The participants included: J. Spörk (Austria), M. Metaj, Lj. Shehu (Albania), V. Ivkovich (Belarus), J. Skov, Th. Harttung (Denmark), M. Bruciamacchie, B. de Turckheim, C. de Turckheim (France), H. Wobst, M. Koller, F. Günther, D. Perner (Germany), M. Seville, R. Pakenham (Great Britain), B. Varga, M. Sodor, L. Nagy, L. Pallagi (Hungary), J. Alexander, D. O’Hare (Ireland), M. Stroppa, A. Wolynski (Italia), J. Carvalho (Portugal), F. Borlea (Romania), D. Mlinšek (Slovenia), J. Garicetalaya (Spain), J. Ph. Schütz, M. W. Pleines (Switzerland), M. Letocart, M. Auquier, M. Vandriessche (Wallonie), S. Matic, I. Anic, J. Dundovic, H. Jakovac, J. Gracan, H. Sušnik, M. Oršanic, R. Abramovic, D. Delac, V. Ivancic, Z. Kastner, S. Ivezic, M. Kovacev, D. Hace, Z. List, G. Gugic (Croatia).
An official session of the Board of Directors of the association was held on the first day. The representatives of Pro Silva Croatia also attended the session. In a multi-hour discussion, it was analysed how the principles of the association were applied to forest management on the examples of individual European countries. Future activities of the association were suggested.
As the session was an election one, the final report was submitted by Thomas Harttung, President of Pro Silva Europa and Brice de Turckheim, Secretary. At the same time, at the session in Zagreb, Prof. Dr. Sc. Jean-Phillipe Schütz was elected the new president of the Pro Silva Europa Association in the next term with Brice de Turckheim as treasurer.
A session of the Governing Board of the Pro Silva International Association was held in Zagreb from 1 to 5 June 2005. The Association brings together forestry scientists, practitioners, forest owners and other interested forestry experts who promote forest management according to natural principles.
Pro Silva was founded in Slovenia in 1989. Let us mention that representatives from Croatia also attended the ceremony at the founding meeting: prof. Branimir Prpic, prof. Slavko Matic and Željko Kramaric.
Today, the Pro Silva Association has branches in most European countries. Pro Silva Croatia operates in the Republic of Croatia as a special section of the Croatian Forestry Society.
The Pro Silva Association promotes the natural approach to forest management. This means that it advocates sustainable forest management, namely multipurpose progressive permanent management, adaptation of forest management procedures to the natural development of the forest, natural rejuvenation, preservation of the stability and productivity of the stand and management goals that equally encompass the economic and public benefit of the forest. Pro Silva emphasizes two principles: an approach to the forest as an ecosystem and intensive management that includes caring for each tree.
The fact is that the principles of Pro Silva are identical to the approach of the classical school of silviculture, better known in our country as the Zagreb School of Silviculture. Therefore, it was a challenge for the Board of Directors of the Pro Silva Association, which consists of the presidency of Pro Silva Europa and the presidents of the national sections of the association, to organize a meeting under the motto "Forests and Forestry of Croatia - Pro Silva Croatia for Pro Silva Europa".
Representatives of Pro Silva arrived for the meeting in Croatia from the following European countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Croatia, Ireland, Italy, Serbia and Montenegro, Hungary, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Thematic excursions were organized in the field, the aim of which was to present the main ways of forest management in Croatia. Regarding the discussed issues, excursions can be classified into the following groups:
The headquarter of the meeting was the International Hotel in the downtown area of the city of Zagreb. There on 1st June 2005 the Pro Silva Council took place.
Thursday, 2nd June 2005: Visit to the Educational-experimental site of the Faculty of Forestry in Zalesina.
In the afternoon a bus ride was made to Golubinjak Park Forest near Delnice, where at the localities in the Delnice Forest Administration an excursion took place:
After accommodation in Delnice (the Risnjak Hotel and the Lovacki Dom Hotel) and dinner on
Friday, 3rd June 2005: there was a bus travel to the area of the Bjelovar Forest Administration – Pisanica Forest Office with an excursion in localities in the area of the Pisanica Forest Office.
After lunch in the hunting lodge the afternoon programme in the area had some other topics
A visit to the Koprivnica Forest Administration – Djurdjevac Forest Office.
After the excursion, the bus trip lead back to Zagreb with accommodation at the International Hotel.
Saturday, 4th June 2005: The excursion tour lead to Lipovljani with a visit to Zagreb Forest Administration – Lipovljani Forest Office and the Educational-experimental site of the Faculty of Forestry.
After lunch at the site of the Faculty of Forestry the final excursion visited a locality in the area of Lonjsko polje.
After return to the International Hotel in Zagreb, on Sunday 5th one extra option was offered for sightseeing in Zagreb City with its wonderful old centre near the cathedral.
The excursions were organized on the premises of the training and forest research centres of the Faculty of Forestry, University of Zagreb in Zalesina and in Lipovljani, forest offices of Ravna Gora, Lokve, Velika Pisanica, Durdevac, Lipovljani, and Lonjsko polje Nature Park.
The members of the Board of Directors of the association praised the forests and forestry of Croatia. It was pointed out that in Croatia forests were managed in accordance with the principles of the classical school of silviculture. Professor Jean-Phillipe Schütz, President of Pro Silva Europa and until recently Professor of Forestry in Zurich, said after visiting the selective forests in Gorski Kotar and the beech forests in Bilogora, that “there is a unique relationship between forests and foresters in Croatia, which can clearly be surmised from their appearance and management methods".
Prof. Dr. Sc. Josef Spörk, president of Pro Silva Austria and until recently professor of forestry in Vienna, concluded after visiting lowland forests: "Hundreds of hectares of paradise!" All the participants of the excursion agreed with the assessment of the representatives of Hungary that black alder stands in Podravina were "absolutely the most beautiful and cannot be seen anywhere else".
It was also concluded that the Pro Silva Europe Association was prepared to sponsor the demining of the Prašnik forest. The next session and excursion will be held in Namur, Belgium.
Assist. Prof. Igor Anic, Ph.D., Department of Silviculture, Faculty of Forestry, University of Zagreb