The ecological restoration of Dobroneagu Mountain began in 2022, with the planting of 350,000 seedlings. For the first time, in addition to the traditional planting of seedlings, direct seeding with the kernels of beach nuts will be tested at Dobroneagu, and drones will be used in hard-to-reach areas.
Foundation Conservation Carpathia has started the ecological restoration of Dobroneagu Mountain this spring, with more than 130,000 seedlings to be planted in the area. At the same time, the Foundation’s team will return with additional seeds for the area where planting was done in previous phases.
The Dobroneagu area is 200 ha in size and the forest has been lost here both as a result of logging from 2008-2010, when 40 ha were affected, and as a result of a storm on 6 February 2020, which affected 160 ha.
The process of ecological reconstruction of the area began in spring 2022, with spruce, beech, fir, sycamore and rowan tree seedlings being planted over 55 ha of the area affected by the storm. In autumn 2022, over 32 ha of the illegally felled area was restored.
Restoring the forest with native species, specific to the area and altitude level, is the objective of the Foundation Conservation Carpathia
The ecological reconstruction sites planned for this spring in the Dobroneagu area are located at altitudes of 1450 m and 1700 m, and this spring planting will be at a height of over 1500 m, which is why it will be done with spruce seedlings, a species suitable for this type of height and area. At the same time, the Foundation team is checking the plantation in the lower area, where it was afforested last year, and is adding beech seedlings.
“It is very important that the forest ecosystems in the Vâlsan Valley basin become fully functional again, i.e., similar to the natural forests that existed here,” explains Mihai Zotta, conservation director at the Foundation Conservation Carpathia. “This is why we are trying to copy as closely as possible what nature has created here in the course of evolution, species composition being a key element in this. This spring we are planting 40 ha of spruce, adding to previously planted areas and trying something new. As an experiment, in addition to traditional seedling planting, we are testing direct seeding with kernels seeds from the seedlings, and in hard-to-reach areas we will use drones.”
The seedlings of native natural species come from the nurseries of Foundation Conservation Carpathia or are purchased from specialised producers.
On average, more than 40 employees work on this ecological reconstruction site for 3-4 weeks each season.
Forest conservation is critical in the context of climate change, and restoring forests is more than necessary. Forests play a key role in carbon sequestration, pollution protection, especially in areas near cities, and watershed maintenance. They provides habitats for thousands of species and are essential for life.
Conservation Carpathia is working on five other ecological reconstruction sites, with a total of 240,000 seedlings to be planted this spring.
From 2013 to date, the Foundation Conservation Carpathia has planted 3.7 million seedlings and restored 1,906 ha of forest.
In the framework of the project ‘Creating a wilderness area in the southern Carpathian Mountains, Romania’ – LIFE18 NAT/RO/001082, Foundation Conservation Carpathia is restoring areas affected by clear-cutting and natural disasters with financial support from the European Commission.
About Foundation Conservation Carpathia
Foundation Conservation Carpathia is the largest nature conservation project in Europe, contributing to the restoration of natural ecosystems in the Carpathian Mountains for the benefit of biodiversity and local communities. Since 2009, the Romanian foundation has saved over 27,000 hectares of forests and alpine meadows in the southeastern Southern Carpathians from logging by acquiring them for conservation purposes, planted over 3.7 million seedlings over 1,906 ha affected by logging, created a 78,000 ha no-hunting and no trophy hunting zone. The Foundation contributes to the well-being of communities in the vicinity of protected forests through social, education and green business development projects, and its long-term vision is the creation of the Făgăraș Mountains National Park.
About the project
The reforestation project carried out by the Foundation Conservation Carpathia is unique in Romania and represents one of the most important forest conservation initiatives in Europe. This action was carried out within the framework of the LIFE Carpathia project, ‘Creation of a wilderness area in the Southern Carpathian Mountains, Romania’, LIFE18 NAT/RO/00108. The main aim of the project is the reconstruction of degraded habitats and the application of conservation measures that will allow the restoration of natural processes and also benefit the local communities in the Făgăraș Mountains area.
The project is implemented by Foundation Conservation Carpathia, in partnership with the Carpathia Forestry Association, Piatra Craiului Făgăraș Conservation Hunting Association, SC Carpathia Agro & Finance SRL, Conservation Capital Consulting Ltd., Argeș County Police Inspectorate – Basarab I and ProPark -– Foundation for Protected Areas, between 2019-2024, with financial support from the European Commission through the LIFE Nature programme (www.ec.europa.eu) and Arcadia Fund through the ELP programme (Endangered Landscapes Programme, www.endangeredlandscapes.org). The content of this material does not necessarily represent the official position of the European Union.