From June 12 to 15, 2023, the 3rd Balkan Rural Parliament was held in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Organized by the Balkan Network for Rural Development, with the support of GIZ (German Society for International Cooperation), the summit gathered around 90 representatives of civil society, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, local food producers, national government organizations and EU institutions.
The Balkan Rural Parliament, in the spirit of rural parliaments throughout Europe, aims to express the voice of rural communities in the region, to promote self-help and action of rural people and to ensure that their needs and interests are reflected in rural development policies.

Established as an informal platform in 2021, the Balkan Seed Network (BSN) seeks to promote the conservation and sustainable utilisation of plant genetic resources in agriculture by fostering multi-sector collaboration within the resilient food system movements in the Balkans. Through these collaborations, the BSN aims to safeguard and promote the region’s abundant biodiversity and shared social, cultural, and agricultural heritage while addressing the diverse needs of local communities.

The BSN is composed of a diverse group of individuals and organisations operating in the Western Balkans, including seed savers, breeders, scientists, farmers, gardeners, research institutes, educational centres, and various associations. Together, these members are committed to working collaboratively towards the movement’s goal of food sovereignty for the collective benefit of farmers and consumers.

Italy is a major producer and exporter of semi-finished and finished wood products. Therefore, activities aimed at increasing the quality and quantity of available wood resources at the national level are of great importance. A central role is played by the research of innovative strategies for poplar cultivation, starting from the identification of more suitable clones for different uses and more sustainable management practices in the face of climate change, up to the insurance management of growing environmental risks, within a coordinated and integrated framework at the national level.
During the day, various topics related to poplar cultivation were discussed, such as interventions on cultivation patterns, possible scenarios for cultivation, response to water stress, and phytosanitary issues of poplar. During the roundtable discussion, various stakeholders had the opportunity to discuss the opportunities for resilient and multifunctional poplar cultivation from the nursery phase to the end of the transformation phase.

On 6 and 7 December 2023 the first National Agroforestry Forum will be held in Rome, at the National Research Council (CNR), piazzale Aldo Moro, 7, organized by AIAF - Italian Agroforestry Association
News during the next months on AIAF site

The topic of the event is the effect of climate change and its importance in our space and everyday life
What are the measurable impacts and changes in watermanagement, soil, pest control, variety use and in urban areas? Which are the social asspects of "climate anxety"? How can we measure the effects and mittigate them?

Date: 27th January 2023, 9 AM - 5 PM (registration starts 8:45
Venue: online (zoom)


Expert workshop „OECMs in Europe - The way forward“
20-24 February, 2023

at the International Academy for Nature Conservation Isle of Vilm, Germany

Dear Sir or Madam,

We cordially invite you to participate in the Expert Workshop “OECMs in Europe – The way forward”.

The German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) and the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) together with the IUCN Regional Office for Europe are hosting a workshop on identifying Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures (OECMs) in Europe. The workshop will be held on Vilm Island (Germany) from 20-24 February 2023.

The workshop is co-funded by the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection and WCPA.


Background of the workshop

OECMs were first mentioned in 2010 in Aichi Target 11, but it was not until 2018 at CBD COP14 that CBD Parties adopted a definition and criteria for OECMs. Subsequently IUCN/WCPA published guidance in 2019 on “Recognising and Reporting OECMs” and the WCPA OECM Specialist Group developed an assessment tool to help determine whether potential areas of important biodiversity meet the criteria of OECMs.

At CBD COP15 in December 2022 Parties agreed to protect at least 30% of terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems by 2030 through effective networks of PAs and OECMs (GBF, Target 3). While there will be opportunities for establishing new protected areas, recognizing and maintaining areas that are already effective in protecting important biodiversity (OECMs) will be critical to achieving the 30% target.

The workshop will consider progress and needs for identifying OECMs in Europe. It will cover existing methodologies and test assessment tools in the context of different land and sea management prevalent across Europe. It is meant to support national authorities and other relevant organisations to make progress in identifying, reporting and supporting OECMs. The workshop will identify challenges and needs, including discussions on how OECMs fit with the European biodiversity strategy and relevant environmental regulations. Participants from the Caucasus and Central Asia are also welome.

Attached please find the preliminary agenda. All participants will be requested to bring case studies of potential OECMs from their regions to review during the workshop exercises.


Please register your participation in the workshop at by 27 January 2023.

Please, note in the comments box whether

• you are a member of WCPA

• you need financial support towards your travel expenses or board and lodging on Vilm or both (for details see below).

We will try to strike a geographical and institutional balance within the limits of our budget. So, please wait for a confirmation of your participation before you purchase tickets.

Costs and financial support

Participants from EU countries (with a few exceptions), the UK, Norway and Switzerland are expected to cover their own expenses. BfN will cover board and lodging on Vilm for participants from Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia as well as the Caucasus and Central Asia. Financial support towards travel costs (for economy class travel costs only) is only available for a limited number of participants from outside the EU. You are kindly asked to indicate your funding needs in the online registration form (in the box “comments”) and we will then let you know in how far funding is available in your case. Following your online registration, we will get back to participants with travel cost coverage needs, confirm what we could cover, and provide you with further information on travel booking and reimbursement. In any case, you would have to pay travel costs yourself and will only be reimbursed after or during the workshop.

Venue and travel information

The workshop will take place at the International Academy for Nature Conservation, Isle of Vilm, of the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN). The workshop language will be English.

The workshop will start in the evening of 20th February, 2023. In order to reach the last train and ferry to Vilm island that day, please look for flights arriving to Berlin airport not later than 12:00 o’clock (noon) on 20th February, 2023. The workshop will end in the evening of 23rd February, and participants will travel by train to Berlin airport or hotels either in the evening of 23rd Febraury or in the morning of 24th February. Therefore, please look for flights leaving Berlin airport either in the morning or after noon of 24th February. Attached you also find general travel information on how to get to Vilm.


In case you need a visa to enter the European Union I would like to ask you to start with visa application immediately after registration and contact Martina Finger at for a personalised invitation letter. She would also assist you if problems arise with the visa applica-tion. Those who require a visa, will also receive an explanatory letter to the German Embassy. Please submit this letter and the invitation to the Embassy in the course of the visa application. The visa should be issued from 19-25 February, 2023, which may be necessary due to the dates of your flights. Please notify the embassy about the fact, that you are exempted of paying a visa fee according to Aufenthaltsverordnung (AufenthV) zum Aufenthaltsgesetz (AufenthG).

Please, do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Best regards,

Gisela Stolpe, BfN

Erika Stanciu, Regional Vice-Chair WCPA Europe

Kathy MacKinnon, Co-Chair WCPA OECM specialist group

Human pressure has severely affected European nature and climate in the past decades and it continues to do so. Science tells us that we need large-scale nature restoration in Europe to reverse biodiversity decline and increase our resilience against floods, droughts and other threats to our daily livelihoods and food security. As part of its Green Deal ambitions, the European Commission has published a proposal for a new European Legislation with binding nature restoration targets for Member States. This can be a real game-changer for nature and climate in Europe and the CEE region, if implemented in a timely and well-considered manner. However, several sectors (e.g. agriculture, forestry) and other actors are strongly opposing the law proposal, which so far resulted in publication delays and risks of weakening targets. As NGOs, we need to join forces, together with citizens and progressive companies, to counter these sectors` narratives and call our European and national decision makers to support an ambitious EU Nature Restoration Law.

During the webinar you will learn more about the ambition, process and improvements needed for the European Nature Restoration Law, why it is important for CEE countries and how we can work together. You are welcome to join us!

As the only one forestry university of Hungary, the Sopron University’s main researchers presented the topics of their institutions and departments, but each national related research centers were presented in the formulation of presentations.
The topics of the presentations:
- Institutes of forestry research
- Forest ecology
- Forest botany
- Forest breeding
- Forest management
- Forest protection
- Forest hydrology
Traditionally, agro-forestry and mixed farming is a transdisciplinary area of forest ecology, breeding, protection and management.

Photo by Rabné Emese, 15. 10. 2021.

Eurosite hosted the event on traditional grazing importance, which is some of the remnants of the "European indigenous knowledge" still exists in the Central-Eastern European region and seems to be the best practice for nature protection to preserve species-rich grassland.

Human activities and biodiversity often don’t go well along. But the species-rich secondary grasslands of Central and Eastern Europe, formed as a side product of low-intensity farming, are an example of the positive impact of human activities on ecosystem biodiversity.
Maintaining them in the face of agricultural and socio-economic change is the primary goal of current grassland conservation.
The webinar, given by three grassland scientists, demonstrated:
- the importance of a deep knowledge of local history and traditions that led to the formation of each particular grassland;
- the risks associated with substituting traditional grassland management practices with their modern analogies;
- the irreplaceable role of domestic animals in grassland conservation.
It highlighted how collaborating with farmers and herders, who still use approaches inspired by their ancestors (based on traditional ecological knowledge), avoids conflict and brings new insights into animal grazing behaviour for better management of species-rich grassland.

On October 5, 2022, the 3rd National Agroforestry Conference "Agroforestry - alternative agricultural production" was held at the Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation in Puławy (IUNG). "Agroforestry - alternative agricultural production," organized by IUNG-PIB and the Polish Agroforestry Association (OSA). The event was held under the patronage of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the European Agroforestry Federation (EURAF). The meeting was organized in a hybrid format, the possibility of active participation was also provided for remote participants. The conference was attended by nearly 100 participants - farmers, advisors, representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, agricultural universities and scientific institutions. Speakers were representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, scientific experts in agroforestry and farmers implementing such systems on their farms. During the meeting, the association's activities and OSA's ongoing projects were also presented: AGROMIX and REFOREST.


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