Göncöl Foundation Member of IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature


The Göncöl Foundation is a Hungarian conservation, environmental and cultural organisation, seated in the Göncöl House in Vác, Hungary. Started as a science youth group in 1973, it has been founded in 1989 in its present form. It is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organisation independent of any political or commercial interest, registered as high public utility non-governmental organisation in Hungary and Central & Eastern Europe. It is the core of a structured, autonomous not-for-profit Alliance of legal bodies, individuals, NGOs, volunteers and experts engaged in environmental, cultural and social programs.

Mission and Objectives

It was founded in order to fulfil its common mission shared with the Göncöl Alliance to preserve and engender nature, social and human values, and to advance transforming societies into more sustainable ones as those are now, and based on co-operation of small, human sized communities. It declares the primacy of common weal; does and facilitates public utility activities; and values complexity and diversity by nature. Provides services in science, education and dissemination, on the fields of conservation, environment and culture for all sectors of the society, assists cross-sector co-operation and networking.


The right of the founders is experienced by the Board of the Göncöl Alliance who appoints the Board of Trusties and the Board of Auditors of the Foundation. The Foundation has five workgroups: Main Office, Community Learning Group, Regional Studies Institute, Editorial and Publishing Office and Kilátó Gallery. Its management comprises of the heads of the workgroups. The Foundation is co-founder and/or member of several other non-profit organisations. Main activities are being done in Hungary, in Central and Eastern Europe and internationally as member of IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature. A priority is given for local and regional activities in north-central Hungary including Budapest and its agglomeration. The Foundation is winner of the Hungarian Pro Natura Price (1993).

MAIN OFFICE - Vác, 3 Ilona street, Göncöl House (national monument)

It is the central managerial, administrative, legal, financial and technical office of the Foundation. Its activities includes monument protection, fund raising and project management further. The Main Office provides space for offices and programs, technical assistance and clearinghouse support for the member organisations of Göncöl Alliance and for others, hosting the Hungarian National Committee of IUCN, etc.


Principles: inquiry teaching, procreative and field activities, personal caring and responsibilities, community learning. Facilities: in the Göncöl House Geological Museum and Exhibition, Conservation and Environment Public Library, community rooms and offices, and Renewable Energy Point (under development); in the vicinity Boardwalk in the Flooded Forest, in the garden BBB Tourism facilities (boat house, bicycle workshop and boot nature camp stuff). The Composting Yard and the Herbal Garden for education are under restoration. Field Education Centre: in Bakony Mountains, two buildings, forest school, biogarden and nature trails owned together with Pangea Association and managed by Pangea. Programs: are lecturing in Apor V. Catholic College (elementary school teachers education), field and indoor education programs, curriculum related and extra curricular activities, programs for disabled, international green days, voluntary fieldworks, Public Helpdesk, Open Museum Evenings and other events. Staff: 4 persons in Göncöl, 4 persons in Pangea. Visitors & guests: about 60 thousand / year.


Studies: Field research and integral spatial planning; making protection, management and development plans, preparing and supporting decision making, interpretations, negotiations. Basis: Recent field inventories & databases, stakeholder participation & conflict management. Main accomplishments: Field Inventories & Proposal for establishing Danube-Ipoly National Park, Reconciliation Committee of the Law of Environment, Sustainable Land-use Planning of the Main Drinking-water Reserves of Budapest, studies on riparian eco-systems, quarries reconstruction, Danube navigation, local & regional environmental & development plans, etc. Present works: on Danube participating in WB Black-see Nutrient Reduction and EU Improving Danube Navigation projects; on forests CO2 reduction & afforestation, gallery forests; on genetic resources conservation Nagymaros chestnut and Hungarian Giant rabbit. Strategic partner: St. Stephen University Gödöllő, Environmental and Conservation Institute.

EDITORIAL & PUBLISHING OFFICE - Budapest, 67 Váci street

Publishing two, bimonthly, nationally distributed, full colour, 52 pages magazines on nature the Süni magazine and the Vadon magazine with a total of 10.000 copies per each issue. Süni (English: hedgehog) primarily for kids and teenagers, established by Göncöl in 1986, and Vadon (English: wildlife) for adults, established by the Budapest Zoological and Botanical Gardens in 1898. Further regular periodicals, books, newsletters and booklets are published. Movements: "Live just like a forest and the forest will survive", which is promoting responsible lifestyles and environmentally-sane practices, and the Süni National Students Science Competition which is evaluating motivations & competences of participating groups. Co-owner: Budapest Zoological & Botanical Gardens. Strategic partner: ÖKO-Pannon Ltd. Staff: 7 persons. Sold: 100.000 copies/year, References: media coverage, scientific citations.

KILÁTÓ GALLERY - Budapest, Margaret Island, Water tower (national monument)

The tower is rented by Göncöl since 1984, run as a gallery for contemporary art exhibitions and events. Main achievements of more than quarter of century long activities are more than 100 exhibitions, more than 500 exhibitors and more than 1 million visitors, management and partial restoration of the water tower which is a national monument in the heart of Budapest. Presenting: temporary art exhibitions, collection on History of Margaret Island, look-out site and Information Point of Hungarian National Parks. (kilátó in English means look-out) Big events: May 1st, International Day of Children, events for public sports and big-families. Open: Summer. Staff: 1 permanent + 2 seasonal, Visitors: about 20.000 / year, free for kids.


Besides Göncöl Alliance and its members where the Foundation offers broad scale assistance the main interest in the divers projects comes from private visitors and public institutions concerned with environmental issues. The Foundation co-founder and/or member of several national groups and networks on environmental education, air pollution, waste management and transport. It is member of IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature, hosting its National Committee and European Chair of Commission on Education & Communication. Key partners are: the City of Vác (where seated), Apor Catholic College, Hungarian Natural History Museum, St. Stephen University, Budapest Zoological & Botanical Gardens, ÖKO-Pannon Ltd., Ipoly-Erdő State Forestry Ltd. Co. and Budapest Capitol City. The Foundation is co-operating with several local, regional and state offices / authorities.

Göncöl Foundation 3 Ilona street, Vác, 2600 Hungary, ph + 36 20 772-7970, www.goncol.hu, goncol@goncol.hu