High conservation value primeval and old-growth forests well protected and functioning ecologically in selected National Nature Parks in the Carpathians of Ukraine
As of: August 2020
Objective and activities
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 aims to strengthen and enlarge protected areas in this region, by supporting the implementation of a newly designated national park of 12,240 ha and by expanding the areas under effective protection by approximately 42,000 ha of forest. For all five areas, modern biodiversity monitoring schemes according to international standards as well as management plans will be developed and upgraded. For the surrounding communities, community development plans will be developed and implemented. The latter will be further supported by a conservation enterprise strategy, with the aim to provide income to local communities in the buffer zones of the five target areas. Approximately 64,200 people in 49 villages will benefit from project outreach and educational activities.
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 prioritised the pursuit of the transfer of permanent usage rights for all land within a PA territory to the PA authority itself.
Improved Biodiversity Monitoring:
- Parameters of the improved biodiversity monitoring system are being developed.
- The new monitoring scheme will be implemented and overlooked by a joint Ukrainian-international working group.
Equipment and training of partner personnel:
- Even in the long-established PA’s in the project, staff lack basic equipment and training required to conduct decent wildlife monitoring or effectively protect the area in accordance with the law. Currently the project team is taking stock of the equipment and capacity of rangers in place so as to better inform where the project’s resources are most effectively employed.
Community engagement and ecological education:
- Currently the project is designing a survey to find out the areas and levels of environmental knowledge among citizens living close to the project PA’s. Based on the results of this survey, tailor-made campaigns and programmes will be developed to address knowledge gaps and false beliefs, with the ultimate objective of improving understanding, acceptance, appreciation and a feeling of ownership for the PA’s.