World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Ukraine, the Kyiv Ecological and Cultural Center, and Ukrainian Bird Protection Society are drawing up a bill that will give a protected status to all the Carpathian primeval forests.
As of today, there are almost 48,000 hectares of pristine forests in Ukrainian Carpathians, while 30,000 hectares of them already lie within natural preservation areas, protected by law, WWF representative Roman Volosianchuk said during a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine.
Some of these forests are listed among UNESCO World Heritage Sites, namely "Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and other regions of Europe".
At the same time, other forests are located within in areas without protected status, and thus may be destroyed as a result of economic activity.
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"Apart from the established pristine forests, there are 35,000 hectares of forests which should be examined as potential primary or ancient ones. WWF and Ukraine' Ecology Ministry have also prepared and submitted to UNESCO a justification to include additional 6,000 hectares of primary and ancient Ukrainian forests into the category "Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and other regions of Europe," Volosianchuk added.
In his turn, director of Kyiv Ecological and Cultural Center Volodymyr Boreiko stressed that primeval forests are today being destroyed for commercial and business purposes within natural preservation areas – sanctuaries, national parks and protected areas.
Primeval forests are natural forests unsullied by humans during the course of their development.