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Forest Charter - Principles

Principles of people's approach towards the forest

Preservation of biodiversity

  • 1.1 It is essential to protect and maintain forest ecosystems at all levels--from microscopic processes to macroscopic processes.
  • 1.2. We have to preserve forest biodiversity within all scales of space and time.
  • 1.3. It is essential to protect and maintain the ecological composition, structures, and functions of forests (water cycle, soil and nutrient cycles, character of terrain, microclimate) and regenerate these where they have been degraded by previous human activity.

2. Prevention

  • 2.1. If a threat of a decrease or loss of biodiversity or of other irreversible changes exists, lack of scientific knowledge must not be allowed as an excuse to do nothing to avert the threat.
  • 2.2. All human activity in forest management is a source of mistakes, the consequences of which affect an adjustment of forest ecosystems to various changes. It is thus necessary to select "evolution" forests from commercial ones. Evolution forests are forests left to their evolutionary processes, without any interference by humans. They are to make up a minimum of 20% of the whole forest area.

3. Access to information

  • 3.1 Every citizen shall have access to information on forest management plans and the activities specified in those plans, if these can lead to the deterioration of forest functions which are more important than production

II. Directions for sustainable forest use

4. Main management principles

  • 4.1. In forest regeneration, methods maximally imitating natural processes, which have been developed during forest evolution in our temperate climate, shall be used. Clearcutting is only allowed in pine forest stands on sandy soils and in poplar and willow stands.
  • 4.2. Whichever forest management is used, 20% of the trees shall be left standing to the end of their biological life (allowed to recycle into the soil).
  • 4.3. A 30m-wide buffer zone shall be created along both sides of all rivers and streams in commercial forests. All forestry activities shall be prohibited within these buffer zones.
  • 4.4. Around springs, the buffer zone shall have a minimum diameter of 50m. On slopes with several springs, the buffer zone shall be formed so that all springs are protected.
  • 4.5. The use of streambeds as forest roads and skidding trails shall be prohibited.
  • 4.6. The use of herbicides, fungicides and insecticides in forest management shall be prohibited.
  • 4.7. Natural regeneration of forest ecosystems shall be used to the maximum extent possible. When human-made restoration is considered, original species from native habitats shall be used as a matter of general principle.
  • 4.8. Forest road network shall be minimized.
  • 4.9. Forested areas without a road network shall be big enough to allow the evolutionary development also in forests with forestry activities. The size of roadless area shall be a minimum of 3 km2 and not less than one kilometer in any dimension.

5. Hunting

  • 5.1. In hunting legislation, the division of game animals between useful and harmful shall not be used.
  • 5.2. Predators in forest ecosystems shall be fully protected throughout the year