Considering the diversity of the conservation values, they were grouped in six distinct categories Therefore HCVF are those forests which have one or more of the following attributes

HCV1 Forest areas containing globally, regionally or nationally significant concentrations of biodiversity values

VRC1 In this category range forest areas containing unusual associations of ecological and taxonomic groups, significant seasonal concentrations, threatened or endangered species, constituting globally, regionally or nationally significant concentrations of biodiversity values. Due to the fact that there are several ways to identify the biodiversity values, this value was sub-divided into four elements:

  • HCV1.1 Protected areas: Protected areas have multiple functions, especially for biodiversity conservation. The protected area networks represent the fundamental of the biodiversity conservation at national and international level.
  • HCV1.2 Threatened and endangered species: Some plant and animal species, out of various reasons are threatened or endangered species. The forests containing populations of such species are definitely significant for the maintenance of the biodiversity value and must be managed as such.
  • HCV1.3 Endemic species: Endemic species are those species the presence of which is limited to a specific geographical area. Their reduced range enhances their vulnerability and thus the conservation process of the entire assembly (species - habitat) becomes very significant.
  • HCV1.4 Critical seasonal utilisation: Some habitats may be used only seasonally or during extreme condition periods (so called refugia), therefore they are critical for the survival of some populations. As a result, their proper management is essential.

HCV2 Globally, regionally or nationally significant large level forests where viable populations of naturally occurring species exist in natural patterns of distribution and abundance

This category includes forest landscapes composed of extended forest areas and other ecosystems, besides the forest ones, governed by ecological processes relatively not affected by recent human activity.

HCV3 Forest areas localised within or containing rare, threatened or endangered ecosystems.

VRC1 1Under such circumstances the high conservation value (HCV) is given by the ecosystem as a whole. This category includes ecosystems which are rare either due to the natural climatic, geological conditions (forest areas with rare forests on rocks, alpine barren areas, peat bogs, water streams and bodies, etc), or due to the human activities (alteration of old growth / quasi-virgin forests, conversion of the natural systems in agricultural land or other uses, etc.). Such ecosystems include rare forest types (even if in the past they were largely extended), as well as rare association of species (even if the component species can be often met).

HCV4 Forest areas providing environmental services in critical situations

(ex. unique sources of water, protection of the torrent hydrographical basins by regularisation of the hydrological regime, erosion prevention and control in particular conditions, forests with protective role against climatic harmful factors etc.)

Forest providing such services must be appropriately managed and permanently maintained. In this respect, there is an attempt to give a most accurate definition of such areas within the HCV4 category. Taking into consideration the various potential environmental services, for a better systematisation, they were divided into three sub-categories:

  • HCV4.1 Forests with extremely critical hydrologic role
  • HCV4.2 Forest with critical significance for terrain protection
  • HCV4.3 Forest areas with critical impact over agricultural terrains or fish-stock areas.

HCV5 Forest areas fundamental to meet basic needs of rural communities (basic needs can be: subsistence means or health)

VRC 6A forest area can be included in this category in the event the local communities strictly depend on it to obtain the basic means for existence, for which there are no feasible alternative. In our country, for instance, such goods can be fire wood, construction wood, wood for other crafts, medicinal herbs, etc. This category shall not include forests in which excessive logging or other practices are performed (even of they represent traditional practices and / or the communities depend on them) or situations in which real alternative exist to obtain the relevant goods.

HCV6 Forest areas critical for the cultural identity of a community or area

VRC6In our country, such forest areas are those places linked to local customs and ceremonies traditionally performed within the forest area or forest areas located in the vicinity of religious communities, pilgrimage places and historic monuments.



Marius Turtica
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