No forest – No future

The Šumava 2003 project started in fact already in December 2002 at the annual FYEG meeting in Gent. The Czech Young Greens presented there their idea and seven other countries decided to join it. Then some countries withdrew but other joined. Thus at the preparation meeting in March 2003 in Prague met representatives of these eight countries – Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Malta, Sweden and the Czech Republic. The meeting was very effective – the date, program, speakers, topics, working groups, location, … everything was agreed within a day. The prepmeeting as well as the summer camp were financed from the Youth Program of the EU. The summer camp “Šumava 2003 No forest, no future” itself took place during the first week of August 2003. 37 young people from the eight mentioned countries participated. We stayed in the middle of beautiful Czech mountains, near German and Austrian border. There were three “info-days” on the program – seminar with an expert in the morning and working groups in the afternoon. Three experts were Czech (including former minister of environment of the Czech Republic), one was German. The topics of the working groups covered most of the aspects related to forests: Education & raising awareness in forest protection, Social aspects of forests, Use of wood – ecological buildings/ renewable energy, Biodiversity in forests, Dealing with threats linked to forests, European and international policies of forest protection. The results of these working groups helped us to formulate and later agree on the “Final declaration”. It contains a number of ideas how to help the forests. The core project is to launch a “Week of the Forest”. An e-mail discussion group is established and is working on the draft proposal of the project. The remaining days were divided between the manual work in the forest and hiking/biking in the mountains. Each national “delegation” had its own evening – presenting both the for-est protection and culture in/ of its country. We played a lot of games, sat around the fire nearly every evening and enjoyed the presence of so many nice people…

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