Scientists and student from the NUBIP of Ukraine have participated in the international forum 7th Forum Carpaticum – 2023 (Krakow, Poland)

October 4, 2023
Krakow, Poland

    The employees of the Institute of Forestry and Landscape-Park Management of National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine Dr. Oleksandr Soshenskyi and Dr. Ganna Lobchenko, as well as Iryna Zibtseva, a master's student, participated in the international forum of the 7th Forum Carpaticum conference "Carpathian Futures – Critical Transitions", where they presented their reports.

    The conference brought together scientists, practitioners and stakeholders to share the latest scientific findings and discuss challenges and possible ways to adapt to the environmental, economic and socio-political crises in the Carpathian region. The interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary meeting facilitated the exchange of knowledge and experience on sustainable and ecological solutions for the management of natural landscapes in the Carpathian region and other mountainous regions. The event brought together stakeholders from across the region and facilitated networking between scientists, practitioners, managers and activists.
    The main organizers of the conference are the Center for Research on Human-Environmental Relations of the Jagiellonian University at the Faculty of Geography and Geology (Krakow) and the S4C Association "Science for the Carpathians".
     On the first day of the forum, a special workshop was organized by scientists from the Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH-HAFL) Dr. Mariana Melnykovych and Prof. Dr. Christian Rosset, aimed at disseminating best practices for creating forest site photospheres as an important element of Marteloscopes to support close-to-nature forestry and sustainable forest management. The workshop participants focused on the following components:

  • Photospheres as an important element of Marteloscopes to support close-to-nature forestry and sustainable forest management;
  • Creating photospheres: basic principles and theoretical base, materials (equipment, software);
  • Practical skills of creating photospheres in the field: step-by-step presentation of creating low, medium and high-resolution photospheres;
  • Demonstration of creating photospheres using special software.

     The mixed format of the workshop allowed other Ukrainian researchers to join the classroom part of the workshop and share their impressions and comments on the areas of application and improvement of the presented methodology.
     The following days of the conference were devoted to the most relevant topics during the next sessions:

  • Carpathian endemic species
  • Carpathian Futures – Critical Transitions
  • Water resources and management
  • Cultural heritage and traditional knowledge
  • Natural hazards and risks
  • Integrated landscape management and governance for better regional development policy
  • Participatory research, multi-actor dialogues and knowledge co-production
  • Plastic in the mountains
  • Climate change
  • Land use and land cover change
  • Conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity
  • Education for sustainable development
  • Forests, their management and governance
  • Human-wildlife coexistence
  • Sustainable tourism

     A special session dedicated to Ukraine was initiated by the Dr. Mariana Melnykovych (BFH-HAFL) to exchange views on the current challenges that Ukrainian state, scientists, NGOs and other stakeholders are facing now in conservation and sustainable use of the Carpathian region's resources in the face of full-scale invasion. At this session scientists noted the need to expand cooperation and create scientific consortia that would allow to implement the best practices and receive grant support for this.
     The Ukrainian session consisted of two parts:

  • Part I: Understanding Uncertainties and Needs for Resilience and Postwar Recovery: Voices from the Ukrainian Carpathians
  • Part II: Future of the Carpathians in a Time of Critical Transition: Exploring Triggers for Sustainability in the Post-War Era

     Scientists from NUBiP of Ukraine contributed to this discussion by emphasising the importance of addressing forest fires. In particular, Prof. S. Zibtsev took part in the panel online.

    Oleksandr Soshenskyi presented a joint report "Silvicultural approach required to increase forest resilience to climate change and wildfires in the Ukrainian Carpathians" (O. Soshenskyi, M. Melnykovych, G. Lobchenko, S. Zibtsev, E. Kalchuk) at the Climate Change section. The joint report outlined a range of important issues - from climate change, drying out of mountain forests, the relationship between management regimes and the occurrence of fires, to the need to preserve the most valuable forest ecosystems - virgin forests and other old-growth forests. Ganna Lobchenko added that more than 1000 sq km of virgin and other old-growth forests have been identified in Ukraine, of which almost 70% have already been granted the status of virgin, quasi-virgin and natural forests. Such natural ecosystems are important not only for biodiversity, but also for practical forestry, as foresters can get clues about forest management through the dynamic processes that occur in natural forests. WWF-Ukraine plays a key role in the conservation of such forests in Ukraine, with its efforts to create a map of virgin, quasi-virgin and natural forests in Ukraine ( The visual component in the form of photospheres would significantly complement the information about these forests. Therefore, the approach of collecting material using marteloscopes in natural plantations of special value, or in those where foresters apply modern approaches of close-to-nature forestry, will allow to formulate practical recommendations for climate-smart forest management.


     Iryna Zibtseva presented a report at the Land Use and Land Cover Change section on "Mapping of land cover changes in the regions of Ukraine with application of the Corine Land Cover Methodology".

     Dr. Patrick Waeber, from the Bern University of Applied Sciences, conducted a workshop for the Ukrainian delegation on the use of a strategic game to develop a landscape management strategy with a focus on forest fires. Within the framework of cooperation between the Institute of Forestry and Landscape-Park Management of NUBiP of Ukraine and the School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences (HAFL) of the Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH), it is planned to continue to develop tools for using strategic games for forest management at the landscape level.

     The conference ended with joint decisions and proposals from the participants to the Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians (Carpathian Convention).

    Conference programme - Link

    Detailed information about the conference - Link

   Book of abstracts - Link

Oleksandr Soshenskyi,
Associate Professor of the Department of Forestry
Iryna Zibtseva
master's student  


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