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Selection, Protection and Promotion of Balkan Food Forest species (FOOD FOREST PARKS)

Forest genetic resources comprise an enormous pool of positive activities that can provide sustainable development and a high standard of life. Up to date, both countries do not exploit their local forest resources to meet their needs in forest fruit food but mostly import them from abroad. As it is well known, the Balkan Peninsula is the heart of biodiversity in Europe and with FOOD FOREST PARKS, the partners intend to capture the variability coming from well adapted forest plants that provide forest fruit food and can also be used for other purposes (eg. chemical and pharmacy industry) in a sustainable way.The basic steps of the project are the following:- Selection of the suitable forest species from Balkan Peninsula (indigenous and naturalized exotic species and varieties) that fruit in accordance to their quality, quantity and adaptability.- Conservation / Protection: all selected species will be transferred to Food Forest Parks (gene banks) as mother plantations in order to test the cloning technique and their pathogen resistance.- Promotion: a) by creating a protocol of cloning of the selected species and varieties; and a profile of their pathogen resistance in industrial plantations and b) by exhibiting the selected species with the establishment of two Food Forest Parks, one for each country placed in central spots also easily accessible to the communities, to attract the interest and sensitivity of public opinion to forests and their products.

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