"Szeressük hazánkat, nemzetünket és szakunkat hűséggel,
egyetértéssel és összetartással."
Bedő Albert 1911

Országos Erdészeti Egyesület

Brief history of the association

The Hungarian Forestry Association is one of the oldest and largest NGOs in Hungary. It was founded in 1866. In addition to its successes in forestry policy, it played a major role in establishing and developing forestry-related literature in Hungarian and also in the development of forest sciences. It also supported establishing forestry education. The first special state forestry school (in Ásotthalom, South Hungary) for example was opened with the strong support of OEE.

The recognition of the organization is shown by the fact that in 1886 the association's headquarters were built in Pest close to the Parliament with the financial contribution of the members.

After the First World War, Hungary lost 84% of the country's forests and a huge number of members remained outside of the new borders. The OEE’activity declined significantly due to these facts.

After the Second World War, the majority of forests were taken over by the state, and large state forest companies were formed. An intensive and impressive afforestation program was launched in order to increase the country's forested area. The sector required more and more professionals, and in connection with this, the number of members of the association began to increase again.

After the political changes in 1989, a significant part of forests were privatized consequently the composition of the Association's membership also changed. After joining the European Union (May 2004), the professional management and financial foundations of forestry changed a lot. However, the OEE still continues to play a leading role in the development of forestry and in broadening social relations.

Nowadays, 38 local groups operating in different areas of the country and in Hungarian-inhabited areas beyond the borders are the main scene of association life. In addition to local groups, members can also participate in the work of 22 specialized groups formed on a professional basis (i.e. different topics of forestry like forest protection, sylviculture, exploitation, etc.). The activity of the OEE is also demonstrated by more than 200 events annually.