Deadwood (i.e. veteran trees, standing dead or dying trees, fallen logs and branches, decaying biomass) is a critical component in forest structure and its functioning, playing a key role for maintaining forest productivity, natural regeneration, biodiversity conservation, increase resilience to climate change and enhance provision of ecosystem services to local communities and public in general. Thus, adequate management of deadwood brings an important contribution to sustainable forest management and clearly contributes to mitigation of some of the impacts of climate change.

However, deadwood management is a relatively new conservation concept for Romania and Ukraine barely promoted since the years 2000 and which is yet, most often not understood in practice. For decades, forestry governance in Romania and Ukraine considered deadwood to be an “enemy of the forest” and efforts were put into systematically removing it from forests through forestry operations, following forestry norms and regulations (e.g. sanitary feelings, harvesting rules). This has led to the disappearance of certain valuable species from forest ecosystems (e.g. Dendrocopos leocotus) unbalancing the ecosystem and leading to vulnerabilities related to capacity for natural regeneration of forests, ensuring soil nutrients, climate change resilience, and thus contributing to negative economic impact. These vulnerabilities have ultimately led to additional costs for the installation or completion of artificial forests, and interventions to ensure socio-ecological balance (works to prevent and / or combat pests, reduce the bonity of the forest soil, solve the lack of edible mushroom species important to the local economy).

Breaking up the myth about deadwood (something to be removed from forests as a necessary part of “correct” forest management since dead trees were supposed to harbor disease) via joint project cooperation and research between Romania and Ukraine throughout the project, is thus essential to preserve healthy forest ecosystems and the ecosystem services they provide.

The Project ”Promote deadwood for resilient forests in the Romanian-Ukrainian cross-border region (RESFOR)” is a trans-boundary research project in the forestry domain, particularly on the issue of deadwood, as an important element:

I) in securing forests productivity, the biodiversity of forest ecosystems, and ecosystem services valuable for local communities; and,

ii) in improving forests resilience to climate change.

Also, an important component within the project is the communication and promotion of results.


  • To enable framework conditions for cooperation, innovation and research on the topic of harmonized responsible forestry practices for deadwood management.
  • To achieve acknowledgment on the importance of deadwood management, and to demonstrate an innovative approach for increasing forest resilience by implementing best practices for deadwood management in production forests in the project target area.
  • To ensure promotion and sustainability of scientific research results on forest ecosystems’ long-term productivity and resilience to climate change, via building capacity and expertise of final beneficiaries, performing advocacy work, and creating the preconditions for specific research continuation.

THE FOLLOWING RESULTS are expected to be achieved by the end of project implementation:

  • A transboundary network of researchers and experts (at least 22 institutions / organizations and 30 researchers and experts) established in the project target area in Romania and Ukraine in order to ensure long-term cooperation in the domain of responsible forest management (NRE – Network of Researchers and Experts).
  • A research report on deadwood and the sustainable management of forest ecosystems in the Romania-Ukraine transboundary area. The report will be elaborated in a participatory process with institutions / organizations (minimum 6 / 16) and experts from the transboundary network, through a Romanian-Ukraine joint research activity in the field of sustainable forest management, particularly on the management of deadwood.
  • Improved knowledge and expertise of key project stakeholders in the Romania-Ukraine transboundary area concerning the management of deadwood and the responsible management of forests in Romania and Ukraine.
  • Enabled necessary conditions for long-term scientific cooperation and research on sustainable forest management and particularly deadwood management in Romania and Ukraine.


The project has a total duration of 1,5 years (18 months), starting from 1st January 2020 until 30th June 2021.

Project objectives, activities, and expected results are related to the project target area in Romania (Maramures and Suceava counties) and Ukraine (Ivano Frankivsk and Zakarpattia regions).


The project is implemented by the partnership between WWF Romania – Danube Carpathian Programme, Maramures Branch, and “Stefan cel Mare University” of Suceava in Romania, the Research Institute of Mountain Forestry P.S. Pasternak and Ecosphera in Ukraine.


The European Community through the European Neighborhood Instrument,  Joint Operational Program Romania-Ukraine 2014-2020.

The value of the project is 324942.5 euros (1562973.425 lei), of which the European Union contribution is 292448.25 euros (1406676.08 lei). EMS-ENI code: 2soft / 1.2 / 13.

This material was created and maintained with the financial support of the European Union. Its content is the sole responsibility of the beneficiary and does not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.

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