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Czechia provides Ukraine over $800,000 for forestry development

by Abbey Fenbert May 11, 2024 3:39 AM 2 min read
The ruins of the destroyed Kharkiv TV tower lie in a forest park in Kharkiv on April 22, 2024. (Pavlo Pakhomenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Czechia is allocating 750,000 euros (about $809,000) to the support and improvement of Ukraine's forest monitoring systems, Viktor Smal, the head of the State Forest Resources Agency, announced on May 10.

The funds are part of a broader initiative known as "Strengthening Ukraine's Forest Monitoring Capacity to Align with EU Standards." Smal met with Czech Forestry Institute Director Marek Mlkusek to discuss the details of the project.

"The goal of this project is to support the quality and comprehensiveness of the forest monitoring system in Ukraine and thus contribute to improving the quality of data," Smal said.

One of the project's aims is to develop software for data collection during forest management using remote sensing and data processing methods, such as Copernicus and Landsat satellite data.

Other goals include providing computer equipment and training for specialists, and creating updated training modules.

According to Smal, the next step in the project is to sign a memorandum of understanding between the State Forest Resources Agency, the H.M. Vysotsky Ukrainian Research Institute of Forestry and Agricultural Reclamation, the State Forest Management Planning Association, the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences, and the Czech Forestry Institute.

The State Forest Resources Agency estimates that almost 30% of Ukraine's forests have suffered some kind of damage due to Russia's full-scale invasion. The war has destroyed more than 60,000 hectares of forests, with the cost of damages amounting to at least Hr 14 billion ($360 million), according to an investigation by NGL Media published on April 8.

PM Shmyhal: Russia’s damage to Ukrainian environment amounts to nearly $60 billion
The total environmental damage caused by the Russian invasion amounts to more than 55.6 billion euros ($58.9 billion), Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said in a speech on Oct. 20, citing figures from the Environmental Protection Ministry.
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