The Ancient Beech Forests of Germany, represent examples of on-going post-glacial biological and ecological evolution of terrestrial ecosystems and are indispensable to understanding the spread of the beech (Fagus sylvatica) in the Northern Hemisphere across a variety of environments. The new inscription represents the addition of five forests totaling 4,391 hectares that are added to the 29,278 hectares of Slovakian and Ukranian beech forests inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2007. The tri-national property is now to be known as the Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany (Slovakia, Ukraine, Germany).
Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians. Chorn high mtn mixed beech
Outstanding Universal Value
The Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany are a serial property comprising fifteen components. They represent an outstanding example of undisturbed, complex temperate forests and exhibit the most complete and comprehensive ecological patterns and processes of pure stands of European beech across a variety of environmental conditions. They contain an invaluable genetic reservoir of beech and many species associated and dependent on these forest habitats.
Criterion (ix): The Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany are indispensable to understanding the history and evolution of the genus Fagus, which, given its wide distribution in the Northern Hemisphere and its ecological importance, is globally significant. These undisturbed, complex temperate forests exhibit the most complete and comprehensive ecological patterns and processes of pure stands of European beech across a variety of environmental conditions and represent all altitudinal zones from seashore up to the forest line in the mountains. Beech is one of the most important elements of forests in the Temperate Broad-leaf Forest Biome and represents an outstanding example of the re-colonization and development of terrestrial ecosystems and communities after the last ice age, a process which is still ongoing. They represent key aspects of processes essential for the long term conservation of natural beech forests and illustrate how one single tree species came to absolute dominance across a variety of environmental parameters.
The individual components of this serial property are of sufficient size to maintain the natural processes necessary for the long-term ecological viability of the property's habitats and ecosystems. Buffer zones including surrounding protected areas (national parks, nature parks, protected landscape areas, biosphere reserves) will be managed to protect the property and enhance integrity.
Protection and management requirements
Long-term protection and management is ensured through national legal protection as territories which belong to national parks or biosphere reserves. Effective implementation of the trilateral integrated management system is required to guide the planning and management of this serial property. A strict non-intervention management applies to all component parts of the serial property. In the framework of the general management objectives the key issues of the practical management include fostering coordination and communication between the individual component parts, risk management, conservation and management of mountain meadows, river corridors and freshwater ecosystems, tourism management, research and monitoring. The component parts are engaged in international activities of capacity building to share best practices from countries included in the series, and other countries with significant primeval and ancient beech forests. In order to provide for local support to be available in the long run, specific public relations and educational work are crucial aspects of the management. Cooperative management agreements with local groups and tourism agencies are supposed to enhance the achievement of management goals and ensure local community engagement in the component parts.