According to the FAO (2015) the Ukraine has around 9.7 million hectares of forested land, which constitutes to 16.7% of the total land area. Only 60 thousand hectares (0.6%) are primary forests, 4.7 (49%) million hectares of otherwise naturally regenerated forest, and over 50%, 4.9 million hectares are planted forest.
According the law on forest categories and allocation of specially protected forest sites (2007), forests are divided into the following categories, depending on their main functions:
- forests with conservation, scientific, historical and cultural functions
- forests for recreation and health
- protection forests
- production forests
As Ukraine is an agro-industrial country with a low percentage of forest cover, protective afforestation is extremely important here. Over 5 million ha of lands is under erosion which is caused by high level of ploughing up of agricultural lands. Afforestation of marginal agricultural land is practiced longer than a century in big parts of Ukraine. The total forest area is growing, between 0.1-0.3% per year, mainly because of afforestation projects.
About 70% of forests are managed by the State Forest Resource Agency (SFRA) that is a part of the Ukrainian Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources. Since 2004, regional forest directorates, one for each province, serve as the Agency’s regional bodies.
Another 24% of the forest area is managed by the Ministry of Agricultural Policy and 2.2% by the Ministry of Defence. The largest part of wood products (80-90%) is produced by State Forest Enterprises, which carry out forest management activities under coordination with the Regional Directorates for Forestry and Game Management. Forest administration institutions in Ukraine are subject to frequent restructuring in the context of an unstable political situation.