The region of Hortobágy can make it onto an important international list of quiet places around the world.
Real, natural silence is more and more scarce in our days. Having complete tranquillity is almost impossible. Artificial noises produced by humans can be heard everywhere, even in national parks and at the bottom of the Arctic Sea.
Sokszinuvidek.24.hu highlights the negative effects of noise pollution. It can lead to heart and vascular conditions and most often to mental problems. When it comes to animals, noise pollution has an even worse effect. It can interfere with their ability of orientation, mating rituals, and communication.
That is why it is crucial to preserve those areas where natural silence still exists, where humans and animals can enjoy the relaxing quiet.
“We’re losing the ability to listen to nature without noise pollution,” said sound recordist Matt Mikkelsen to CNN. He is a member of Quiet Parks International, a “non-profit committed to saving quiet for the benefit of all life”. They aim to preserve the last quiet places on this noisy planet.
Making it onto the list is not easy at all. Areas must meet several criteria. One of them is to have a maximum of one human-produced noise every 15 minutes in the given location.
The organisation is currently working on checking 260 different quiet places, divided into categories such as Wilderness Quiet Parks or Urban Quiet Parks.
Hungary is represented by the Hortobágy National Park.
A team travels to the region to collect noise samples and analyse them based on factors like aerial and motorway traffic in the proximity or the existence of an industrial sector.
As of today, only one quiet place belonging to the category of Wilderness Quiet Parks was certified: the area on the shores of the Zabalo River, in the northern part of the Amazonas in Ecuador.
During the coronavirus, mainly due to the restrictions and lockdowns all around the world, the level of noise pollution decreased considerably. Scientists even say that the quantity of noise produced by humans dropped by 50%.
Mikkelsen says that it was wonderful to finally be able to once again hear the world without that much noise pollution. It made people get closer to nature. Since the pandemic, the need to preserve quiet places has become even more evident.
Although the official recognition does not bring any legally enforceable protection, the organisation hopes that the list will at least help these areas gain recognition,
receive interest from international media, which will inevitably boost ecotourism. At the end of this process, maintaining the tranquillity of the places will be in the best interest of the local authorities.
Source: szokszinuvidek.24.hu, CNN, Quiet Parks International