Accessibility Tools

Support Centre for local forest watchdog groups

Project Promoter: Fundacja Dziedzictwo Przyrodnicze
Proposal: 1st thematic call
Co-financed from the program: 102 479,78 EUR
Partners: Fundacja Las Naturalny
Duration time: 01.10.2021-30.09.2023

The challenges the project addresses relate to the climate crisis and the growing social needs for leisure and recreation in the forest. The State Forests organisation (Lasy Państwowe), which is the largest manager of public forests in Poland, does not hold a dialogue with the society on the changing functions of forests (from production to protection and social functions). Over the past few years, public interest in forests has increased significantly. At present, there are 140 local watchdog initiatives in Poland dealing with forest protection. The main problem is a lack of sufficient substantive support for local forest watchdog groups, which would allow them communicate with the State Forests more effectively. Citizens are not familiar with professional language, do not understand the content of documents containing sector-specific terminology and do not know their laws. As a result, they feel alone, unsupported and treated negatively by officials. In our project, we support 25 local forest watchdog groups, that are provided with expert help in using legal tools in the dialogue with the State Forests, in assessing the quality of forest management and nature protection, in establishing partnerships with local authorities, and in using Geographic Information System (GIS). We help them develop projects on nature protection, analyse Forest Management Plans and propose changes to them. We carry out training, and implement media campaigns (both nationwide and local). The project partner is the Natural Forest Foundation, which has experience in working with social initiatives.