April 20, 2015

Hungary boasts one of the most elaborate and longstanding traditions regarding sustainable forest management of any country in the world. In addition, to complex current legal and regulatory frameworks the sustainable culture in rooted in history. The first evidence of forest management dates back to the 1500’s. In that era forests were managed mainly for economic gain. By the 1600’s visionary religious preachers collected oak acorns from the best plots of oak and presented them as gifts when they took their religious message to new areas. Today, that legacy lives on and many of Hungary’s finest oaks hail from the “preachers oak” sometimes referred to as “Slovene” oak. By the 1700’s nobles and local government expanded on conservation practices. They introduced the first regulations and dispersed emissaries across Europe to study forestry practices. The impetus for this movement was both economic and military. Conflicts often were waged across Europe and the Austro-Hungarian empire, being in the middle of Europe, often found itself engaged in battle. To procure an advantage the cultivation of hardwoods, oak in particular, was of national importance. Hardwoods provided materials for weapons, fortifications and city walls, the building blocks of security in that time. Fortunately, by the 1900’s war in Europe was waged with iron, not wood, leaving vast forests intact and the culture of sustainability well established.

The Forest of Act of 1935 as modified is the governing authority on Hungarian forests today. With strict limits on quantities harvested, replanting and management practices Hungary assures sustainability. Few countries can boast of such elaborate forestry regulation or of such a well-established forestry management culture. Therefore, forest products born of Hungarian origin are sustainable.