On the 8th of May 2023, Deputy Mayor of Debrecen Ákos Balázs spoke about the launch of the “Let’s plant ten thousand trees in Debrecen!” programme to make the health of Debrecen citizens better. Now, they further improve the protecting forests program.

“At the end of April, the public procurement procedure for the development of protecting forests around this industrial site was completed. We have already started the establishment of protecting forests in Józsa, Pallag, along the Tócó stream and at the Vértessy mansion in 2020. Now, we will start another three-year programme to take it to an even higher level”, the deputy mayor stressed.

As one element of this, the protection forests area of Józsa, Kicsmacs and Nagymacs will be created alongside the Northwest Economic Zone at the cost of more than HUF 800 million. 3,000 trees will be planted, 50,000 shrubs and more than 20,000 square metres of turf will be created. In addition, they are launching the Mikepécs protection forests reserve at the Southern Economic Zone with the planting of 1,000 trees, which will continue along the Tócó at Derék Street and on the western side of the town, around the Vértessy Mansion and Gázvezeték Street, with around 1,500 trees.

“Together with the previous and current afforestation and the Let’s plant ten thousand trees in Debrecen!” programme, we will plant almost three times as many as the promised 10,000 trees, i.e. 28,000 trees,”  Ákos Balázs said. He added that Debrecen’s new environmental policy, announced in 2019, will serve the green transition with green solutions and proactive behaviour, with the main goal of improving the city’s air quality. An important element of this is the afforestation of the city and its surroundings.

The deputy mayor highlighted the importance of protecting the health of the people of Józsa. These protection forests will be located around the BMW factory, along the road and cycle path linking the industrial area to Józsa, parallel to the motorway and alongside the road linking the future main road 35, which will bypass Józsa from the north to the motorway. 

Speaking about the importance of the Civaqua programme, Ákos Balázs pointed out that a green corridor is being developed along the Tócó stream, where in recent years, there have already been forest and woodland renewal projects in Józsa, on Vezér Street and in Tócóvölgy.

The deputy mayor said that forests also play an important role in preserving and enhancing urban biodiversity. At the suggestion of the Green Task Force, the city and the university will set up an environmental monitoring system, of which the university’s biodiversity centre will be a key player. The idea of setting up a monitoring system was first mooted at the launch of the Civaqua programme to monitor biodiversity, but it will also monitor industrial zones. 

“We are protecting the health of the people of Debrecen, as the 28, 000 trees planted in these two programmes will sequester around 5,000 tonnes of CO2 and 1,200 tonnes of dust per year,” he concluded.

Ecologist Csaba Aradi, a member of the Green Task Force, recalled that when the Civaqua programme was launched, the impact of water on the lake and its surroundings was examined, as well as the wider environment. He said that they would like to include biodiversity monitoring in the larger monitoring system, where they can predict long-term trends and extract new and useful information on the quality of the city and its environment. 

László Kövér, a member of the Green Task Force and a fellow at the University of Debrecen, called the event an important milestone for the city’s environmental protection. He recalled that the environmental monitoring system of the city of Debrecen has recently been established in cooperation with the university, with a special focus on biodiversity.

Municipal councillor Erzsébet Katona expressed her satisfaction that the air quality of the settlements of Kismacs and Nagymacs, surrounded by arable land, and thus the quality of life of the inhabitants, would improve thanks to the protective forests, which bind a significant amount of particulate matter. She stressed that tree planting is ongoing in the district and that the growth of saplings will be ensured by irrigation. She noted that there are 1,000 inhabitants in Nagymacs and 400 in Kismacs, the latter of which is already accessible by bicycle from the city centre.

Source and photo credit: debrecen.hu

Author: Debrecen4U