly approaches of close-to-nature silviculture, aimed at maintenance of proper sanitary condition of the stands, increase of its stability and productivity, enhancement of hydrological and other functions of forest.
Water regulation system at the family resort in Voyevodyno, which includes waterfalls and enforcements at the streams, trout ponds, man-made pond, drainage ditches etc. This was one of the stops, where participants could learn about successful use of hydrological role and multifunctionality of forests along with tourist and recreation potential of the area. There is an example of enforcement of the bed and banks of the stream, construction of the row of ponds, which use and soften surface flow during strong rainfalls and protect from local floods by proper regulation of water regime of the territory.
Professional exchange will continue at the beginning of September this year, this time field seminar will take place at the territory of Latorytsya river basin.
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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