The Life in Forests project with support from the European Union aiming at fostering the conservation of Natura 2000 forests and generating the widest discussion and cooperation possible among relevant sectors in Hungary as ended with success. All types of actors of the forestry sector were represented at the project closing conference, organised by WWF Hungary and Europa Media Non-profit Ltd.
In the course of the 5-year Life in Forests project more than 3,000 professionals, including forest engineers, private and state forest managers, forestry authorities, national park officers and nature conservation professionals, participated in domestic and abroad study trips, professional discussion for a, information days, field practices and series of lectures that beyond transferring up-to-date knowledge also gave good opportunities for thinking together. The addressed target groups have therefore were given the opportunity for seeking for solutions for professional challenges in cooperation with each other, could share their experiences, and get to know best practices of sustainable forestry management in Hungary and abroad.
„As a result of the scientific work all the professional publications and online platforms that have been prepared can contribute to raising awareness to close-to-nature forest management. We hope that the forest management guidelines, the elaborated Natura 2000 management guidelines, the Forestry Planning Toolit, numerous professional publication, handbook, series of animation films for the layman public and project video may all help informing people about the theory and practice of close-to-nature forestry management.” – highlighted by project coordinator Pál Bódis from WWF Hungary.
The presentations of the closing conference in Budapest also reflected the high diversity that characterises the sector. Attendees could get to know the professional background of the project, the results, impacts and future perspectives. The lively discussion that followed the questions and answers part well supported the fact that although the professional interests and views of various groups may differ, still everyone agreed that reaching the Natura 2000 objectives to the highest standard possible is a common task and objective that can be only met through continuous discussions and cooperation.
„We closed the Life in Forest project with success: we made a profound step to bring closer various interest groups in the forestry sector that points towards reaching professional compromises in the future. As main result of our work partners in the project, professionals, as well as participants in the programmes could get to know in details the methods of close-to-nature forestry amangement and conservation forestry.” - told László Gálhidy, WWF Hungary leader of forest conservation programme. He also added „ we hope that commitments to these approaches and principles may contribute in practice to halt biodiversity loss in Hungarian Natura 2000 areas, as well as to improving the protection functions of forests.”