Exploring opportunities for sustainable wild plant use in Slovenia
The second training workshop on the sustainable use of wild plants in and around protected areas took place in the Triglav National Park Info Centre in Stara Fužina, Bohinj, Slovenia on June 8th, 2018.
Around fifteen participants (authorities from Triglav National Park, the Slovenian Forest service, the Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry of Slovenia and experts from research institutions) joined the workshop, organised jointly by the Regional Development Agency Gorenjska, BSC Kranj, Triglav National Park and TRAFFIC/WWF HU.
One of the issues Triglav National Park is trying to tackle is the massive pressure that the big number of tourists, locals and some unregistered professional collectors put on the wild populations of mushrooms and wild berries (especially blueberries). This workshop was a follow-up on last year’s capacity building workshop, where participants agreed that it would be helpful if the pilot could analyse if and how FairWild principles and criteria may be integrated into the management plan of the park or serve as benchmark criteria for the Triglav National Park quality brand.
The FairWild Standard is an internationally-recognised sustainability best practice guide, which was developed by a number of organisations including WWF and TRAFFIC, to verify the sustainable and equitable trade in wild plants, fungi and lichen. It serves as a reference tool for all wild plant activities implemented within LENA. For this training event it was translated into Slovenian and printed.
In the morning session Kirsten Palme WWF HU/TRAFFIC introduced and explained the social and ecological principles of FairWild, with a particular focus on topics relevant to the pilot area.
This was followed by a presentation of the Triglav National Park quality brand and the park’s point of view on measures for the sustainable management of the park, including economic aspects and nature protection by Andrej Arih, Triglav National Park.
In the afternoon, an expert on aromatic and medicinal plants Janko Rode, also working for the Slovenian Agricultural Chamber of Commerce, provided additional context by explaining the legal framework of wild collection and the different possibilities for beneficial sustainable plant use opportunities in Slovenia.
The presentations were followed by lively discussions between the stakeholders on the topics presented, but also went beyond, thinking about different additional approaches to address recreational overcollection and disturbance in core protected zones.
Two more sustainable wild plant use training workshops will follow at the pilot sites in Bulgaria and Serbia during the next summer months.
Check out the gallery of the event here!
Project LENA — Local Economy and Nature Conservation in the Danube Region — is co-funded by the European Union funds (ERDF, IPA) and implemented through the Danube Transnational Program, with the support of the European Regional Development Fund, co-financed by the European Union and the Hungarian State.