Our project “For everyone saved a tree (FOREST)” started with International opening seminar in Nis on 04.10.2019. Host organization was our Serbian project partner NIIT Society Innovation Center. The purpose of the event was to introduce young people from the target municipalities Nis and Botevgrad with the current problems of the forests in the cross-border region and to motivate them to take an active part in their protection and sustainable use.
The seminar brought together 120 participants, including more than 50 young people from Bulgaria and Serbia and many representatives of different interested institutions from both countries – environmental and youth NGOs, schools, universities, scientific and research institutes, public authorities, forestry state departments and other stakeholders. Different kind of media were present as well.
The seminar was open personally by the Bulgarian Consul in Nis, Prof. Edwin Sugarev. Representative of the Ecology Department in the Municipality of Nis also welcomed the participants.
The seminar panels were lead by 10 key speakers (equal number Bulgarians and Serbians) – 2 youth workers, 2 foresters, 2 ecologists, 2 entomologists, 2 phytopathologists. They told about topical forest prevention and conservation issues in the both countries and the link between youth, nature protection and management and science. It was pointed out that the problems in the forests are very similar in the both countries – climate change, drying, fires, dying by extremal snow and wind, forest diseases and pests, illegal logging and others. All participants agreed that these problems can be overcome only if each individual and society as a whole are aware of the importance of forests and cares for their protection. The young people have a special role in this process. Because of their energy and enthusiasm they can and should be driving force for development of a green culture among the population. To this end, they must be supported and encouraged by all stakeholders – forest science, forestry practice, responsible authorities, green NGOs, and others.
During the lunch break discussions between experts and youngsters took place. Feedback and ideas that the experts and organizers received from the participants in the seminar (especially from the youngsters) will be implement into the next project activities.
The good mood of the participants was taken care of by two musicians who performed Bulgarian and Serbian songs.
After the seminar, the Bulgarian participants had a short sightseeing tour in Nis. This was a very good opportunity for cultural learning of the youngsters.
The project is co-funded by EU through the Interreg-IPA CBC Bulgaria–Serbia Programme.
This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union through the Interreg-IPA CBC Bulgaria-Serbia Programme, CCI No 2014TC16I5CB007. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of FRI – BAS and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union or the Managing Authority of the Programme.