Prague, May 19, 2021 – Every year, the European Forestry Institute (EFI) holds an annual conference in another country. The CULS Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology in Prague strived to ensure that Prague was chosen for the year 2021 to hold this prestigious conference. It succeeded and thanks to that, yesterday the capital won the title of European Forest City 2021 as part of the online ceremony.
The European Forestry City is a city that has a major contribution to forestry science and education. "I am glad that we can choose Prague, because I see how much the city management is working to improve the environment in the city and to make the general public aware of the importance of forests," said Marc Palahí, director of the European Forestry Institute.
The European Forestry Institute, which organizes this conference, was set up in 1993 in Joensuu, Finland, to strengthen international forestry research and to provide decision-makers with objective information on forests at European level. During its existence, it has become an international organization with 28 member countries and 115 member organizations from 37 countries. "Our faculty has been a part of EFI for a long time and I am very pleased that this year's annual conference is taking place in Prague and our faculty is its main organizer," says Dean of the Faculty of Forestry and Wood CULS in Prague Róbert Marušák.
Forests cover 35% of the Pan-European surface and are one of the most important infrastructures in Europe. Forest biodiversity, the provision of forest products and other services play an important role in maintaining water in the landscape. Forests also play an irreplaceable role in adapting to and mitigating climate change. European forests provide not only wood, but also other aspects that are often forgotten and include health and social benefits. Especially during the covid-19 pandemic, forests were widely used for walking, sports and recreation. The European Forestry Institute wants to raise awareness among the general public and politicians about the importance of European forests - to promote their versatility, importance and social impact. Therefore, since 2014, the annual title "European Forest City Award" has been awarded to those cities where the annual EFI conference is held. In 2020, this city was the city of Bonn. Thanks to the title, the city is expected to include information about forests and other activities related to sustainable forest management in its activities for the general and professional public.
"I really appreciate the award. He confirms that we are on the right track and that we are succeeding in fulfilling our promise – to plant one million trees in eight years. We have already bet 370,000 of them and we are continuing to bet. In the area of ??tree planting and care for the environment, we must remain ambitious and proactive, "says the mayor of the capital. of Prague Zdeněk Hřib. In 2019, Prague made a climate commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 45% by 2030 (compared to 2010) and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The city has also set up a Commission for Sustainable Energy and Climate, which has prepared a comprehensive climate plan for the capital. of Prague by 2030, which was recently approved by the councilors of the capital. This strategy paper outlines 69 concrete measures, projects and opportunities to meet the climate commitment. Prague also supports the European Green Deal.