Tiszatáj Public Foundation for Environmental Protection and Nature Conservation
„The identification, conservation and acquaintance of natural assets of the Tisza-valley and its neighbouring territories, linked by their common landscape history, as well as the North-Hungarian Mountains. Contribution to the solution of the acute tasks of maintaining a healthy environment by setting up and realization of viable management schemes.”
We intend to achieve this in the following way:
Ensuring long-term survival of values by purchasing more land continuously, which are rich in natural assets, by using foreign and domestic capital. Raising activities in intensive educational and public awareness in order to reach each layer of the society with the message about the need for a better protection of natural values and for the affirmation of their environmental view.
Acquisition of even more land with an increased focus on the quality of rehabilitation work and maintenance tasks. Application of soft and sustainable agricultural methods. Supporting local farmers by offering cheap tenancy rates for some part of pastures and arables owned by the Foundation. The grant, support from programmes, and the rent paid by tenant farmers are used to finance the construction of tourist facilities in selected areas in order to increase their attractiveness. It seems certain that by the promotion of tourism, smaller regions will gain in importance, which, in turn, will attract more and more visitors – a pre-condition of personal and then economic cooperation – into these areas. The Foundation will reinvest the profits arising, by withdrawing our optimal used land, tenancy contracts and eco-tourism into the further development of tutorial - educational schemes of its environmental and nature protection work. Our aim with this land, maintained by ourselves, is to initiate an agro-environmental farming model on which we can make a trial of the most efficient methods of conservation of the natural values. On the other hand we will introduce them to people who are interested in sustainable farming.
Completion of our rehabilitation tasks on the newly purchased patches of land and their continuous maintenance. Optimization of land use schemes, organization and maintenance of the automatic circle of profits and their reinvestment into management of nature conservation, environment-friendly farming and environmental education. Support for municipalities that are lagging behind in development by co-financing their investments in environmental protection, especially in programmes where there is a need for local contribution.
The Foundation is managed by a Board of Curators (five members) and supervised by a Supervisory Body of three people. The Foundation has close ties with the environmentalist and conservationist groups of the region, with the municipalities as well as with their associations.
Activity of the Tiszatáj Foundation briefly:
- Long-term protection assurance with purchasing the ownership of areas rich in natural values.
- Maintenance of areas to promote nature conservation, rehabilitation of nature conservation areas and of which are rich in natural values.
- Active conservation of protected animal and plant species.
- Hospital and temporary shelter operation of injured, diseased non-domesticated animals.
- Environmental education, conscious reforming.
- Environmental and ecological developing of disadvantageous areas.
- Use and popularization of traditional farming methods.
Some details of our Foundations' achievements and results:
- So far we have acquired lands, mostly with high nature worths and low economic value. We manage ourselves approximately 700 hectares.
- We have managed to secure the jobs of several animal-breeder companies by offering them meadows and pastures in place of the fodder-producing lands lost in the privatization process. We guaranteed the continuous maintenance of grass lands by grazing animals and reaping.
- With the co-financing of the Central Environmental Fund we carried out the tasks of the first phase of the the Dicse Lowland near Tiszaladány and the Montáj Lake rehabilitation project near Tiszabábolna.
- In 1997 we were the national organizers of the “Spring Watching” Project initiated by the European Community.
- We have a fruitful cooperation with the Tiszatér Area Developing Assotiation and the municipalities involved in it, with the participants of Cötkény Project in South-Borsod region as well as with the municipalities in their area.
- We have day-to-day contact with the environmental and nature conservation authorities in our area and with the Directorate of the Bükk National Park.
- By maintaining our proprietory rights in a joint effort with the Bükk National Park we have managed that in the new cycle of the working plan wildlife management takes place with utmost respect to conservation tasks in the Borsodi Mezoség Protected Landscape Area and the Kesznyéten Protected Landscape Area. In case of both areas we successfully set going the declaration of their nature protected and special destination purposes.
- By purchasing three major water bird nesting grounds we are now able to control the land use methods in these areas and contribute to the survival of the Spoonbill, Great White Egret, Purple Heron, Little Egret, Night Egret, Squacco Heron populations there.
- Near Mezocsát we purchased two smaller robinia forests decided to be cut by the former owner. In the forests about 20 pairs of Red-footed Falcon and 5-6 pairs of Lesser Grey Shrike nested in 1997. Later the stock was stabilized at 5-10 couples of Red-footed Falcon and 2-3 couples of Lesser Grey Shrike.
- In the Borsodi Mezoség Protected Landscape Area we purchased some arable land in order to grow rape and medic, the principal fodder for the great bustard. Within the frame of bustard protection tender, supporting by LIFE Nature, we purchased the bustard cocks’ moulting and wintering place in the Borsodi Mezoség Protected Landscape Area which grassland is not under protection yet.
- Near Árokto and Tiszadorogma in the close vicinity of grasslands rich in protected plant species we purchased arable land with the aim of reintroducing traditional orchards species destroyed during the construction of the Tisza Lake. Some of the willow-species are excellent in yielding twigs which may serve as raw material for the basket-making trade still popular in the area.
- With Bavarian financial support we built and placed about 100 artificial dens for rollers and bats.
- We have signed a contract about the long-term rent of the Szilpuszta Cottage with the aim of organizing summer camps for children interested in nature conservation. In a joint effort with the Bükk National Park we bought the Szamárhát Range in Kesznyéten and formed an animal husbandry with Hungarian indigenous livestock (Grey Steppen Cattle, Mangalica Swine, Racka Sheep, Water Buffalo). With their help we are attempting to work out new methods for ideally managed grass lands and wet habitats.Now we are working on purchasing this farm from Bükk National Park.
- Supporting by the Ányos Jedlik program we work with more other Hungarian nature protection organizations together on nature-friendly methods of grass management which most useful for nature conservation interests.
- With the help of the PHARE, Central Environmental Fund, the dutch provincie Utrecht and the French Ministry of Environment Protection we built the Visitors’ Center of Kesznyéten Protected Landscape Area which works as agro-environmental farming model by the Hungarian Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development. We have started to build a visitors’ path as well.
- With the support of the Public Support Fund of the Central Environmental Fund we built a first aid veterinary station in Sajóhídvég where wild animals may get shelter and treatment in case of an injury before their repatriation into their original habitat occurs.
- In 2005 we applied the work of the advisors of the Agrarian Informational System on behalf of the Hungarian Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development which helps the agro-environmental work of the north-east Hungarian area.
- We take part in carrying out the tender of LIFE 04/NAT/HU/000109, called “Protection of Great Bustard in Hungary”.
- We participated in the motivation of structural reorganization of agriculture in order to create an optional structure for natural conditions of South-Borsod. As a result of that the Borsodi Mezoség ESA was the most successful ESA program in the country in the first years.
- We rented from the Directory of Environment Protection and Water Management in Norh Hungary (ÉKÖVIZIG) a non-flooded area along the lake of river Tisza, called Kelemenes, where ancient meadow-lands can be found. This place is excellent for modelling expectable future processes in the storage reservoirs of the Vásárhelyi Plan and for used methods of maintenance and farming.