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Halting bark beetles that cause pine forests dieback in Belarus and Ukraine


Pine dieback, caused by bark beetles, is severely damaging Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) in Belarus and Ukraine. Forestry and the wood processing industry of Scots pine is relevant in Belarus and Ukraine from the economic, social and environmental perspective. In recent years, a new emerging threat has attacked pine forests resulting in an increased proportion of dead trees. Bark beetles bore into the plant tissues, create reproductive galleries, and feed the living tissue. Native forests and older plantations are currently suffering from dieback and associated outbreaks of bark beetles. These insects usually attack dead or dying trees and serve as primary decomposers. However, under stressful conditions, such as drought or high tree density, they can attack and destroy healthy trees in large numbers, overcoming tree defenses.

To face this situation, FAO is providing technical assistance for combating dieback of pine forests using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies. FAO is also assisting the Government of Belarus and of Ukraine to develop and implement an emergency action plan. This plan serves as a guide to find a long-term, coordinated solution to reduce or control the periodic incidence of bark beetles infestations.

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