What does WWF Hungary do?
The goal of the Forest project of WWF Hungary is to keep the biggest part of forests on protected and Natura 2000 territories undisturbed, that is, to exclude it from timber production of economic purposes.
Through policy negotiations with decisionmakers and professional communication, we try to achieve the abolition of logging in one part of the forests so only natural procedures would form the landscape. Only nature conservational forest management can happen in undisturbed forests, which mostly includes the removal of alien tree species and the reparation of the structure of the forest. Undisturbed forests (wilderness areas) represent outstanding values not only from a nature conservation but also from a touristic aspect. Wilderness areas could be created primarily in the inner territories of national parks.
An important goal is the introduction of the zone system in the national parks. The territory of the national parks, according to the international recommendations, has to be divided into developmental, sustainable management and natural zones, where the latter one serves the purposes of the preservation of undisturbed nature.
WWF Hungary started a campaign in 2012 in order to keep Csarna-valley, which belongs to the planned natural zone of the Duna-Ipoly National Park, undisturbed. Due to the minister’s decision, the planned logging was taken off the agenda. As a result of our further policy work, the Ministry of Agriculture which is responsible for nature protection has started the creation of the zone system in national parks.
WWF Hungary supports the spread of the so called continuous cover forestry (CCF) (selection cutting, eternal forest mode). In this case, the forest manager cuts down the trees one by one or in small groups which does not really differ from the natural disturbance. Forests which are cultivated this way provide better quality timber and are more resistant to various forest damage than those which are cut down in the traditional way, that is, where a bigger territory of trees are cut down at once. The continuous forest cover is favorable in protected areas from a nature protection, around settlements from a public welfare point of view.
As WWF Hungary proposed, the new forest act, passed in 2009, includes the eternal forest mode or excluding forests from the wood production management instead of traditional clear-cutting on one part of national forests.
Restoring forest habitats
Natural forests can be revived by suitably transforming forests in deteriorated conditions. WWF Hungary participates in so-called habitat-rehabilitation in many locations throughout the country, the most important elements of which are the removal of alien tree species and planting native tree species which are part of the original landscape. The restoration of forests are especially needed in some areas of the Great Plain; most of our field projects are realized there.
Our field projects:
Eternal forests in the Buda Hills (since 2003)
The Buda Hills are the sample area of the so-called eternal forest management as they are continuously covered with woods. Educational trails, which can be found around Budapest at approachable tourist spots, were created with the help of WWF Hungary and Pilisi Parkerdő Ltd.
Researching the wildlife of our Carpathian forests (2013-2016)
Researching thoroughly the forests, birds, bats, and insects of the North Hungarian Mountains with the participation of universities, national parks, and forest managements. The most important result of the project is that we got a very detailed picture of the natural state (the combination of tree species, structure, traits of the habitats) of the forests in the North Hungarian Mountains to which the occurrence data of the animals living in the forests can be added.
Learn more about the project: http://karpatierdeink.hu/
The Turján region (2011-2016)
It deals with the restoration of the diverse forests and grassland and the preservation of values of a 7300 ha shooting range on the Great Hungarian Plain which has not been used for a hundred years.
Learn more about the project: http://turjanvidek.hu/
Life in the forests (2014-2019)
The aim of the project is to create a theoretical and an empirical knowledge base of the field of nature friendly forest management and, with this, to support the policy of the program Natura 2000 so it can be realized more effectively. The most important result of the project is that it strengthened the cooperation between the experts of forestry and nature protection of the sectors involved.
Learn more about the project: https://lifeinforests.eu/
LIFE4OAKFORESTS project (2016-2026)
The aim of the project is, based on the examples which still can be found in nature, to contribute to the improvement of oak forest habitats by the intervention of forestry and nature protection treatments. The intervention territory is 1555 ha in Hungary and 550 ha in Italy. The aim of the project on the long run is to develop such forest management solutions which can be applied widely when treating forests belonging to Natura 2000 and other protected areas from a conservation point of view.
Learn more about the project: http://hu.life4oakforests.eu/