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Romania has, after Ukraine, the largest areas registered with World Heritage Forest Programme

Ioan Denes

Romania has the second largest area of forests registered with the UNESCO World Heritage Forest Programme after Ukraine, Romania's Minister of Waters and Forestry Ioan Denes told an international World Heritage Beech Forests workshop hosted by Sibiu City on Thursday.

"The year 2019 is an important year to Romania, given that it had committed to organising this Sibiu workshop this year to develop a best practice guide on forest management in the UNESCO buffer zone. After finalising the list of UNESCO forests as part of the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee in Krakow, July 4-12, 2017, Romania has the largest area of forests registered with the World Heritage Forest Programme. The most valuable among the outstanding testimonies in the history of humankind and natural history are included in the UNESCO World Heritage, because their saving and preservation is important to the world community, and Romania enjoys such testimonies of nature which value recommended them for the world heritage(...)," Denes said.

He also announced that the annual meeting of representatives of the 12 countries with forests under the UNESCO World Heritage Forest Programme will be held at Gura Humorului, May 22-23, 2019.

"In Suceava, Romania has perhaps the oldest forest, declared a natural forest as far back as 1907, a part of the site. The meeting at Gura Humorului is an important one, because you, the specialists, will draw up the necessary documents to prepare for a favourable resolution at the next general meeting of the UNESCO Heritage Committee to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, in July 2019," said Denes.

Denes on Thursday paid a working visit to Sibiu County accompanied by senior official Daniel-Constantin Coroama, Director General of the Romsilva National Forest Administration Gheorghe Mihailescu and ministerial adviser Ciprian Musca.

Also in Sibiu are representatives of the 12 World Heritage Beech Forests Conference state parties, as well as many representatives of environmental organisations from countries that have beech forests.

Romania currently has the largest forest area under beech in the European Union - 23,983 hectares (26.7pct), while Ukraine has the largest such area in Europe Europe - 26,742 hectares (29.8pct).

In 2019, Romania coordinates the activities of the 12 states parties - Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Ukraine, Germany, Slovakia, related to the transnational series of the site.

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