Name of the project: WATER FOREST OF SLOVAK SAVIN BANK – ecosystem restoration of damage forest in High Tatra National Park after wind storm in 2004
Carrier of the project: People and Water NGO, Slovakia
Country: Slovakia / High Tatras
Contact: People and Water, www.peopleandwater.international
Duration: study and construction from 2005-2007
November 2004 A windstorm in the Tatra National Park uprooted 12,600 hectares of forest with a predominance of spruce.
At that time, many people mobilized to help restore damaged forests in the Tatra National Park. The NGO People and Water has also started the process of restoring the damaged landscape by building water holdings (water retention measures) so that all rainwater remains in the damaged landscape and contributes to the restoration of the new forest.
After the Tatra windstorm, there were major social conflicts, whether to help restore nature and, if so, how. The conservationists demanded that the fallen wood be left in the damaged forest and that nature be left to self-development and that the foresters remove all the wood mass from the forest.
The Water Forest project brought an innovative solution, which was built on the removal of wood and make the rest of the waste wood water retention measures that will help
retain rainwater and create suitable humidity conditions for optimal growth of new vegetation.
After the implementation of more than 4,000 water retention measures in 2005, 34,000 seedlings (spruce, red spruce, pine, fir, rowan, mountain maple and elm) were planted on the site of 42 hectares.
In the summer, 120 – 140 volunteers from 26 countries worked daily. The project was implemented in cooperation with scouting and financially supported by Slovenská sporiteľňa, which sponsored a project in the amount of € 330,000. Financial resources were used to implement two more sites with an area of 41 hectares.
The idea of the impact of rainwater retention in ecosystems on strengthening ecosystem restoration processes of wind-damaged forests has been fully demonstrated. Not only the planted tree thrives, but the grassy vegetation is also very diversified with a high ecological value. From the monitoring of restoration processes, this is the most vital restoring part of the Tatra nature.
The innovative idea of the project consists in the restoration of wind and calamity of the damaged forest by wind calamity through the retention of rainwater and the planting of a diversified nature of the nearby forest.