The national nature reserve is part of the Carpathian primaeval forest.
Logging still threatens World Heritage Site..
Logging continues in the Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians
Ionut-Sorin Banciu, the regional lead of WWF-DCP forest programme, is based in Romania. He brings loads of professional experience after twelve years working as a FSC lead auditor. He was an advisor for the Romanian State Secretary for Forests, and a Technical Manager for public and private forest administrations. He is part of WWF’s team since the beginning of 2017.
What are the biggest challenges for forests in the Danube-Carpathian region?
I would say that the biggest challenges we face in the region are related to keeping the balance between our countries’ development and the use of natural resources.
Forests have always played an important role in our region’s history and their evolution is very much linked with our countries’ development.
Historically, the forest management systems applied in the region had the role of preserving the natural heritage of the Carpathians, like virgin and old growth forests, and important populations of large carnivores.
Bratislava – Lack of a strong legislative mandate for conservation threatens the unique value of Carpathian primeval beech forests in Slovakia, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, according to a report released by the Supreme Auditing Department. WWF warns that under the current circumstances, the site’s inscription in the World Heritage list may be threatened.
Continuing inappropriate management, extensive logging and hunting in the Slovak forest threaten the whole UNESCO site, which also includes areas in the Ukraine and Germany, according to the audit. Protecting the Poloniny National Park in Slovakia along with other Central and Eastern European forests has been an ongoing struggle for UNESCO and the WWF.
After strong criticism from the UNESCO World Heritage Committee at its annual meeting in 2017, in February 2018 the Slovak government submitted a report with improvements and protection measures to preserve the site.
“The report is too general, unsatisfying and inadequate to respond to the challenges and threats indicated in the UNESCO World Heritage Committee’s decision,” said Miroslava Plassmann, Director of WWF-DCP Slovakia.
The Carpathian Beech Forests, a UNESCO world heritage site, are not properly protected according to WWF and the Supreme Audit Office.
The Slovak Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) has found several flaws in the protection of the Carpathian primeval beech forests situated in the Poloniny National Park (NP) which are listed as a UNESCO site.
The results of the full audit will be announced by NKÚ head, Karol Mitrík, during the cabinet’s February 14 session.
NKÚ advises Slovak government
The audit office warned that under current circumstances, the inscription on the UNESCO world heritage list may be threatened.
“The main problem remains the legislative defining of the activities of the State Natural Protection of Slovakia (ŠOP SR), which is primarily focused on tasks of environmental protection,” NKÚ spokesperson Daniela Bolech Dobáková said, as quoted by the Sme daily. “This organisation has limited possibilities in terms of financing, insufficient staff levels, limitation of development activities – as it is not the owner or manager of the areas lying in the NP Poloniny.”
Organized by the State Nature Conservancy, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Slovak Commission for UNESCO and Carpathian Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, this three day workshop focused on the development of sustainable tourism for the UNESCO World Heritage Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe. The workshop was an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss the potential for sustainable tourism to support the conservation of the World Heritage property, and was attended by the representatives of self-governments, landowners, owners of cultural monuments, entrepreneurs and NGOs.
The primeval forests in the Poloniny National Park were inscribed on the List of the Biggest UNESCO World Heritage – of the most important global cultural and natural monuments – ten years ago.
The inscription, initiated by the joint nomination of Slovakia and Ukraine, took place on June 28, 2007, in Christchurch, New Zealand, the TASR newswire wrote.
Four localities of beech primeval forests – National Natural Reserves: Stužica, Havešová, Rožok and Vihorlat – had been prepared by the Environment Ministry and the Technical University in Zvolen which specialises in forestry for seven years, the TASR newswire wrote.
Bratislava, 22 May 2017 – On International Biodiversity Day and days after UNESCO expressed concern regarding the future of the Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians in Slovakia, WWF urges the Slovak government to take action to secure the country’s world heritage.
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee’s draft decision, published last Friday, highlighted that the Slovak part of the transboundary World Heritage Site continues to be threatened by logging, despite the efforts of the government targeting to strengthen the management of the park. According to the draft: “unless urgent measures are taken to address the lack of an adequate protection regime (….), their protection from logging and other potential threats cannot be guaranteed in the long-term, which would clearly constitute a potential danger to the outstanding universal value of this serial transnational property as a whole”.
The nine national parks of Slovakia house an exceptional array of wildlife including bears, lynx, wildcats, wolf, marmots, and more.
Slovakia is a small country in Central Europe, yet it has some of the most beautiful parks in the whole continent. The nine parks cover a total of 3% of the country’s landmass and have animals such as Eurasian Lynx, brown bear, the golden eagle among others. The government has taken steps to conserve these parks from destruction by human activities. There exist several protected regions within the parks including the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and others. The management of the parks is left to specific government departments.
9. Pieniny National Park –
Pieniny National Park is the country’s smallest national park located in the Northern part near the border with Slovakia.