FOREST

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Forests currently cover about 4 billion hectares, or nearly 31% of the world’s land.

The three forest types most represented are :

  • boreal forests spread around the north polar circle composed primarily of conifers;
  • The temperate forests (where the majority of the French forest) composed of hardwoods and conifers;
  • Tropical forests are characterized by their immense biological wealth: more than 50 000 species of trees.

On a global scale, forest biodiversity is threatened by deforestation. Between 2000 and 2010, the latter is responsible for the loss of 130 million hectares of forest (about 3.2% of the total forest area in 2000).

The forest cover change is very heterogeneous across regions of the world. So today, the French forest area is increasing due to agricultural abandonment while that of Indonesia decreased dramatically due to the development of the culture of oil palm.

Primary forests composed of native species and no visible human activity, only about 36% of the world’s forests. They host a characteristic biodiversity and often extremely rich. In France, there are almost no virgin forests. Sustainable management of forests, combining logging and functioning of the ecosystem, still allows satisfactory results in terms of biodiversity.

The last primary forests of Europe, home to a rich biodiversity and specific (large carnivores, rare flora and fungi …), are in Eastern Europe.

 

The FDB is committed to supporting a conservation project and promotion of this type of forest in Romania.

 

Preserve and promote the primary forests of the Carpates Eastern

What is a primary forest ?
Forest is considered a “virgin” if it has not been touched by humans for at least 200 years. Virgin forests in Europe are characterized by a large volume of dead wood (at least 20%), very old trees sometimes reaching gigantic sizes and welcome an exceptional biodiversity:

  • European large mammals (wolf, bear, lynx)
  • multitude of bird species including some iconic (black stork, capercaillie), not to mention the thousands of insects specialized on dead treesflore rare, part of which is endemic 
  •  These forests are rich in 10,000 years of continuous biological history (since the last glaciation)!

An area equivalent to a forest artificialised includes 100 species while jungle has 10 000!

 

Forests Maramures
The forests are very rare, they are only 3% of European forests. They are mainly Eastern Europe: Bulgaria and the Slovak and Romanian Carpathians. Interesting surfaces are virgin forests in Romania and especially in Maramures. It is in this region that is developing the project. This region is also characterized by an ancient culture preserved by geographical isolation.

 

THREATS
They are 3 types for the Maramures threats forests :

  • They have a very low market value. The owner therefore has no way out of a commercial cutting (cutting all the trees);
  • The end of collectivism stands for a return to private ownership (nearly 32% of the mass) and paves the way for an intense exploitation;
  • The development of technical and funding new highlight cups.
  • Forest of Maramures is therefore now threatened by excessive logging.

Main objective of the project
Acquire a mass at least 200 hectares of primary forests and highlight the creation of an eco-center to educate visitors (schools, businesses, tourists) in this incredible ecosystem.

 

The project leader
Vita Sylvae Conservation is a French association which aims to develop and support the conservation activities of general interest in the field of environmental protection, to preserve the last virgin forests in Europe and support the daily life and conservation of local populations.
 

Actions
The implementation of the project is as follows:

  • Inventory of the Maramures forests
  • potential Identification sites for virgin forests acquisition;
  • Launch of massive acquisition process;
  • Creating an eco-center and a center for eco-anthropology. The goal is to create a place of exchange and educational forum for businesses, schools, tourists and scientists on an exceptional site. 
  • Expanding the project to forests devices.

This project will ultimately protect a significant area of virgin forest and educate various local and international wealth and the need to preserve these places extremely rich from the point of view of biodiversity and associated traditional culture .