“Somogy” Provincial Association for Nature Conservation (Somogy PANC) was founded in 1980. In the beginning it was pursuing classic nature conservation activities. It was successfully brought into being through the acquisition and nature-friendly management of the lands that were of key conservation importance in the Somogy region of Hungary and the establishment of sustainable livelihood projects.
The primary aims of Somogy PANC were conservation of nature in a strict sense, and more specifically the protection of some species such as the European otter and the white-tailed eagle. This basic goal protection could not be achieved if only the species themselves and not also the habitats were protected. We realized that the protection of habitats can only be achieved if they are protected not just as separate “mosaics,” but as a whole chain of habitats. Thus, SPANC has undertaken the sustainable development of the whole region. The area now encompasses thousands of hectares extending from south of Lake Balaton to the River Drava.
SPANC has become a complex programme involving sustainable development, land acquisition and preservation, habitat management and protection, preservation of historic buildings and traditions, running an education center and visitors’ center, and providing for eco-tourism in the region.