‘He that plants trees loves others beside himself’ - Dr Thomas Fuller, British physician (1654-1734). In Romania, the land area occupied by forests and other forest vegetation is 6,391 million ha, representing 26.80% of the country area, which is 0.28 ha of forest per capita, compared to the European average of 0.32 ha per capita. The negative effects of deforestation have already been manifested through soil erosion, more frequent and dangerous floods, landslides, changes in water flows, desertification, etc. Many species of plants and animals are suffering from habitat destruction and climate conditions, because of forest area reduction.
The forest area of Arad county is 210,662 ha (27% of the county area), of which about 126,940 ha are owned by the Romanian State, while the rest is private property. Average forest area per capita in the county is aprox. 26 m², which is a big cause for concern. To address the issue, the Arad County Council (ACC) launched the project ‘Green in Arad’ – Verde in Arad, based on the principle ‘More forest for more life’. ACC established a coordinating working group, consisting of representatives of the partners: Arad Forestry District, Regional Environmental Protection Agency, forest profile high schools principals, ASA Ecological Services Company and the National Roads Company, local broadcasting TV station. For the plantation period of spring and autumn in 2008, 2009 and 2010 joint action plans were elaborated, including the identification of land areas meant for afforestation, the necessary number of participants, the acquisition of the required working tools, as well as, the spawns, the preparation of advertising materials and communication protocols with local and regional media. A collaboration protocol, between ACC and the environmental high schools, was signed for the participation of about 50 students daily during the plantation period in spring and autumn of 2008, 2009 and 2010 for the activities of sanitation and afforestation. A cooperation protocol between ACC and ASA Ecological Services Company and the National Roads Company was also signed for the sponsorship of advertising materials meant to improve people’s awareness.
A total of 1025 participants (students, volunteers – individuals and employees from the partner organisations) were involved in the afforestation and forest sanitation activities between 2008-2010. For two days ACC provided a planting group of 40 volunteers from Spain, Estonia, Czech Republic, Poland, Finland and Hungary. After planting, each lot was taken care of by those who planted it; 95% of the planted spawns have reached the stage of vegetation. The health condition of each new forest was monitored by local experts from Arad Forestry District. The project succeeded in restoring 15 ha of forest during 2008-2010, with great benefits for the inhabitants of the county. Costs would have reached about 520,000, if labour and planting material had been purchased. Yet ACC managed to maintain a low cost for the afforestation – about €1200 spent over three years for the whole campaign, with great benefits to the quality of life of the county inhabitants: the equivalent of 270 million cubic meters of air has been restored.
|Award category:||going green|
|Sector:||Public administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reform|
|Type of activity:|
|Keywords:||Environment, forest, life, afforestation, quality of life, education, volunteering|
|Short English description:||Yet ACC managed to maintain a low cost for the afforestation – about €1200 spent over three years for the whole campaign, with great benefits to the quality of life of the county inhabitants: the equivalent of 270 million cubic meters of air has been restored.|
|Organisation:||Arad County Council|
|Level of government:||local level|
|Size of organisation:||>100|
|Number of people involved:||1-5|
|EU membership:||EU member|