During the 11th International Beech Symposium of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations, 80 scientists and experts signed the Viterbo Declaration. This Declaration aims for the safeguarding of functional beech forest ecosystems across the world.
Please also read: Global recognition of primeval beech forests in Europe
Concern for old-growth forests
During the Symposium, held in Viterbo (Italy) last September, scientists shared the state of the art science regarding the beech forest ecosystems. In the Declaration, scientists express their concerns on the ongoing and increasing pressure on beech forests. Especially old-growth forests are vulnerable and irreplaceable in the natural ecosystems. At this moment, Natura 2000 fails to safeguard the integrity of the beech forests. On the other hand, the natural UNESCO World Heritage Property seems to be an effective step in the right direction. Nevertheless, more efforts must be dedicated to continue to protect and preserve the beech forest systems across the Northern Hemisphere.
International scientific community
The beech forest system is now of the most studied ecosystems in the world. The knowledge offers many opportunities to learn and adapt sustainable forest management accordingly. One of the most interesting points is the adaptation to climate change, which will continue to happen in front of our own eyes.