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Community watchdog to look after forests. Fight for environment continues

Community watchdog to look after forests. Fight for environment continues

Image source: © canva
Natalia Witulska,
18.01.2024 12:15

Environmentalists from the Workshop for All Beings aim to establish a social guard to protect valuable forests and wildlife.

The Workshop for All Beings (Polish: Pracownia na rzecz Wszystkich Istot) is a non-governmental pro-environmental organisation in Poland. The association is dedicated to preserving the complex ecosystem, including all the species, processes, and natural cycles that occur within it. Its activities are aimed at protecting and maintaining the delicate balance of nature.

According to the organisation's website, in order to protect forests, they carry out both local interventions and aim for systemic change. They are pursuing legal actions at both the level of the Polish parliament and the European Union parliament. They collaborate with scientists and organisations from all around the world in international coalitions.

Social guard to protect forests

Environmentalists from the Workshop for All Beings have created a plan to protect forests and care for the animals there. They organised a series of training sessions on nature conservation over three weekends. During these sessions, participants learned about laws that serve the ecosystem and the threats to existing forests.

"For many years, we have been organising training sessions and creating a movement of defenders of nature. This is another instalment of civic education for forest protection, preparing comprehensively for independent campaigning. The competencies acquired in lectures and workshops will also be useful in other fields of social activity. In addition to spreading knowledge, we place great emphasis on networking and building motivation for action based on the philosophy of deep ecology," said Radosław Ślusarczyk of the Work for All Beings in an interview with Gazeta Wyborcza.

Training on ecology and forests

Renowned academics, experts and experienced environmental activists delivered lectures during the training sessions. Professor Piotr Skubała from the University of Silesia spoke about the role of forests in the context of the climate crisis, while Dr Maciej Bonk from the Institute of Nature Conservation of the Polish Academy of Sciences discussed the issues related to intervention and the creation of new forms of nature conservation.

Apart from this, representatives from various forestry movements also attended these sessions. Some of the notable speakers included staff from Zielony Pierścień Warszawy, Inicjatywa Dzikie Karpaty (the Wild Carpathians Initiative), Grupa Brynek, as well as from the Ratujmy Kleszczowskie Wąwozy and Wspólny Las initiatives.

"We need a significant reform of the State Forests and an amendment to the Forest Act. That's why we're creating a social movement of well-prepared individuals to defend ecologically valuable and community forests. The response to our training initiative surpassed our expectations. Although we had to do some recruitment, everyone who expressed interest but didn't qualify for the first session will still have a chance to participate. We'll soon be launching the next round of forest rangers training, completely free of charge," said Radosław Ślusarczyk in an interview with Gazeta Wyborcza.

Wild animals will always defend their territory

Environmentalists from the community watchdog group also work hard to educate people about wild animals. They aim to prevent situations like the one in the autumn of 2023 when a bear attacked a man in the Bieszczady Mountains. They emphasise that wild animals will always defend their territory, and humans are perceived as a real threat.

The activists also advise people not to boast about their encounters with wild animals on social media. Such behaviour may encourage others to seek out these animals, thinking they are safe from a distance. This is not the case, as a predator will always be a predator, and the risk of being attacked is real.

Source: Gazeta Wyborcza

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