FOREST RESEARCH INSTITUTE – BULGARIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
It is our pleasure to invite you on 19 March 2021 at 10:00 in the conference hall of the Best Western Premier Hotel Sofia Airport at a conference for the completion of the project ‘For everyone saved a tree (FOREST)’, co-financed by the European Union through the Cross-border Cooperation Program Interreg-IPA Bulgaria-Serbia 2014-2020.
A unique exhibitions were presented on 10 and 17 February 2021 and 9 March 2021 in the cities of Botevgrad, Etropole and Pravets. Over 150 plant species of woody, shrubby and herbaceous plants collected and prepared personally by the young people participating in the project ‘For everyone saved a tree’ (FOREST) decorated the halls of local schools and community centers for a week. Scientists-experts in botany, genetics and dendrologists guided the work of the young people and in parallel with their help with the preparation of herbariums, they presented to the children the silvicultural, medicinal and honey benefits and conservation significance of the plants. In addition to the knowledge in recognizing the species, the young people also gained basic experience of plant biodiversity in the forests of the cross-border region.
Among the most important and interesting activities carried out under the youth project “For everyone saved a tree” (FOREST) from the Bulgarian-Serbian cooperation program is the training in forest protection conducted in the forests of Etropolska Stara Planina in the period 16-18 November 2020. Project participants were familiar with the most current and innovative methods for identifying insect pests and fungal pathogens in forest ecosystems, their impact on forest vegetation and methods for their control. The Forest Research Institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (project partner), with the assistance of the Center for Natural and Social Research, attracts experts from various scientific specialties involved in the main tasks of youth education.
A new interesting activity related to the conservation of biodiversity and forest habitats gathered the young people from the FOREST project. On 23-25.10.2020 they visited two fabulously beautiful places – the Nature Park ‘Pastures of Haeven’, close to Osikovitsa village and the beech forests around the Etropole Monastery, to get acquainted with a number of valuable plant species and to help restore their populations. With the help of experts, scientists and lecturers in botany, genetics and forestry, the young people gained important knowledge about the main national and European regulations related to the conservation status of plants and their useful functions and properties (environmental, forestry, medicinal, honey, etc.). Participants in the FOREST project learned what are the methods for preserving genetic diversity such as (ex situ, in situ, etc.). In the field, under the guidance of experts, they identified 10 of the most valuable plant species and managed to increase the populations of 7 of them by more than 300%, using planting material from other localities of these species in which their numbers are higher. In parallel with the planting of the bulbs and rhizomes, the young people identified potential risks and threats to the populations of the species, marked the locations of the populations with plates and took their coordinates, and subsequently prepared maps of the valuable species in the region of Etropole Monastery and ‘Pastures of Haeven’. Below we present a list of valuable plants for the protection of which the young people from FOREST helped: ‘Pastures of heaven’, Osikovitsa village: