According to Péter Zambo, environmental education and putting our relationship with nature on a realistic basis is more important than ever. In practice, the forestry forest schools introduce children and young people to the approach of sustainable management, which is the basis of the management of our forests.
That is why the Ministry of Agriculture is committed to the support and implementation of forest school programs – stated the state secretary, noting that in the past decade, the teaching and accommodation spaces of forest schools have been renewed across the country at a cost of several billion forints, and the equipment system of forest schools has been expanded. At the University of Sopron, special training in forestry pedagogy ensures the appropriate supply of specialists.
Péter Zambó said that Pilisi Parkerdő Zrt. launched a world-first initiative 35 years ago, when it founded the country’s first forest school on Mogyoró Mountain in Visegrád. Nowadays, there are already 36 certified forestry forestry schools, where the basic requirement is that the practical specialists working in sustainable forest management participate in the educational work in the same way as the qualified teachers.
Many state and civil organizations take a role in the forest school movement in Hungary. The state forestry companies and the national park directorates operate a total of more than fifty forestry schools, which are the highest-level institutions for environmental education in the country. The activity of the National Forestry Association is outstanding, where since 1996 the development of forest school work has been taking place within an organized framework.
The state secretary also spoke about the fact that, in addition to the development of the institutional infrastructure, the use of forest school methodological foundations in other areas of attitude formation has become common over the past 35 years. Many educational programs build on training modules developed and tested in forest schools. Examples include the Forest Wandering Camp program or the Forest Magic Family Day event, but we can also mention the Muzikál az Erdő event series or the October Forest Week.