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Wild Heart of Europe

Wild forests and rich biodiversity, that is the signature of Sumava national park that creates the “Green roof of Europe”. Friends of the Earth Norway have visited Sumava national park in order to learn more about these unique forests in the heart of Europe, and the many threats that face them. Thanks to good cooperation with our partners Friends of the Earth in Czech Republic, Hnuti Duha, we have been able explore the hidden parts of the forest and learn about the many challenges facing nature protection in Europe.

Sumava national park is one of the largest wilderness areas in Western and Central Europe, with unique complex of precious ecosystems of peat bogs, mountain meadows and forests, home of the capercaillie and lynx. However the national park faces many threats from logging and development projects including ski resort. There is an on-going discussion about the management regime of the national park due to windfalls and bark beetle attacks that affect large areas of the spruce forest. Today it is allowed to log in 70 % of the national park, in areas affected by the bark beetles. Hnuti Duha is constantly working to secure the wilderness areas from the on-going threats and raise awareness about the importance of dead wood in forest ecosystems.

Though they`re often described as pests, bark beetles have been a key part of spruce forests for ages, ensuring habitat for a numerous of forest species. The lack of deadwood in Europe's forests is today a major cause of biodiversity loss. A third of forest-dwelling species rely on dead or dying trees, logs, and branches for their survival. The removal of decaying timber and old trees lead to destruction of very important habitat for many insects, fungi, lichens and animals such as woodpeckers, bats, and squirrels which nest in hollow trees.

Hnuti Duha is therefore constantly working to raise awareness about the importance of deadwood, natural processes in forests, and to stop extensive logging in Sumava national park, through public awarness campaigns, organized trips, information stands, non violent blockade actions and court cases. Our trip to the Czech Republic and cooperation with Hnuti Duha has been very inspiring and educational. Even though we live in different countries, many of the challenges in nature protection are surprisingly similar. We have shared many important experiences which has strengthened our capacity in the struggle for a better environment.

This project is supported by a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants. www.eeagrants.org

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The article was last updated on: 22.04.2016

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Wild Heart of Europe

Wild forests and rich biodiversity, that is the signature of Sumava national park that creates the “Green roof of Europe”. Friends of the Earth Norway have visited Sumava national park in order to learn more about these unique forests in the heart of Europe, and the many threats that face them. Thanks to good cooperation with our partners Friends of the Earth in Czech Republic, Hnuti Duha, we have been able explore the hidden parts of the forest and learn about the many challenges facing nature protection in Europe.