The old-growth forests from Sinca|
Mr. Borbely Laszlo, Minister of Environment and Forests, paid a visit to the old-growth forests of Sinca, Brasov County. During his official trip he has been accompanied by Mr. Carol Ambrus, Sub-prefect of Brasov, Mr. Kovacs Attila, Vice-president of the County Council Brasov, Mr. Victor Barlez, Mayor of Sinca, representatives of the Forest Directorate and local and national media. The purpose of this visit was to make an inventory of the old-growth forests of Romania and then draft the Old-Growth Forest Register. The mapping of forest areas in Romania is currently under way and will be completed next summer.
Romania, the largest old-growth forest area
The old-growth forests are the last regions from the globe where the nature has survived in its pure form without any human intervention whatsoever.
"If we take a closer look to these forests, we can see that our country is unique by its five bio-systems. The Carpathian eco-region still hosts 332,000 hectares of old-growth forests, the most of them, namely 250,000 hectares, lie in Romania. Europe destroyed its old-growth forests. But here, in Romania, we still have them. That is way we have to step in and save them", said Mr. Borbely Laszlo while visiting the forests of Sinca.
Survival of forests
The main reasons for which these forests have survived in the past were their inaccessibility and the low economic value of the wood resulted from old trees. As a conclusion, the old-growth forests have never been as vulnerable as they are nowadays due to economic and social pressures such as: high demand of wood on the market, diversification of the forms of ownership determined by the economic interests of the new owners, construction of new roads facilitating access to forests hitherto out of danger and the technological advance of the equipment used in forestry exploitation.
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is conducting a project for the preservation of nature and has asked for the rescue of old-growth forests of Romania. In October 2011, WWF submitted a letter to the Ministry of Environment and Forests in which they requested that immediate action should be taken in order to efficiently protect the last old-growth forests of Romania and provide funds to compensate the owners deprived of forests. At the same time, they have launched a campaign intended to tell the story of old-growth forests and make at least 100,000 persons provide support for saving this last 65% of old-growth forests left in Europe (except for Russia). They represent a heritage asset for our country and for Europe.
With regard to Sinca, Brasov County, Minister Borbely Laszlo made a comparison between the old-growth forest habitat and the habitat undergoing wood exploitations and pointed out trees reaching 50-60 m height which have grown in this habitat without any human intervention. Such trees are the country’s most valuable asset.