“37.4 billion forints (EUR 121M) will be used for realising conservation goals until 2020 within the framework of the Environmental and Energy Efficiency Operational Programme and the Competitive Central Hungary Operational Programme”, the Ministry of Agriculture’s Deputy State Secretary for the Environment said in Eger.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of Hungarian National Parks Week, Dr. András Rácz told reporters: A long-term strategic development programme made up of 92 individual development packages was also launched in 2016 to lay the groundwork for planning within the field, with a budget of 1.07 billion forints.

Four closely related development projects will be realised within the framework of the programme. The groundwork for field research will be enabled within the framework of NATURA in the interests of preserving particularly endangered natural treasures such as species and habitats of community significance. The second element of the project is ecosystem services. “We will be surveying, mapping and evaluating natural and close-to-nature ecosystems”, Mr. Rácz said.

The third and fourth elements of the project are landscape character development and green infrastructure development. The goals of these programme elements are the preservation of the characteristic landscape and the mapping of green infrastructure, the Deputy State Secretary explained.

Katalin Török from the Hungarian Academy of Science’s Centre or Ecological Research said: In contrast to previous projects, this development project is the first to create an opportunity for the mapping and evaluation of natural systems (ecosystems), their status and the services they provide at a national level.

Director of the Bükk National Park Directorate Mrs. Kálmán Rónai expressed her pleasure with regard to the fact that the National Park, which is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its founding, was given the opportunity to host Hungarian National Parks Week.

(Ministry of Agriculture Press Office)