Leading researcher: dr. Béla Lett
Collaborators: dr. L. Jager, dr. M. Stark
Within Hungary the National Forest Program was accepted by 1110/2004 government decision. This program covers the timeframe 2004-2015 and includes 10 subchapters, but none of these subchapters mentioned climatic changes.. The aim of the research is to determine the tasks and tools of adapting to climatic changes to be inserted into the actual framework of Forest Program. Within each subchapter legal, financial, organizational, communicational and research measures are determined.
Development of private forest sector. Ownership structure was evaluated in a sample of four different forestry regions, covering 10 thousand hectares of private forests. Results of this investigation proved that due to the fragmented ownership and often unclear tenure conditions, a high proportion of private forests will remain unsettled in the long run. These forests are more exposed to changing climatic factors due to the lack of forest protection and management activities. – Opinion of forest owners was also evaluated. The risks of lacking management and of climate change are not realised by forest owners. Economic thresholds can widely vary depending on the financial status and interests of the private forest owners. It is necessary to introduce additional measures to support maintenance of private forests which are below economic threshold of profitability. One such tool can be the planned Natura 2000 subsidy system with the aim to reduce the risk factors described above. Rural and regional development, afforestation and forest structure transformation. Evaluation of afforestation within the context of their effect to reduce risks of climatic changes proved that there is a dominance of oak afforestation even on poor sites due to the present subsidy system. Nature protection and forests. With the introduction of the new Forest Act a significant change of the legal background of forest management can be perceived. Investigations are carried out to define the economic and administrative changes focusing primarily on state forests. Rational wood utilization. Wood based energy production and wood plantations are under evaluation to address the effects on rural development, job possibilities, wood prices and socio economic issues. Efficient communication to improve society’s understanding of forest management. Investigations proved that the public has no real information about forestry sector and forest management. While forestry usually regarded as a hazardous to the environment, the result of this activity, raw wood , is considered as highly environment-friendly material. It is necessary to promote public understanding of forestry in the context of climate change, including role of forest management in the adaptation/mitigation process.