National Forest Centre is a state owned public-benefit corporation, which is governed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic and methodically guided by the section of forestry economy and treatment of wood
On the 31st of December 2005, The Ministry of Agriculture of the Slovak Republic annulled the following public-benefit corporation status as individual legal entities:
and on the 1st of January 2006 established a new public-benefit corporation: National Forest Centre (NFC) as the aforementioned entities legal successor. The city of Zvolen has been the center of forestry in Slovakia for decades and today it bears the title of “The city of forestry”. It is here where the Forest Research Institute (FRI) has resided since 1964. Lesoprojekt Zvolen has resided here since 1950 and the Ústav pre výchovu a vzdelávanie pracovníkov lesného a vodného hospodárstva SR Zvolen (ÚVVP LVH SR Zvolen) since 1978.
On the 1st of January 2006, these three public-benefit corporations merged into the National Forest Centre and created and institution which united forestry science, research, consulting, education and forestry practice. At present, the National Forest Centre is comprised of four institutes:
The year 2018 was a jubilee year for the National Forest Centre as two of its institutes, FRI and IFCE celebrated important anniversaries, 120 years of forestry research and 40 years of lifelong education in forestry in Slovakia.
Since 1968, forestry research resides at the address T. G. Masaryka 22 in Zvolen, which has been used by the employees of FRI for over 50 years. It is also the current headquarters of NFC. The remaining institutes – IFCE, IFRI and FMPI reside on Sokolská 2 in Zvolen.
Forest Research Institute
The Forest Research Institute participates in tasks in the field of forestry research and development in all the fields of forestry and environment linked to forest ecosystems. It solves research projects, mostly on request basis from national and international grant agencies and research programs in accordance with the requests of the founders of the project. It directly takes part in implementation of monitoring of the health of forests, national inventory of forests and monitoring the state of forest ecosystems and their components. It ensures the operation of the Forest Protection Service Centre and Control of Forest Reproduction Material. The Forest Research Institute carries out review, expertise, educational, librarial, editorial, advisory and propagational functions. It assists and ensures the realization of results of research and usage of current scientific knowledge in the management of forests by state and non-state owners.
Forest Management Planning Institute
The Forest Management Planning Institute solves tasks regarding development of forest management planning, creation and updating of methods and procedures of its implementation, creates concept and methodical procedures of forest management planning; evaluates, assures quality and continues the work of “The Program of Care for Forests”; ensures and performs finding of data of complex detection of the state of forests and ensures the process of public procurement of forest management plans – programs of care for forests (PCF).
The Program of Care for Forests
Institute for Forest Resources and Information
The source of information about forests is the information system of forest management, which is operated on the basis of law no. 326/2005 Z. z. about forests. On the basis of §38 section 2 letter e and §45 of this law, the administrator of the system is the National Forest Centre. NFC on the basis of this law ensures creation and management of thematic state maps with thematic content of forest management.
Its source materials are:
Information about forests
Basic information about forests include:
Forest mapping happens yearly on 1/10th of the size of forest areas as part of creating the Program of Care for Forests (PCF) according to the harmonogram of restoration. Mapping is currently taking place using modern photogrammetric methods – digital photogrammetry based on plane imaging and scanning an area. The main source of forest mapping is a flight measuring shot with positional accuracy of 0,25m and a digital model of the terrain created on the basis of data from flight laser scanning. Afterwards a continuous thematic state map with forest management is created of the entire area of the country. This map is created in accordance with law number 215/1995 Z.z. about geodesics and cartography in the 3rd class of accuracy of under 0,5m.
Forestry maps are creating in accordance with a standard for digital maps with forestry management content. Several maps are used in forestry with scales varying from 1:10000 (growth, harvesting, outline maps etc.). Individual maps are distinct with varying scales of forestry detail and are derived from the base forestry map in the scale of 1:5000.
As part of creating these maps, the National Forest Centre ensures the following activities:
Institute for Forest Consulting and Education
The Institute for Forest Consulting and Education is a professional educational institution which ensures further expert education in the field of forest management. The target group for the education programs are employees of state and non-state forestry institutions on various levels of supervision. Around 1500 people take part in the educational activities that the Institute for Forest Consulting and Education conducts, mostly employees of forest management.
Education programs are taught in the form of lectures, seminars, workshops and practical trainings. Education takes place in classrooms equipped with didactic tools and audiovisual technology or directly in the terrain. Lecturers are leading experts, university professors and representatives of Civil Service. The insurance of quality is the accreditation of the educational courses via the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic. The National Forest Centre is charged by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic with coordinating forestry education within the Slovak Republic.
Work with the public and forestry education
Forests and forestry are one of the base pillars of long term sustainable development of rural areas. There is a large need to evolve the dialogue between the forestry sector and the public with the goal of defining mutually acceptable goals. Propagation of forestry towards the public requires communication and active building of relationships with accentuation towards mutual responsibility for all interested groups in conservation of forests and their functions. The most effective tool for foresters in this area is education.
The key document for further directing and development of environmental education is a document titled Forestry education as part of environmental education – Conception of development (NFC, 2010). The Institute for Forest Consulting and Education has been charged by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic. It also ensures the realization of education in this area.
Activities of forestry education are used in countrywide and regional projects. Forestry education appears in exhibitory activities at various exhibitions such as AGROKOMPLEX or LIGNUMEXPO – FOREST, but also in natural science oriented competitions or competitions related to special events – International Year of Forests (2011), biyearly European Week of Forests or International Day of Forests (21.3.). Of major import are programs of forestry education dedicated to special groups – children in healthcare institutions, clients with special needs, seniors in centers of social services.
An individual standing within forest education is held by forest outings as a basic organization form. Yearly balance of visitations is around 10000 participants.
An interesting initiative of 11 forestry institutions (including the National Forest Centre) within the city of Zvolen was the Memorandum about cooperation signed on the 18th of April 2016 at the old city hall. This way the city accepted the title of the city of forestry.