ZAGREB, 22 March (Hina) – The Ministry of Agriculture said on Monday that forests and forest land in Croatia cover 2.76 million hectares or 48.7% of Croatia’s land area, adding that sustainable forest management has been ensured as less wood mass is cut down each year than it grows.
Forests are the most complex ecosystem on Earth, it is estimated that they cover 31% of total land area, and they account for over 80% of our planet’s biodiversity, according to the press release issued on World Forest Day, 21 March.
Under Croatia’s Constitution, the Ministry underscored, forests enjoy special protection. They regulate local, regional and global climate conditions, protect soil from erosion, regulate catchment areas and hydrological systems, and they also have a significant effect on air and water quality.
As a valuable national resource and potential, forests in Croatia have an economic, ecological and social function, contribute to natural scenery and the development of rural areas, the press release reads.
The total area of forests and forest land in Croatia amounts to 2,759,039.05 hectares, or 48.7% of the country’s land area, the ministry said.
The most common tree species is beech (37%), followed by pedunculate oak (12%), sessile oak (10%), hornbeam (9%), fir (8%), narrow-leaved ash (3%), spruce (2%) and other types of trees (19%).
According to the ministry, less wood mass is cut down in state-owned and private forests than it grows, which ensures the future of sustainable management.
The main characteristic of Croatian forests is that they are 95% natural, with a great wealth of biodiversity.
Such a high percentage of natural forests in Croatia is the result of a long tradition of sustainable forestry, which has lasted for over 250 years.