Technogenic and anthropogenic impact on forests
The anthropogenic effect is the major factor determining the conditions of forests in Ukraine. A state system of forest monitoring whose development is specified by the Resolution on the State System of Environmental Monitoring (Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 391 of 30 March 1998) is expected to become the major source of information on anthropogenic effect on forests.
Monitoring of forests within the State Forestry Committee is performed by the branch research institutions. The forest situation is observed within a network of permanent monitoring stations by the Ukrainian Research Institute of Forestry and Agro-Forest Reclamation, the Ukrainian Research Institute of Mountain Forestry, as well as by 10 regional forest research stations. The Ukrainian Research Institute of Forestry and Agro-Forest Reclamation is the coordinator of the forest monitoring system in Ukraine. Experts of the Institute develop observation methods and techniques, provide training for the specialists from regional research forest stations, and collect and analyze the monitoring results from the regional monitoring stations.
The system of forest monitoring is functioning on a multilevel principle. The composition of an observation programme of first level monitoring is harmonized with the Joint International Programme for Evaluation and Monitoring of the Effect of Air Contamination on Forests in the Region of the European Economic Commission of the UN (ICP FORESTS). For the period from 1989 to 1998, in the territory of 16 administrative regions (Volyn, Rivne, Zhytomir, Lviv, Ternopil, Khmelnitskyi, Vinnitsa, Kharkiv, Transcarpathian, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kyiv, Sumy, Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Chernivtsi), as well as in the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea there were created 270 continuously operating monitoring stations by methods harmonized with ICP FORESTS (16x16 km network). Monitoring of the first level makes it possible to obtain standardized objective indices of the forest conditions in the regions under observation. However, to clarify the cause-and-effect regularities in changes of forests, more detailed information is needed. A considerable amount of information of this nature is collected during observations of another level, which are performed by the international technology of forest monitoring (Forest Health Monitoring - FHM), developed by the Forest Department and the Environmental Protection Agency of the USA.
The observation programme of second level monitoring is designed not only to establish the effect of stress factors on forests, but also to obtain quantitative data on forest stands and species biodiversity of forest plants, to identify major parametres of forest ecosystems necessary to calculate the carbon deposition in stands, and to introduce remote forest testing. The work based on FHM technology is performed by the Ukrainian Institute of Forestry and Agro-Forest Reclamation. For the period from 1995 to 1998 in the territory of seven administrative regions (Donetsk, Kyiv, Zhytomir, Poltava, Sumy, Kharkiv, Chernigiv) 120 continuously operating stations were created.