• Ukraine

Forest resources and context of Ukraine

Ukraine is an agro-industrial country with a low percentage of forest cover, therefore protective afforestation is extremely important.

Land surface

57.9

million ha

Forest cover

9.7

million ha

Production forest

3.4

million ha

Forest ownership

99.8

% publicly

Forest resources in Ukraine

Types of forest

Ukraine contains four natural zones: broad leaves woodlands, forest-steppe, steppe, and Mediterranean Natural landscapes are represented (FAO, 2004). Most forests in Ukraine can be found in the northern forest belt and in Subcarpathia in the North West, with Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) and oak (Quercus spp.) as the main species. Big parts of the country are at the edge of the forest-steppe areas and steppe areas, with lower tree densities and mostly deciduous species. (Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine).

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:

  1. forests with conservation, scientific, historical and cultural functions
  2. forests for recreation and health
  3. protection forests
  4. 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.

Forest ownership in Ukraine

The vast majority of forests (about 87%) are state-owned. 1.3 million hectares (about 13%) of forestry land plots are attributed to communal property. They are in constant use by communal enterprises subordinated to local self-governing bodies. The share of forests in private property is less than 0.1% of the total forest area (Scientific Bulletin of UNFU, 2017).

key figures

Land surface 57.9 million hectares
Forest cover 9.7 million hectares (16.7%); mostly other naturally regenerated forest and planted forest
50.3% (4.9 million hectares) planted, only 0.6% primary forest
Production forest 3.4 million hectares designated for production
Forest ownership 99.8% publicly owned
0.2% privately owned
Annual change rate 0.2% per year; over the past 25 years (1990-2015)

 

Source: FAO, 2015
See also: Global Forest Ressources Assessment 2020, FAO

Global Forest Watch Map

Global Forest Watch Map Ukraine