Educational three-day online event “Benefits from monitoring and conservation of biodiversity”

Dear all, we would like to invite you to an international three-day educational online event, with topic “Benefits from monitoring and conservation of biodiversity”. Topics related with monitoring and conservation of flora and fauna species as well as habitat types will be presented. At the end of the presentation of each topic, a discussion will be conducted.

The schedule of the event is presented below:
Day 1: Wednesday 24/3/2021, 19:00 EET (18:00 ECT) Link to join:
Topic: African swine fever in Czech Republic – how to use results from the wildlife monitoring during the eradication of disease. Speaker: Miloš Ježek, Department of Game Management and Wildlife Biology, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague
Description of the topic: African swine fever (ASF) is a highly contagious and deadly viral disease affecting both domestic and wildboars of all ages. ASF is not a threat to human health and cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans. ASF is found in countries around the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. More recently, it has spread through China, Mongolia and Vietnam, as well as within parts of the European Union.

Day 2: Thursday 25/3/2021, 19:00 EET (18:00 ECT) Link to join:
Topic: Riparian forests: benefits, present condition and restoration. Speaker: Neli Doncheva, Chief forest expert, WWF Bulgaria
Description of the topic: Riparian forests have a huge ecological significance, with important functions both for nature, as well as for human populations; these include: preserving plant and animal species; preventing bank erosion; retaining water and thence contributing to flooding prevention, etc. By definition riparian forests are associated with rivers and thus have a naturally limited distribution. Currently, the main territories of riparian forest habitats in Bulgaria have been included for conservation within the Natura 2000 European ecological network. Riparian habitats are poorly represented within protected territories on the national level in Bulgaria. The greatest causes for the loss and destruction of riparian forests are: clearing of areas for agricultural uses; replacement by hybrid poplar and willow plantations for intensive timber production; river bed correction and aggregate mining, which lead to dramatic changes in the flow regime and to bank erosion; unauthorized and improperly conducted logging; construction of hydroelectric plants; etc. The huge ecological importance of these forests, the damage they have already suffered, and the threats they face today call for immediate efforts for their restoration. An educational video was created to familiarize the wider audience with benefits, present condition and restoration of riparian forests. 

Day 3: Friday 26/3/2021, 19:00 EET (18:00 ECT) Link to join:
Topic: The Natura 2000 Network and the Habitat’s Directive in Greece. The case of the protected site “Angelochori Lagoon” (GR1220005). Coordinator of the discussion: Ioannis Tsiripidis, Associate Professor, School of Biology, Aristotle University Thessaloniki, Greece
Description of the topic: In this webinar the participants will watch an educational video which comprises a virtual field trip in one Greek Natura 2000 site, the Angelochori Lagoon site. This video aims to familiarize the viewer with the scope and implementation of the Habitats Directive, one of the cornerstones of European policy for biodiversity conservation. The video presents the main characteristics of the largest biodiversity conservation network in the world, the Natura 2000 Network. The main focus of the video is given to the habitat types, which comprise a fundamental concept in the Habitats Directive. Specifically, all the terrestrial habitat types occurring in the Angelochori Lagoon site are presented along with their main ecological characteristics and typical plant species. Additionally, the distribution of the habitat types in the site is given and the pressures and threats they face are presented. Finally, the conservation status of the habitat types is discussed.
After the presentation of the video a discussion will be held and the participants may address their comments and questions regarding the topic of the educational video as well as the implementation of Habitats Directive.

The webinar is carrying out within the project "Future Environmentalists - Linking EU Natural Capital Management to Field Research". The project is supported by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Commission, Key Action 2: Strategic Partnership by means of Activity Agreement № CSP 2018-1-BG01-KA203-047962