Conservation of highly valuable primeval and old-growth forests in selected national parks in the Ukrainian Carpathians
As of: September 2021
The natural forests of the Ukrainian Carpathians are strongholds for primeval and old-growth forests in Europe but face immense pressure from large scale logging. The project supports the expansion of five existing protected areas, which will provide additional protection for about 44,119 hectares of additional high conservation-value forest. To ensure effective protection, the five protected areas will be provided with modern equipment, training and technical assistance such as the development of modern biodiversity monitoring systems and management plans. Communities will benefit from community development plans and financing, direct support for nature-friendly small businesses and a large-scale environmental information campaign aimed at reaching approximately 64.200 people in 49 villages.
State of implementation/results
- Expansion of National Parks or Protected Areas:
- The justification documents and maps to support the increased coverage of protected areas (PA’s) for valuable forests are under development.
- Currently, most of the PA’s supported by the project do not have full control over their territories. Although these territories have been designated as national or regional parks, permanent usage rights for large areas within these territories remain in the hands of forestry enterprises, in extreme cases as much as 76%. This effectively means that the park management have no power to prevent unsustainable forestry practices happening within their borders. To address this, the project has prioritized the pursuit of the transfer of permanent usage rights for all land within a PA territory to the PA authority itself.
- A baseline assessment of the status of biodiversity monitoring in all Carpathian parks has been completed.
- A Ukrainian-international team will work together to implement and supervise the improvement of monitoring.
- The Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) is being piloted as the technical platform for data collection and storage.
- A population density assessment of the Eurasian Lynx (Lynx lynx) of Skolivsky Beskydy using a large-scale camera trapping survey is underway. Some initial results can be seen via the short video (www.youtube.com/…).
- Three promising small businesses have been selected for support in the project areas and business plans are currently in development.
- Even in the long-established PA’s in the project, staff lack basic equipment and training required to conduct wildlife monitoring according to international standards or effectively protect the area in accordance with the law.
- Full uniforms have been delivered to three of the project parks.
- IT and field equipment are currently being procured in line with the need’s analysis performed.
- A comprehensive environmental awareness survey was conducted in the vicinity of project protected areas. This resulted in a better understanding of environmental knowledge gaps and opinions in the area.
- A communications strategy was completed, on the basis of workshops and the above-mentioned survey, and is now being implemented.