HYDROFOR project acquainted mass media of the region with features of hydrological function of forests

On Thursday, August 13, 2015, FORZA Agency together with Uzhhorod Press-Club organized press-tour for regional journalists with purpose to familiarize with the work of HYDROFOR project, demonstration site of the project in Babayovo area of Perechyn district as well as with the examples of small-scale activities, which enhance hydrological function of forests.
Press-tour has started with familiarizing press conference, during which Lesya Loyko, manager of HYDROFOR project, explained preconditions of the project, namely frequent flood hazardous situations in the region along with recent frequent climate change related droughts and water level drop in the rivers and soil. Logic of the project is based on in-depth investigation of the situation and factors which affect hydrological functions of forests at the project area, and that is Latorytsya and Uzh watersheds at Zakarpattya region and Ondava and Laborets watersheds in Presov and Kosice regions of Slovakia – these rivers form a basin of Bodrog river, tributary of Tysa river. Research of factors which affect hydrological functions of forests and influence flood formation risk, which became a basis of water flow simulation depending on different management approaches and conditions of the area, was done under the coordination of two professional research institutions – National Forest Center in Zvolen, Slovakia and Ukrainian scientific and research institute of mountainous forestry in Ivano-Frankivsk. Scientific outputs and conclusions later on became a basis for elaboration of practical recommendations for forestry practitioners regarding optimal approaches of forest management, which would ensure proper fulfillment of hydrological functions by the forest ecosystems.
Within the same theoretical part of the press-tour, Yuriy Derbal, expert of NGO FORZA, explained biological features of trees and forests regarding infiltration, evapo-transpiration, and retention of water, and how different forest management systems and alongside activities, such as road and skidding trails construction, affect hydrological situation of certain watershed, and, respectively, what interventions should be done and how, in order not to damage but enhance hydrological function of specific forest area.
Later examples of the activities, which should improve hydrology of the area, were presented and discussed during visit to demonstration plot in Babayovo area at the lands of Perechyn forest range of Perechyn state forest enterprise. Particularly, among such activities – selective forest management and transition to close-to-nature silviculture with respective environmentally friendly harvesting technologies, construction of forest road with the water drainage channels and water retention stone steps in the road ditch, stream cascades, and reclaimed skidding trails, which usually are the main centers of soil erosion and water flow acceleration during large precipitation. Information about the demonstration plot was presented by Yuriy Urban, forest ranger of Perechyn forest range and Yuriy Derbal, project expert. Demonstration plot was selected in order to be easily accessible by all interested: foresters, community representatives and stakeholders, students and teachers of forestry faculties, with purpose to provide a practical example for observation, research and discussions around different interventions, activities and forest management approaches.
We are very happy that press-tour has gathered 16 representatives of regional mass media and we thank all participants for interest to the issues of proper forest management.  
Visual information in the photo report: https://picasaweb.google.com/113805013373103711164/PressTour?authkey=Gv1sRgCNKBrp7Yo-7HtgE