Map of Ukraine

Ukraine is a sovereign state in Eastern Europe, bordered by Russia to the east and northeast, Belarus to the northwest, Poland and Slovakia to the west, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova to the southwest, and the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to the south and southeast, respectively. It is the largest wholly European country and the second largest country in Europe, after the European part of the Russian Federation. Ukraine has a mostly temperate climate, with the exception of the southern coast of Crimea which has a subtropical climate. Ukraine has long been a global breadbasket because of its extensive, fertile farmlands and is one of the world's largest grain exporters. The landscape of Ukraine consists mostly of fertile plains (or steppes) and plateaus, crossed by rivers as they flow south into the Black Sea and the smaller Sea of Azov. Significant natural resources in Ukraine include iron ore, coal, manganese, natural gas, oil, salt, sulphur, graphite, titanium, magnesium, kaolin, nickel, mercury, timber and an abundance of arable land. Despite this, the country faces a number of major environmental issues such as inadequate supplies of potable water; air and water pollution and deforestation, as well as radiation contamination in the north-east from the 1986 accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

Quick Facts

Land use

Total land area
60,355,000 hectares
Area of forest
16.7% of land area
Area of agriculture
71.2% of land area
Area of permanent cropland
1.5% of land area

People

Population
45.2 million
Population growth
-0.4% annually
Rural population
30.0%

Economics and development

GDP from agriculture
11.8%
GDP per person
2115.00 USD

Climate change and biodiversity

CO2 emissions
6.00 metric tonnes per person
Threatened animal and plant species
95
National Restoration Targets
Total restoration target
8,526,600 hectares
UNFCCC NC5 and NC6
Restoration target
1,447,500 hectares
Sixth National Communications of Ukraine to the UNFCCC (in Ukrainian) (2013)
  • State Environmental Policy of Ukraine for the period up to 2020 (hereinafter - BOT). The BOT defined tasks that are directly or indirectly aimed at reducing emissions and increase removals by sinks in the country, namely:
    • Increase by 2020 the area's forest coverage to 17% of the state through reforestation and afforestation on land plots of the forest fund (pg. 145)
  • State policy in the context of reducing GHG emissions, [including]:
    • The increase in forest coverage in Ukraine by reforestation and afforestation on land plots of the forest fund (pg. 147)
Intended Nationally-Determined Contribution (INDC) of Ukraine to a New Global Climate Agreement (2015)
  • An approach to including the land use, land-use and forestry in the climate change mitigation structure will be defined as soon as technical opportunities emerge, but no later than 2020
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Country Profiles – NBSAPs, National Reports (5th)
Fifth National Report of Ukraine to the Convention on Biological Diversity (2015)
  • Updating the national biodiversity strategy and action plan to incorporate the targets therein to turn them into the instrument to mainstream biodiversity (pg. 15)
    • By 2020, the ecosystems that provide essential services, including the services related to water, will be restored and saved (corresponds to Target 14) (pg. 16)
    • Boosting sustainability of ecosystems and biodiversity contribution to the accumulation of carbon through conservation and restoration, including restoration of at least 15 percent of the degraded ecosystems, thereby mitigating effects of climate change and adaptation to it, as well as combating desertification by 2020 (corresponds to Target 15) (pg. 16)
    • Increasing forest coverage to 17% of the territory of the State by expanding the area of forest, field protecting forest strips and other protective plantings, except for the natural steppe areas, in accordance with the scientifically justified indicators taking into account regional specifics and climatic conditions by 2020 (corresponds to Target 14) (pg. 17)
    • As of January 2013 13 regional programs on development of tregional ecological network were approved; in 7 regions - separate sub-programs, sections on developing the ecological network were included in the regional environment programs; in 7 regions the programs on development of the ecological network were drafted (pg. 18)
United Nation Forum on Forests (UNFF) National Reports
Restoration target
529,900 hectares
Voluntary National Report to the 11th Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (2014)
  • Since 2007, what activities has your government undertaken to reverse the loss of forest cover and/or to enhance the area and quality of forests? Afforestation: 189,800 ha;  Reforestation 328,100 ha;  Restoration 11,900 ha (pg. 7)
  • Please give examples of your country’s success stories and lessons learned related to the implementation of the Forest Instrument, including contributions towards the four Global Objectives on Forests:
    • Objective 1: State Forest Resources Agency of Ukraine is provided activities aimed at preserving and enlargement forest area. In Ukraine every second hectare of forest is created artificially according to afforestation and forest regeneration work. Every year, new forests are created on an area not less than 35-40 thou hectares. Thus, the area covered by forest in Ukraine and its growing stock is increased steadily. Volumes of created new forests for the last 3 years are 1.5 times more than the area of annual clear cutting (pg. 14).
National Report to the Tenth Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (2012)
  • Global Objective 1: State Forest Resources Agency of Ukraine is provided activities aimed at preserving and enlargement forest area. Every year, new forests are created on an area not less than 35-40,000 ha. Thus, the area covered by forest in Ukraine and its growing stock is increased steadily.
  • Question of increasing forest cover in Ukraine is included in the priority areas of forest sector development. For achievement the optimum level of forest cover, which according to a scientific calculations is 20%, it is needed to create additionally more than 2 million ha of new forests on degraded and unproductive lands (pg. 10).
National Forest and/or Climate Strategy and/or Low Carbon Development Strategy
Restoration target
6,549,200 hectares
Concept of development of forestry (in Ukrainian) (2006)
  • Goals and objectives Concept: The purpose of the Concept is to organize forest management on the principles of sustainable development, enhancing the role of the forestry sector in the national economy. The main objectives of the Concept are:
    • develop criteria (indicators) effective management of forests;
    • increase forest cover to scientifically reasonable level;
    • increase resource and environmental capacity of forests; conservation of biological diversity of forest ecosystems;
    • increased resilience of forest ecosystems to adverse environmental factors, growing anthropogenic burden of climate change;
  • Expected results of the Concept: The implementation of the Concept will promote conversion of forest management to sustainable development and good governance in forestry, increasing forest area of the state, conservation of biodiversity and sustainable forest management, meeting the needs of society in forest resources, improve soil-protecting, recreational and other useful properties of forests to create favorable conditions for development business and new jobs, reducing the threat of land degradation, increasing the share of forest products in the gross domestic product, employment and social protection of employees of forest sector investments in the forest sector and the harmonization of forestry Ukraine with the relevant criteria of the European Union.
  • By 2015, forest area should increase by 1,000,000 ha and reach 10,500,000 ha. The forest area will be 17.4%
  • Positive qualitative and quantitative changes in forests contribute to optimizing its age structure, which will allow better meet the needs of society in wood and other forest resources and useful properties of forests.
Forests of Ukraine (in Ukrainian) (modified 2009)
  • See also: Forests of Ukraine State Program for 2010-2015
  • Tasks and activities
    • Objectives and measures to implement the program defined in Annex 2 to secure effective protection, proper protection, rational use and restoration of forests, forest management on the principles of sustainable development into account natural, economic and site conditions, waste composition of forests and their target destination, increasing the area of forests and creating conditions for optimal performance of forest.
    • The main objectives of the Programme are:
      • increase of forest cover;
      • increase resource and environmental capacity of forests
      • to ensure forest management on the principles of sustainable development;
      • increased resilience of forest ecosystems, providing protection and protection of forests;
      • reproduction, protection and rational use of game fauna;
      •  sustainable use of forest resources;
      • improve the efficiency of forest management;
      • improving scientific and staffing of the forestry sector;
  • Expected results Program effectiveness [includes]:
    • Improve the quality and composition of forests, increase their ecological functions and increase productivity;
    • Provide forest management on the principles of sustainable development
    • Increase forest area by 500,000 ha to a forest cover: 16.1%
    • Reduce the threat of land degradation
  • Annex 3 – tasks:
    • Increase Forest Cover – Afforestation: 429,500 ha (2010-2015)
    • Reforestation: 231,200 ha (2010-2015)
    • Thinning & Sanitary Fellings: 2,208,100 ha (2010-2015)
    • Pest and Disease Control Measures: 2,180,400 ha (2010-2015)
Global Environment Facility (GEF) projects
4634 - Title: Conserving, Enhancing and Managing Carbon Stocks and Biodiversity in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (Approved: 03/16/2015; Duration: 48 months; Cost: $33,385,773)
  • Focal Area Objective CCM-5 - Outcome 5.1: Good management practices in LULUCF adopted both within the forest land and in the wider landscape
  • Component 3 - Outcome 3.1: A set of Lessons Learned and Practical Recommendations on habitat rehabilitation, carbon stocks management and biodiversity conservation emerged from prior and ongoing work in the ChEZ, and applicable to similar situations, is developed and published
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