Caretakers of Natural Forests

Call for proposals: Medium and large projects
Project duration: 1 Oct 2020–30 Sept 2022
Project budget: 107,550 EUR (152,550 EUR including donations for the purchase of forest land)

This project is a response to the deteriorating nature of our natural forests in recent years due to increasingly intensive management. Monetary incentives for forest management have spurred logging in forests that have previously been left alone for many decades and consequently have a great diversity of wildlife. The area of existing forest reserves is too small to maintain this diversity. Birds, for example, are negatively affected by agitation caused by increased recreation and photography in nature. Since nature preservation is one of the main foundations of our healthy living environment, we are all losing out when our natural forests, the largest and most important ecosystem in Slovenia, deteriorate.

That is why the project is set up in a way that allows for contributions to new solutions. As part of the awareness campaign the guardians will acquaint people with the sad facts about the state of Slovenian forests and the importance of forests that are not managed but rather left to their natural processes. People will be able to cast a vote of support for the conservation of natural forests online and on social networks; contribute to the purchase of forest land through an online platform; participate in forest excursions or simply spread the word. The funds raised will be used by DOPPS to purchase at least 10 hectares of targeted forest areas, which will be exempted from forest management in the long term and intended to provide conditions for the survival of endangered forest bird species such as white-backed woodpecker and capercaillie. Those more skilled in bird watching will be invited to participate in the guardian network monitoring capercaillie, golden eagle and peregrine falcon species. They will monitor the condition of habitats and nests of these species and provide adequate protection in case of their endangerment.

Forest guardians will also work extensively with the responsible state authorities and experts to improve the protection of birds in natural forests. They will seek solutions to improve inappropriate forestry policy measures and modernize legislation to prevent the disturbance of endangered species. They will also get involved in the renewal of forest management plans. Based on the research, they will propose the declaration of at least three new forest reserves, which are important for the improvement of the existing network of reserves.

Contact person: Tilen Basle
Foto: Tomaž Mihelič

Project promoter: DOPPS – BirdLife Slovenia

Project partner from donor countries: Norwegian Ornithological Society (NOF)
Foto: Tomaž Mihelič