UNESCO expanded the Carpathian virgin forests part of the World Heritage List
The UNESCO World Heritage Site "Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe" now covers old-growth forests from twelve European countries, including Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Spain, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.
In Ukraine, the already 23,510 ha of Ukrainian virgin forests were increased by 23%, including the following forest areas: Gorgany, Roztochya, Satanivs'ka Dacha, Synevyr-Darvaika, Synevyr-Kvasovets, Synevyr-Strimba, Synevyr-Vilshani, Enchanted Land – Irshava, and the Enchanted Land - Great Dil. "We evaluated and nominated for extension 5,500 ha of Ukrainian virgin forests and their inclusion gives us hope for the preservation of these unique forest areas for the future generations," said WWF expert Dr Bohdan Prots.
In Romania, the eight forest territories included to the World Heritage list are Izvoarele Nerei, Cheile Nerei-Beusnita, Domogled - Valea Cernei, Cozia, Codrul Secular Sinca, Grosii Tiblesului, Codrii Seculari Strimbu-Baiut, Codrul Secular Slatioara. Less than 300,000 ha of old-growth forests are now thought to exist in the Carpathians, with more than 100,000 of those situated only in Romania. “The recognition of these forests and their exceptional value is an historic event for Romanian forests. Counting these areas to the UNESCO’s World Heritage list is essential not only for strengthening the protection status of these areas, but we hope it will spur an urge to ensure protection of all virgin and quasi-virgin forests in Romania,” said WWF’s Regional and Forest Project Manager Radu Vlad.
What is WWF's role in the region?
One of the major activities of WWF in the Danube-Carpathian Region is the identification and mapping of virgin forests in Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine. We are pushing for special and priority recognition of old-growth forests in national legislation as this is essential for their effective protection. A significant part of the remaining European pristine forests is situated in the Carpathian and Balkan Mountains, the Green Heart of Europe, and needs better protection.
To protect the forests, in 2012, WWF Romania has set the foundation for the legislation that would protect virgin forests, by a ministerial order establishing the identification criteria for these forests. Then, in 2013, WWF initiated and supported, together with the Ministry of Environment - the Forestry Department, the National Forest Administration - RNP Romsilva, the Institute for Forest Research and Development (ICAS) and Greenpeace Romania, the nomination process for these areas and the procedures for addition to UNESCO. Three of the eight sites (Şinca, Groşii Ţibleşului, Strâmbu-Băiuţ) were identified, proposed and supported by WWF through the project "Supporting a Responsible Forest Management for Sustainable Development in the Danube Carpathian Ecoregion", a project run under the WWF-IKEA partnership. The WWF / IKEA partnership has brought a significant contribution to the process of protecting virgin forests both in Romania and Ukraine.
Old growth and virgin forests in Ukraine: http://gis-wwf.com.ua/
Old growth and virgin forests in Romania: http://lemncontrolat.ro/ro/harta-interactiva/
For more information:
Bogdan Prots, WWF-Ukraine, firstname.lastname@example.org,
+ 8 067 353 38 13
Radu Vlad, WWF-Romania, email@example.com,