The CO2MPENSATING BY PLANTING project is the first Croatian program to compensate for CO2 emissions by planting trees, and is organised by the Croatian Scout Association, Croatian Forests and HEARTH as an innovative response to the effects of climate change.
The project started in November 2021 and in less than 2 months gathered more than 1,500 volunteers, symbolically called Šumoborci, who planted as many as 25,000 new seedlings in 17 large afforestation campaigns.
With the help and supervision of Croatian Forests, new forests were planted in the area of Zagreb, Velika Gorica, Ivanić Grad and the island of Čiovo, primarily in places where forests have already been destroyed by climate change.
As part of the project, interactive educational workshops are being conducted in primary and secondary schools through the educational program ŠUMOBORCI. During the program, the scouts, in cooperation with experts from the Croatian Forests, the Directorate of Civil Protection and the Tatavaka Association, held 24 educational workshops for 650 students in 11 primary and secondary schools.
Through interaction, students learn about the causes and consequences of climate change, but also about what we as a society, community and individuals can do to reduce these consequences and negative effects in the future.
After the trainings, the students get involved in afforestation actions, together with other volunteers from Šumoborci. In this way, they can plant their own seedlings and thus compensate for part of the CO2 emissions from their own carbon footprint. All Šumoborci who are involved in planting actions, through partners and project sponsors, are provided with transportation, food and drink, work gloves, planting tools and seedlings and professional assistance from Croatian Forest experts.
The Croatian Scout Association is announcing new actions this year as well, and even more new seedlings.
“We are very satisfied with the response so far from both the school and other citizens. Involving 1,500 people to do something useful for themselves and the environment outside, where it can be both muddy and cold, is not easy. The vast majority of the children and young people we work with afforestation actions have never had the opportunity to plant their own tree before. The forest rangers make it possible for them. But they also allow them to love nature much more and start caring for it more intensively. This year we intend to plant at least 50,000 seedlings, and expand afforestation actions to Slavonia, Gorski Kotar, central and northern Croatia,” concluded Dan Špicer, main project coordinator and Business Director of the Croatian Scout Association.
According to the organizers, the CO2MPENSATING BY PLANTING project is the first of its kind in Croatia and the entire region, and is intended for companies, institutions and other organisations, but also for all other interested parties who want to compensate for CO2 emissions and neutralise their own carbon footprint. a positive example of caring for the environment and the community.
It is designed to provide an opportunity for those who pollute a little, but also for those who pollute a lot more, to completely or partially neutralise their naturally harmful effects by planting trees.
By joining the project, all partners become proud holders of the CO2MPENSATING BY PLANTING Label. Thus, the first partners of the project and holders of the CO2MPENSATING BY PLANTING label are Coca-Cola HBC Adria, Raiffeisenbank Croatia, E.ON Croatia, PwC Croatia, L’Oreal Adria and Porsche Croatia. This year, the number of partners will increase further, and thus the number of trees planted.
The CO2MPENSATING BY PLANTING project is implemented in cooperation with Croatian Forests, the Croatian Forestry Institute, the Hrvoje Požar Energy Institute, the Centre for Climatological Research at the Faculty of Science and the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (HGSS).
The project is sponsored by the US Embassy in Croatia, the European Parliament Office in Croatia and the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development. The technological sponsor of the project is GIS Cloud.