The 8th Session of the Meeting of the Parties (MOP8) to the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) will take place on 26-30 September 2022 in Budapest, Hungary.
Hunting is a vital part of nature conservation
According to Zsolt Semjén, Hungarian hunting culture, which became fully-fledged in the Carpathian Basin, represents the highest level of excellence. He cited as examples its environmental, economic and social benefits, as well as the decreasing of surplus game populations and the income generated by hunting tourism.
He highlighted the fact that 70 thousand people hunt and 700 thousand go fishing in Hungary alone. 1.6 million people attended Hungary’s largest event of the 21st century so far, the “One with Nature” World of Hunting and Nature Exhibition, and its linked programs. “This is almost twice as many people as took part in the opposition’s pre-election”, he pointed out. He also rejected the fact that a “downtown opinion bubble” stigmatised the series of events in advance as uninteresting, and then couldn’t understand why it was so popular.
Government Commissioner for the “One with Nature” World of Hunting and Nature Exhibition Zoltán Kovács said the report on the event will be published within a few weeks, and the organisers are continuing their work by sharing their experiences and preparing more events.
Mr. Kovács also called for the compiling of content that can be utilised in schools as textbooks in the curriculum, in addition to proposing the expansion of the FeHoVa Expo to attract even more visitors to the HUNGEXPO exhibition centre by giving space to spectacular new elements and displays.
At the opening ceremony, the Minister of Agriculture said the cooperation developed with anglers and hunters was effective, calling their activities valuable from a social and economic perspective alike, and declaring that their traditions are worth preserving. István Nagy emphasised that hunters never kill needlessly, and they care for and nurture the game population, while anglers play a vital role in protecting natural waters, and in improving the quality of water and the waterside environment.
According to the President of the Hungarian National Anglers’ Association (MOHOSZ), without the intervention of the government a major part of natural waters would now be under private ownership, and anglers could do nothing in the interests of protecting them. Lajos Szűcs added that as the country’s largest non-governmental organisation, MOHOSZ performs a host of public duties, and said that the establishment of strategic cooperation between hunters and anglers in the interests of nature conservation was absolutely necessary.
According to the Vice-President of the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC), Hungary can regard itself as lucky with respect to the fact that its leaders also represent the interests of hunters and anglers, since this isn’t at all the norm in the wider world. Philipp Harmer also spoke with appreciation about last year’s OWN Expo, stressing that by contributing to nature conservation, hunting is serving the social interest. “Accordingly, hunters must strive to ensure that their activities are accepted by the pubic”, he added.
With relation to the importance of the event, the CEO of HUNGEXPO Zrt. highlighted the fact that even in an age of virtual solutions, nothing can replace personal encounters. Gábor Ganczer recalled that the previous FeHoVa expo was one of the first of the major events held in the autumn of 2021, and is now ranked as the largest hunting-related event in Europe.
“As a forum created for nature conservation and hunting, the “One with Nature” Expo achieved internationally significant results, and accordingly the work we have begun is worth continuing from a professional perspective, but also from a social, foreign policy and national image perspective alike”, Mr. Kovács emphasised in Riga.