Biodiversity on the waves of history: Conservation in a changing social and institutional environment in Hungary, a post-soviet EU member state

Barbara Mihók, Marianna Biró, Zsolt Molnár, Eszter Kovács, János Bölöni, T. Erős, T. Standovár, Péter Török, Gábor Csorba, Katalin Margóczi, A. Báldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Changes of the social-political system in the last twenty-five years heavily affected biodiversity conservation in the post-soviet Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. We used a framework to present the effect of the two fundamental social, political and economic changes on the biodiversity and ecosystems of Hungary from 1989 until recently. First, following the democratic transformation in 1989 social, political, economic and institutional drivers led to the increase in farmland biodiversity, improvement of water quality due to less chemical use and decrease of habitat loss within protected areas. At the same time, land privatisation and uncertain ownership led to habitat degradation, abandonment and fragmentation. These changes were coupled with the spread of alien species and re-ploughing. The second change was joining the European Union in 2004. This resulted in the establishment of the Natura 2000 network, the application of the relevant EU policies, and access to conservation related EU funds, which contributed to successful habitat restorations increasing of some charismatic species' populations. Meanwhile, however, disappearance of extensive farming practices, agricultural intensification and infrastructural developments driven by some increasing EU funds led to a net habitat loss, degradation and decline in biodiversity, with more than half of the species of European importance having unfavourable conservation status. Increased support for conservation institutions, adaptive and extended agri-environment schemes and further research and monitoring to establish, refine and supervise sustainable management practices, including water management, are needed to prevent further biodiversity loss in the coming years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-75
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Conservation
Volume211
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2017

Fingerprint

Hungary
biodiversity
history
habitat loss
habitat destruction
extensive farming
infrastructural development
privatization
social change
economics
agricultural intensification
degradation
habitat restoration
politics
Eastern European region
political system
habitat conservation
plowing
conservation status
ownership

Keywords

  • Conservation institutions and governance
  • European Union
  • Farmland
  • Forest
  • Freshwater
  • Grassland
  • Habitat changes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

Biodiversity on the waves of history : Conservation in a changing social and institutional environment in Hungary, a post-soviet EU member state. / Mihók, Barbara; Biró, Marianna; Molnár, Zsolt; Kovács, Eszter; Bölöni, János; Erős, T.; Standovár, T.; Török, Péter; Csorba, Gábor; Margóczi, Katalin; Báldi, A.

In: Biological Conservation, Vol. 211, 01.07.2017, p. 67-75.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mihók, Barbara ; Biró, Marianna ; Molnár, Zsolt ; Kovács, Eszter ; Bölöni, János ; Erős, T. ; Standovár, T. ; Török, Péter ; Csorba, Gábor ; Margóczi, Katalin ; Báldi, A. / Biodiversity on the waves of history : Conservation in a changing social and institutional environment in Hungary, a post-soviet EU member state. In: Biological Conservation. 2017 ; Vol. 211. pp. 67-75.
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