Saturday, 23 October 2021

More than 100,000 Seedlings Planted across Dalmatia in Boranka Campaign

ZAGREB, 23 Oct, 2021 - This year's sixth reforestation action in the areas of the coastal region of Dalmatia consumed by wildfires took place on Saturday in Donje Sitno, in the area of the coastal city of Split, with around 200 volunteers, including Canadian Ambassador Alan Bowman, participating.

In the three years of the reforestation project, called Boranka, more than 100,000 saplings have been planted.

Ambassador Bowman told reporters that this was the third time he was participating in the campaign since taking office in Croatia.

He stressed that in Canada tree-planting was very important as trees were one of the possible solutions to climate change.

Trees absorb carbon, which is good for the environment and Canada has always supported such projects, he said, noting that he was very proud wildfires in Dalmatia are put out with the help of aircraft made in Canada.

The business director of the Croatian Scouts Association, Dan Špicer, who launched the reforestation project, said that on Saturday several thousand seedlings would be planted.

Since 2018, when the Boranka project was launched, more than 8,000 volunteers have participated in reforestation drives and more than 100,000 seedlings have been planted on an area of more than 50 hectares, he said.

Špricer noted that in addition to reforestation, the association also organises watering in summer time.

The organisers of the Boranka project are the Croatian Scouts Association, the Hrvatske Šume forest management company, the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service and the Split Scouts Association.

This is the last reforestation action this year and the 29th since the launching of the project.

Boranka, the biggest European volunteer campaign designed to reforest areas consumed by wildfires, originally started in Split but in the meantime it has spread to other cities in Dalmatia.

It is sponsored, among others, by the European Parliament, the Ministry of Agriculture, the American Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Embassy, and the German-Croatian Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

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Monday, 20 September 2021

Boranka is Back: Europe's Largest Volunteer Afforestation Action Tackles 2017 Split Fire Area

September 20, 2021 - Boranka is back! Europe's largest afforestation action launched its fourth season last weekend by tackling the 2017 Split fire area, particularly Korešnica.

The largest European volunteer afforestation action, the popular 'Boranka,' started its fourth season on Saturday in Split's Korešnica area, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

The Croatian Scout Association, Croatian Forests, the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service, and the Split Scout Association, as the main organizers of the 'Boranka' campaign, kicked off new afforestation actions in Dalmatia. Hundreds of volunteers afforested the area that was destroyed in the 2017 fire.

The scouts of the Split Scout Association and the Spinut Seafarers' Scout Detachment, along with other citizens, were joined in the first afforestation this year by students and teachers of the School of Crafts and the School of Science in Split.

The organizers provided all volunteers with free transportation to and from the afforestation site, seedlings, protective equipment, planting tools, drinking water, sandwiches, and fruit.


Afforestation actions will be held every Saturday for the next five Saturdays, ending on Saturday, October 16, in the settlements of Donje Sitno and Žrnovnica.

In the following actions, mountaineers, athletes, HGSS volunteers, students and professors of Split faculties, members of the Croatian Navy, employees of sponsoring companies, and many other citizens will attend the afforestation actions.

The scouts, who initiated the 'Boranka' campaign in 2018 and gathered more than 7,300 volunteers, announced the continuation of 'Boranka' through educational actions through schools and other nature protection activities that will follow soon.

"We are sincerely grateful to every volunteer who joined us and helped return the forests after the Dalmatian fires. With the help of all of them, 'Boranka' is today the largest afforestation action for fires in the whole of Europe and one of the most recognized examples of good practice in caring for nature.

In addition to afforestation actions, our volunteers will irrigate the planted seedlings organized from next week to survive the dry period and heat, which in Split usually lasts until the end of October.

We started watering the seedlings with the help of the European Solidarity Forces and Croatian Forests last year. It turned out that the probability of seedling survival rises to as much as 90 percent, which is phenomenal.

In addition, we will soon start educational workshops in schools to teach children and young people about the importance of forests and the effects of climate change," announced Dan Špicer, business director of the Croatian Scout Association and the primary campaign coordinator of Boranka.

Croatian Forests, which provide seedlings and other planting material, greatly help scouts and other volunteers, and their experts educate volunteers and supervise the planting itself. HGSS volunteers are the primary logistical support in the afforestation.

The Directorate of Civil Protection provides tools and equipment for planting and other logistics. In addition, the City of Split provides free transportation by bus, and Red Cross volunteers are available in case of an accident.

Boranka has been supported for years by the European Parliament, the Ministry of Agriculture, the American Chamber of Commerce, the Embassy of Canada, UHDDR, the IMAGO agency, and the German-Croatian Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

This year, the main sponsors, symbolically called the Main WINNERS, are Raiffeisen Bank, Radenska Adriatic, and Henkel.

A new afforestation action will take place next Saturday, September 25, in the Split settlement of Donje Sitno, above the Church of the Holy Trinity.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Future of Europe: Successful Croatian Stories

ZAGREB, 11 May, 2021 - Successful Croatian stories and a plan to include citizens in Europe's development were presented on Tuesday at the Croatian parliament, during the first part of the "Conference on the Future of Europe - A Vision of Croatia," during which Speaker Gordan Jandroković entered a debate with a robot.

The Conference on the Future of Europe is a pan-European, democratic project during which citizens have an opportunity to decide on how the EU should develop.

This is a project in which "citizens are in the centre," European Commissioner for Democracy and Demography Dubravka Šuica said.

Citizens can participate in panel discussions, debates and the plenary session, in which 108 seats are reserved for citizens.

An equal number is allocated to representatives of national parliaments and MEPs.

The plenary session will also include 54 Council representatives (two for each member state), three members of the European Commission, and representatives of the Committee of the Regions, the European Economic and Social Council, social partners and civil society.

"If we miss out on including citizens, we will leave room for populist ideas," said Šuica.

The conference provides a digital platform where citizens can exchange ideas, connect, make recommendations and launch initiatives.

Šuica warned that according to forecasts, by 2070 Europeans will account for only 4% of the global population and she believes that demography will be a point of interest for citizens.

Robot  argues with Jandroković

Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković was the conference's host and during his opening address he was interrupted by Pepper the robot who warned him that he had violated the Standing Orders.

Pepper was made at the Faculty of Computing and Electrical Engineering in Zagreb.

Pepper and Jandroković then debated about parliamentary procedures. 

Jandroković explained that this is a demonstration of what the future holds.

"If we are not smart enough, robots will manage us and not the other way around," he said.

Successful Croatian stories 

Several successful Croatian stories were then presented to the parliament, including a project by the Sisak-Moslavina County Development Agency (SIMORA) promoting the town of Novska as the centre of the gaming industry in Croatia.

SIMORA director Mario Čelan said that the gaming industry, particularly now during the pandemic, had surpassed the film and music industry with regard to total revenue generated.

He added that the project had already launched 49 start-ups and that a new, four-year study programme for gaming technicians had been developed as well as that the National Recovery and Resilience Plan envisaged a gaming industry campus.

This has motivated young people to settle in Novska and the town now has the largest number of companies in its history, he said.

Dragan Schwarz spoke about Radiochirurgia, a special hospital for oncology patients in Zagreb.

More than 45,000 patients have been examined in the five years since the hospital's establishment and more than 4,000 operations were performed, said Schwarz.

"Our results put us at the very top of the global scene," he added.

Sven Lončarić spoke about the Artificial Intelligence Centre (CAI) of the Zagreb Faculty of Computing and Electrical Engineering (FER), which consists of 19 research laboratories, with FER currently implementing around 260 projects financed from national and international sources.  

Boranka campaign, Toljanić family awarded with Croatian Sabor medal

Scouts Croatia and the Toljanić family from the island of Krk were awarded with the Croatian Sabor medal.

The Boranka project, implemented by the scouts' alliance, has been awarded with the European Citizen's Prize by the European Parliament in 2020.

Boranka is the largest reforestation project in all of Europe. To date more than 7,000 volunteers have planted more than 85,000 new trees in fire-devastated areas of Dalmatia.

The Toljanić family was named European Family of the Year in 2020. The family has 12 children and has developed a successful winery and hospitality business.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.



Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Boranka Afforestation Campaign Won the European Citizens' Prize for 2020

February 16, 2021 – The Boranka afforestation campaign, an initiative for afforestation of burned areas, has won the European Citizens' Prize for 2020, a recognition awarded by the European Parliament for promoting European values and unity.

Since 2018, when the Croatian Scout Association started implementing it, the Boranka afforestation campaign has gathered more than 7,000 volunteers who have planted more than 85,000 new trees in the burned areas of Dalmatia. That is why Boranka has become the largest volunteer afforestation action in the whole of Europe, but also the most awarded non-profit campaign ever.

As the European Parliament office in Croatia reports, Dan Špicer, the Croatian Scout Association's business director and the Boranka campaign's main coordinator, pointed out that the European Citizens' Prize is a great honor and a great recognition.

"Our Boranka campaign showed how love for nature and the homeland could unite the whole of Croatia, but also be a great example to other European countries of how to treat the environment and the community responsibly. The Croatian Scout Association continues efforts to preserve nature in the future, and such awards are just an additional motivation for us to involve even more citizens and return the greenery to the black fires," said Špicer.


Source: Boranka

The Croatian Scout Association is the heir to the centuries-old tradition of the scout movement in Croatia. Besides, it is the largest organization for children and youth in the country.

The European Citizens' Prize has been awarded since 2008 to individuals and organizations for initiatives that strengthen the European spirit of solidarity, creativity, and motivation. It is also awarded for initiatives that specifically express the values contained in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Citizens and associations can apply for this award independently, and European Parliament members can also nominate candidates. In each Member State, the national jury selects the finalists. An Award Committee, chaired by the President of the European Parliament, chooses the final winners.

Previous winners in Croatia are: Martina Čuljak with the Help Balkans project, the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (HGSS), the humanitarian association Fr. Mladen Hrkać, which helps people with health problems and their families who come to Zagreb for treatment, the Transplant association that promotes organ donation and transplantation, and Tvrtko Baron, the director of the Jesuit Refugee Service in Southeast Europe.

For more news from Croatia, check out the TCN lifestyle section

Saturday, 14 November 2020

Reforestation of Mountains Overlooking Split Continues

ZAGREB, Nov 14, 2020 - Boranka, the biggest volunteer fire site reforestation drive in Croatia, resumed in the Split hinterland on Saturday, with president Zoran Milanovic participating in it by planting a few plants.

Milanovic praised the drive as a brilliant action and said that during his youth he used to tend gardens of wealthy residents of Zagreb.

The drive is organized by Scouts Croatia in cooperation with the Hrvatske Sume forest management company and the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service.

So far over 7,000 volunteers have taken part in the three-year Boranka reforestation drive, with more than 70,000 trees planted across Dalmatia.

During today's action apart from President Milanovic, also local officials as well as parliamentary deputies Ante Bacic (HDZ) and Marijana Puljak (Pametno) took part in the planting of trees. However, Puljak had to leave the slopes of Mount Mosor before the end of today's action as she injured her leg.

The creator of the project, Scouts Croatia business manager Dan Spicer, today thanked the president and the government for support to the drive.

Monday, 26 October 2020

Boranka Volunteer Campaign: 4000 New Trees Planted Over Weekend

October 26. 2020 – As part of the largest Croatian afforestation project in Dalmatia – Boranka volunteer campaign, about 200 volunteers planted 4,000 new trees on Saturday and Sunday.

As Hina reports, the afforestation of the places where the fire raged in Dalmatia continued this year in Žrnovnica. Volunteers planted holm oak, cypress, pine, and maritime pine trees in seedlings and seeds, while black pine was planted in seeds.

"The action was attended by scouts from Split and Trogir, members of the Croatian Navy, mountaineers from HPD Mosor and Mountaineering Club Split, members of the Association of Homeland War Veterans Brodosplit, HGSS volunteers, and other volunteers from Split and the surrounding area, including a group of foreigners from Australia, New Zealand, the USA, and Canada. The Ambassador of Canada to the Republic of Croatia, HE Alan Bowman, also joined the action,“ reads the statement.

"We have strongly supported Boranka from the beginning. COVID-19 has not stopped climate change. We need to plant forests in both Croatia and Canada. I am proud that Canadian Canadair aircraft have put out fires in Croatia," said Ambassador Bowman.

This is the third year in which the Boranka campaign has been organized by the Croatian Scout Association in cooperation with Croatian Forests, the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service, and the Split Scout Association, and with the support of the Civil Protection Directorate, the Split Red Cross and the Canadian Red Cross. Embassy and the City of Split.

So far, more than 6,300 volunteers from all over Croatia have taken part in afforestation actions in the past two years, planting about 65,000 trees in seedlings, seeds, and acorns. Thus, Boranka has already become the largest volunteer action of afforestation of fires in Europe.

The next afforestation actions will be organized for the weekends of November 7th and 8th and November 14th and 15th, in the area of ​​the Split settlement Sitno Donje.


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