The LIFE 4 Oak Forests project aims to improve the conservation status and biological diversity of oak forests in the EU, specifically those with downy oak and Pannonian-Balkanic turkey oak-sessile oaks. These forests have been negatively impacted by centuries of commercial logging, unsuitable forest management, and overpopulation of wild game, resulting in reduced stand structure, diminished diversity of tree species, and a lack of dead wood. The project's actions focus on reconstructing the natural forest condition, reducing human disturbances and invasive species, implementing nature conservation forest management, and monitoring the effects of treatments. The project also includes intensive awareness-raising activities for stakeholders and the general public, such as presentations, field demonstrations, and the publication of guidelines and information materials. Expected results of the project include the reconstruction of natural oak forest conditions as a standard for nature conservation management, the elaboration and publication of an ecological nature conservation oak forest management guideline, the protection and management of over 2,000 hectares of oak forests across 24 project areas, the elimination of invasive species on 80 hectares of forest, and the raising of public awareness towards the importance of Natura 2000 sites and nature conservation of oak forests. The project also aims to improve the biodiversity of the project areas and increase the presence of lying and standing dead wood.
- Focuses on the reconstruction of natural forest conditions in oak forests to improve their conservation status and biodiversity.
- Includes the purchase of oak forests to secure biodiversity, implementation of nature conservation forest management, and monitoring of treatment effects Intensive awareness-raising and networking with other projects and specialists for public support and knowledge sharing
- Provides guidelines for forest habitat development and ecosystem services, and holds an international conference to evaluate and share results and experiences
- Expected results include improved forest structure, increased biodiversity, and elimination of invasive species
Total Cost: 7,980,586 € EU Funding: 5,895,289 € EU Contribution – 73.87%
- Increase public awareness and engagement in the conservation of oak forests and their importance to biodiversity
- Expand the project to cover more areas beyond Hungary and Italy to improve the conservation status of oak forests across the EU
- Develop a more comprehensive approach to address the root causes of unsustainable forest management, such as commercial logging and overpopulation of wild game
- Establish long-term funding and support for the implementation of nature conservation forest management to ensure sustained benefits for oak forests and their biodiversity