WWF to support authorities in identifying virgin forests in Romania
"Until 2011 virgin forests were virtually unknown in Romania. But now their value is appreciated and we can protect them for future generations. We hope that the collaboration procedure will facilitate the process for identifying and protecting these valuable ecosystems, and will pave the way to promoting Romania’s wildest forests. The fact that all relevant stakeholders are involved confirms that virgin forests are of national importance and value. Together, through collaboration between local communities, authorities and NGOs, we can achieve these objectives," said Radu Melu, National Forest Manager at WWF-Romania.
As part of the collaboration, WWF and the Ministry of Water and Forests will conduct a series of public consultations and train forest guards to gather and analyze existing data on potential virgin and quasi-virgin forests in Romania.
In addition, the Ministry of Water and Forests has undertaken to ensure a transparent and participatory process for financing identification and mapping of virgin forests in Romania. WWF experts, with the most expertise in the process of identifying and preserving virgin forests, will also take part in this participatory process.
Moreover, through the territorial structures, the Ministry of Waters and Forests will facilitate the process of collecting the necessary data to establish a national database with all the forest areas included in the National catalog of virgin and quasi-virgin forests in Romania. Based on this protocol, WWF will develop a database of virgin forests with the support of authorities.
Virgin forests in Romania
Less than 300,000 hectares of old-growth forests are now thought to exist in the Carpathians, with 200,000 of those located in Romania. Since 2013, WWF has evaluated over 250,000 ha of potential virgin forests. Of these, more than 41,000 ha of virgin forests have been identified, mapped and protected. Over 9,000 ha are already included in the national catalog thanks to 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 added to the UNESCO World Heritage List and their worldwide value has been recognized in 2017.
More information about the public consultation schedule is published at WWF-Romania’s website. http://www.wwf.ro/