More virgin forests protected in Romania
In the process of identifying the forests, WWF-Romania has collaborated with the National Forest Administration - Romsilva. The identified areas include beech forests and beechwood with resinous woods.
In 2012, WWF laid the foundations for legislation to protect virgin forests by a ministerial order establishing identification criteria for the valuable forests. The national catalog, created in 2016, is the last step to guarantee protection of these forests.
Since 2013, WWF has evaluated over 250,000 ha of potential virgin forests. Of these, more than 35,000 ha of virgin forests have been identified, mapped and protected. Over 9,000 ha are already included to the national catalog through WWF's efforts. These forests cover both state and private property. Three other forest territories identified by WWF (Codrul Secular Sinca, Grosii Tiblesului, Strambu-Baiut) were included to the UNESCO World Heritage List and their worldwide value has been recognized.
"Virgin forests still exist in Romania due to the continuous effort of experts who have recognized that the forest patrimony of a country should have such gems. Our duty is to make sure that these ecosystems exist in the future," says Radu Melu, Forests Coordinator at WWF-Romania.
Virgin forests - true scientific laboratories
The virgin and quasi-virgin forests are some of the oldest terrestrial ecosystems in Europe. They formed without significant human influence, as a result of long-lasting natural evolution. Today, these forests represent true scientific laboratories that help us understand the mysteries of the forest universe.
In addition, these forests play an essential role in preserving the cultural identity of local communities. In the Carpathian Mountains one can talk of a "civilization of wood" - the history, life philosophy, culture and traditions of local communities in these areas are so closely linked to the forest that shelters them.