Students of the Education and Research Institute of Forestry and Landscape-Park Management represented Ukraine at the International Student Event in Switzerland

May 28, 2019
    On May 10-18, 2019, the annual international event the South European Regional Meeting (SERM-2019) of the International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA) was held at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich) (ETH Zurich). This year’s event was organized by Akademische Forstkommission.

     The meeting was attended by representatives of 15 European countries. Ukraine was represented by master students of the Department of Forest Restoration and Meliorations, members of Kyiv Forestry Students’ Association, Bohdan Tkachuk and Sergiy Smyrnov.
     The main theme of the event was Generation Z. The topic was chosen to reveal main approaches to forestry in Switzerland in the context of introduction of modern technologies and forestry techniques in mountain areas, protection of plants from fires, diseases and fauna damaging natural renewal, protection of national natural parks and reserves, as well as conducting educational and practical work.

     The participants found out that the basis for Switzerland's forest management is preservation of plantations to prevent soil erosion. Since more than 60% of the forests are growing in mountainous areas, soil erosion is of great danger to both nature and local population.

     The following facts are very impressive:

  • Switzerland's forests amount to 32% of the nation’s land area;
  • only areas up to 3 hectares can be in private use, while state ownership extends to 71% of forests;
  • forestry is financed by 90% by local funds and only by 10% by the sale of wood;
  • ¼ of the wood is exported by helicopters because of difficulties in the use of other equipment in the mountainous area.

     During the first days of the meeting, excursions to the University of Zurich and lectures by the leading Swiss forestry experts and scientists were held for the participants, who had the opportunity to get acquainted with the country’s natural resources and forestry management during the visits to the forests and parks near the capital.

      An integral part of the event was practical work. The participants of the event had the opportunity to personally feel the complexity of the process of dismantling the net, which protected the reforestation areas from any damage by ungulates.


     The participants also paid a visit to the foresters’ school, which focuses on both forestry and wood processing using printer devices capable of creating objects of various shapes and sizes.

     An excursion to SWISS KRONO factory introduced the participants of the event with the specifics of wood processing and manufacturing of the materials for construction, repair and household use.

      The participants also visited a logging site in the mountainous area, where the wood was cut and moved with the help of a cable skidder. In general, logging is a continuous process involving only 4 people, two of which are cutting down trees and connecting them to the skidding cable, the third is controlling the cable skidder, and the fourth controlling the harvester. By the way, the length of the cable skidder was 1200 m, and the maximum size can reach 2000 m.

    An important part of the event was the exchange of experience in the form of short presentations. Master students shared their experience of forestry management in the Ukrainian Carpathians.

      SERM 2019 is an opportunity not only to expand one’s professional outlook, but also to get an unforgettable experience and meet new friends from all over Europe.

    Students who participated in SERM-2019 will eagerly share their impressions and new knowledge during future meetings of Kyiv Forestry Students’ Association.

Bohdan Tkachuk, Sergiy Smyrnov
master students of the Education and Research Institute of
Forestry and Landscape-Park Management

Anna Lobchenko,
Associate Professor of the Department of
Forest Restoration and Meliorations


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