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Riparian forests: conservation value and management

One of the key tasks of WWF-Ukraine is to ensure the conservation of the most valuable ecosystems of Ukraine. Forest ecosystems are among the most important in maintaining biodiversity, stabilizing the climate, and meeting the basic needs of Ukrainians for recreation, food, and others. These forest properties are often called ecosystem services. To ensure their continuity, it is necessary to implement sustainable forest management practices, which will allow preserving forest landscapes resistant to climate change and biodiversity-rich.

Forests around waterbodies are one of the most vulnerable forest ecosystems. Many rare habitats and species are associated with them, requiring attention and particular management approaches compared to other forests. Such forests play an essential role as habitats and food for many living organisms. They serve as ecological corridors for animal migrations. The shading of water bodies by tree crowns plays a role in regulating the temperature regime. 

The main reason for their degradation and disappearance is human activity, namely the failure to take into account the characteristics of these forests during forestry. In addition, such forests are negatively affected by the regulation of rivers, drainage reclamation, and the reduction of areas of natural floodplain vegetation due to the development of agricultural land and construction.

WWF-Ukraine conducted the research and collected all the outcomes in the analytical publication "Riparian forests: conservation value and management". 

The Publication considers the following issues related to riparian forests:
  • definition of concepts related to the legal status and natural features of these forests;
  • statistical data on the location of riparian forests in Ukraine;
  • characteristics of the habitats associated with these forests and recommendations for their management;
  • review of legislation and forest management practices in riparian forests in Ukraine and other countries of Central and Eastern Europe;
  • recommendations for changing economic patterns for more sustainable management of riparian forests.

Research and analysis will be helpful to environmental activists, specialists in forestry and utilities sector, auditors, specialists in the protected areas, environmental educators and engineers, and local communities.


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