Šumava 2003 – Final declaration

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We, the participants of the summer camp “ŠUMAVA 2003 – No forest, no future”, spent a week in the beautiful Czech mountains discussing the ways to help forests, working in the forests and hiking in the mountains. We were 37 people from 8 countries – Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Malta, Sweden and the Czech Republic.

After discussing the problems we agreed on the following methods to help forests:

Firstly, it was agreed to hold an annual Week of the Forest.

The framework is as follows:

  • Begin in April 2004
  • European, later international
  • FYEG – co-ordination
  • Slogan: “No Forest – No Future”
  • Use communication channels such as the media, networking, etc.

Methods to be used:

  • Planting a tree of life for babies born, life-long forest education, understanding of mutual connections between the trees and ecosystems, peoples well-being, learning about sustainability etc.
  • Motivating NGOs and other institutions to organize events about the forests providing a network of forest-oriented organisations
  • Promoting the concept, “Adopt a tree”
  • Raising awareness about the dangers of fires
  • Renewable energy plant to be built by young people
  • The promotion of the “Tree for travel” program
  • Promoting the use of labels (e.g. FSC) and increasing public awareness. Promoting products made from certified wood
  • Promotion of energy from biomass
  • Promotion of natural mixed forest of indigenous and endemic species
  • Promotion of national parks and protected landscape areas
  • Promotion of research and monitoring of forests

Secondly, it was agreed to promote the following activities throughout the year:

  • Forestry management – to improve its co-operation with NGOs, other institutions and the public
  • Maintaining the traditions and local cultures which help to protect the forest
  • Forests should be accessible for the public with the exception of forest areas that need extra protection
  • Limitation of individual motorised transport and promotion of public transport to forests
  • Promotion of eco-friendly tourism, e.g. biking, hiking, horse-back riding trails
  • Information centres to be created aimed at educating parents and children about forests- organising family trips
  • Summer work for students to help in forests
  • Biodiversity – tackle commercial and sport hunting, control of game population in problematic areas, invasive species, mass tourism, etc.
  • Not to allow commercial forestry activities in protected areas
  • Ecological buildings – planting appropriate tree species to build them, as well as making it advantageous for companies to plant these trees instead of buying them from the developing countries
  • To tackle the fragmentation of forests
  • Μunicipal / regional territorial plans
  • EU legislation – to ban clear cutting – exceptions when endangered and for certain species
  • EU legislation -to ban monoculture – exceptions for biomass energy and housing
  • Labels (e.g. FSC) – not to allow the importation of wood without a label, also as a measure to prevent illegal cutting. Also put pressure on governments and commercial entities
  • Wind-up clock radios to be placed in areas of rain forests – aimed at raising awareness among locals to prevent further clear cutting
  • Use and not abuse the unique experience and knowledge of nature, that the people living in the rain forests possess

Thirdly, several ways to help the forest in Šumava National Park were agreed:

  • Daily monitoring of the areas affected by the bark beetle, and if necessary the taking of appropriate measures (and if cut, debark and leave in the forest)
  • Introduce indigineous species to achieve a mixed forest
  • Protect small trees from the animals (deer, etc.)

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