At its meeting on December 29, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved the State Forest Management Strategy of Ukraine until 2035.
As the Government portal informs, the document was drafted to implement the decision of the National Security and Defense Council "On challenges and threats to national security of Ukraine in the environmental sphere and priority measures to neutralize them", enacted by Presidential Decree No.111 of March 23, 2021.
Among the existing problems of the current forest management system are imbalance of functions, lack of adequate funding, corruption and illegal logging, low public confidence in foresters, lack of adequate recreational infrastructure, and, as a result, reluctance of Ukrainians to visit forests.
The State Forest Management Strategy sets out key objectives to address these challenges. In particular, it envisages introducing effective forest management by reforming the existing system, ensuring the resilience of forests to climate change, digitalizing the industry, developing recreation, creating an appropriate system of specialist training, and developing scientific potential.
Due to the implementation of the Strategy, the total stock of forests of Ukraine is expected to increase up to at least 2.5 billion cubic meters. Increase in the level of absorption of greenhouse gases, renewal of reserves, construction and repair of forest roads, etc. are also expected
The implementation of the Strategy will allow to increase the number of tourists up to 10 million people who will use the forest recreational infrastructure every year.
In addition, an open electronic information system in the field of forest management will be introduced.
It is planned to create a modern material and technical base of research institutions and training systems for the forest industry.
"The strategy is a real guide for Ukraine on how to effectively reform the forest sector, setting clear goals and objectives. Only by fulfilling them, we will be able to ensure sustainable development of forestry, help to perform ecological function of forests, and increase the share of the forest sector in the gross domestic product of Ukraine," said Acting Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine Ruslan Strilets.
To date, the total area of Ukraine's forest fund is 10.4 million ha, accounting for 15.9% of the country's territory. Ukraine ranks 9th in Europe in terms of forest area and 6th in terms of timber reserves.