2018 – 2020
Western and Northern Ukraine contains some of the largest remaining tracts of forest on the European continent, home to some of the last viable populations of brown bear, Eurasian wolf, lynx and European bison. The old growth and virgin forests of Ukraine belong to the Nature Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and recognised by UNESCO. But these forests are in crisis, their health and existence threatened by rampant illegal logging, illegal wood exports and timber related corruption. Alone in Ukrainian Carpathians it has been lost at least 100.000 ha of unique virgin and old growth forests over the last 20 years due to corruption and mismanagement. Due to current unprecedented high logging speed and timber trade it might stop to exist the majority of these habitats in 10 years. Even the buffer zones of UNESCO sites are not fully secured. After the destruction of virgin forests, it cannot be restored within even few human generations. The citizens’ engagement into illegal logging fight is one of a vital instrument to stabilize the situation in the forestry sector and improve ecological situation in the forested areas of the country especially recognised biodiversity hotspot areas.