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Agriculture minister: Environment protection investments at record high in 2023

Environment protection investments in 2023 reached a 13-year high, Istvan Nagy, the agriculture minister, said in a statement on Friday.

Hungary’s 10 national parks have implemented developments worth a total of 90 billion forints (EUR 235.2m), improving the condition of over 300,000 hectares of natural habitat, a ministry statement cited Nagy as saying.

While over one-third of Hungary’s territory has been preserved in its “near-natural state”, those areas are fragmented and need constant intervention, Nagy said. Their maintenance is the responsibility of the country’s ten national parks, aided by government operative programmes such as the KEHOP scheme, Nagy said.

He said the operative programmes mostly focused on recultivating land and wetlands.

Such schemes also contributed to developing infrastructure and tourism: half of the 700 eco-tourism centres in Hungary are in the hands of the national parks, he said. Visitor numbers have doubled in the past 13 years, to over 1.6 million people, he added.

In December 2022, the European Commission approved the KEHOP Plus programme, allocating 42 billion forints to upgrade 100,000 hectares of natural habitats, he said.

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