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Govʼt passes bill on national parkland management rights

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The Hungarian government approved a bill today, with 110 voting in favor and 57 voting against, under which the management rights of Hungary’s national parkland would be transferred to the National Land Management Agency (NFA).

Hungarian online dailies origo.hu and index.hu noted that the bill was turned down two weeks ago through a vote in Parliament, hence lawmakers eliminated all the aspects of the bill that would have required the supermajority the ruling Fidesz party lost in an earlier by-election.

Associations for environmental protection and opposition parties are against the measure as they believe the national parks’ managing bodies will be unable to control the parks and protected areas would be jeopardized as a result.

Opposition MP Benedek R. Sallai (LMP) said earlier that the latest development is at odds with European Union norms in which the ratio of protected national parkland is increasing in the EU while it is decreasing in Hungary. Sallai referred to Hortobágy National Park in his argument saying that, of the parkʼs 60,000 hectares, only 1,000 hectares will remain under the park’s management, areas in which EU-funded nature conservation developments are currently underway.

According to WWF Hungary and other Hungarian associations, the measure is against the Hungarian constitution because it violates the responsible and sustainable usage of natural resources, and therefore violates the right of Hungarians for a healthy environment.

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