Protecting Our Ancient Forests

Protecting Our Ancient Forests

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Virgin forests of ancient trees and unique biodiversity are being logged for short-term profit. We must act now.

Old-growth forests capture almost two times as much carbon as young forests, they harbour unique species that can only survive in a pristine environment and we are still losing them to logging... in Europe... today!

Together with our partners on the ground in Romania, we are working to provide field equipment, patrol vehicles, wages for forest engineers and rangers, as well as  GPS equipment and camera traps. For more information, read the full story below.

Our goal is to bring this ancient forest to life so that you can really see your impact. As such each Old-Growth Forest contribution comes with:

🌐 A unique 360° photo of each 1000m2 of old-growth forest you protect

🗺️ The GPS coordinates of each location so you can later visit the exact spot

📨 Regular updates on the development of the project

📷 Photos of the forest each season

The next batch of 360-degree photos will be collected and sent out in June!

Pristine Wilderness

The Făgăraș Mountains in the centre of Romania are home to  the most pristine forests remaining in Europe. 

These beautiful ancient forests are the jewel of the Southern Carpathians. Boasting richly biodiverse flora, fauna and megafauna, they should remain wild for following generations to admire.

What makes old-growth forests so special?

  • Old growth forests in Europe have become extremely scarce, the Făgăraș Mountains represent the largest area of continuous untouched wilderness in Europe.
  • Carbon capture: old growth forests can store up to 1,600 m³ of wood/ha, compared to 400-500 m³ in managed forests.
  • The area has an remarkable diversity of endemic wildlife.

A look back through time

Interestingly, it was Romania's communist past that helped this virgin wilderness survive for so long...

Post War Romania

Shortly after the second World War, there was a large push for the nationalization of Romania's forests, which transformed forest structures throughout the country. By the late 80's all the forests were owned by the state. With the nationalization of these woodlands came improved logging roads and bridges, and changes in tree species from mostly deciduous trees to the fast-growing Norway Spruce to increase the country's wood production. 

There was also a surge in wildlife, mostly due to strict anti-hunting laws and the reintroduction of species such as the brown bear. It is rumored that Romania's former dictator Ceaușescu, who loved to hunt bears, was a terrible shot and a man with a hot temper. To appease these shortfalls, his aides launched the brown bear re-population scheme so that their leader could hunt more successfully. Today Romania is home to the highest number of bears in Europe.

The fall of communism

The fall of communism led to Romania's economy collapsing, including the logging industry. This had a very positive effect on country's wilderness where large areas were given a chance to regenerate. Sadly, ten years later the exploitation of Romania's forests continued, but this time even more intensely. Woodlands that had been nationalized prior to 1989 were restituted. These newly privatized forests have since been clear cut at an frightening rate while the democratization of hunting laws has led to a significant decline in wildlife. 

Despite an increased awareness of the exploitation of Europe's last old-growth forest and its wildlife, action needs to be taken now, as illegal logging continues to decimate this pristine wilderness.

Taking action

Though the restitution of landownership, has mostly been detrimental for Romania's virgin forests, it is also an opportunity to buy land. Our partners FCC have purchased more than 20,000 Hectares of woodlands, which they seek to protect and prevent any destructive activity in the area. 

Our partnership with FCC enables you to sponsor an area of this ancient growth forest. 

Your contribution will help finance a range of monitoring and protection costs including the wages for ecologists, forest engineers and rangers. As well as forestry equipment, patrol vehicles and vigilance posts. In return we will bring to life your own beautiful piece of virgin forest via 360-degree photos and video. In addition, we will send you the area's GPS coordinates so that one day you can visit this unique wilderness.

Meet some of the locals!

Red Deer - Cervus elaphus
Brown Bear - Ursus arctos
Alpine Longicorn - Rosalia alpina
Chamois - Rupicapra rupicapra
Wolf - Canis lupus
Lynx - Lynx lynx