The largest volunteer afforestation campaign in Croatia, the popular Boranka, organised by the Croatian Scout Association, has continued this weekend in the Split suburb of Žrnovnica.
On Saturday and Sunday, around 200 volunteers participated in the first reforestation drive this year and the second in an area that burned down in a big wildfire three years ago. Although Saturday’s action was accompanied by occasional rain, Sunday’s afforestation action took place in sunny and very warm weather.
The volunteers planted about 4,000 new trees. This weekend, holm oak, cypress, pine and coastal pine seedlings were planted, and black pine seeds.
The action involved 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”, Croatian Mountain Rescue Service volunteers and other volunteers from Split and the surrounding area, including a group of foreigners from Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada.
As the Embassy of Canada is one of Boranka’s main partners, the Ambassador of Canada to the Republic of Croatia, Alan Bowman, also took part.
“We have strongly supported Boranka from the beginning. COVID has not stopped climate change. We need to plant forests in both Croatia and Canada. I am proud that Canadian Canadair aircraft extinguished fires in Croatia,” said Ambassador Bowman.
This year’s Boranka action is being held under strict epidemiological measures and with a limited number of volunteers. All measures are coordinated with the county civil protection headquarters to avoid risk for volunteers participating in the action.
“This situation with the coronavirus does not make anyone happy. Fortunately, afforestation actions are held outdoors in a wide area, so we are fully able to maintain the distance between volunteers and comply with all applicable measures. We believe that staying outdoors in nature and helping the same nature while adhering to existing measures and responsible behaviour, is beneficial for both people and nature. We hope that we will be able to continue afforestation actions in order to return as many forests as possible to the fires of Dalmatia,” concluded Dan Špicer, business director of the Croatian Scout Association and the main Boranka campaign coordinator.
This is the third year in which the Boranka campaign is being organised by the Croatian Scout Association in cooperation with Croatian Forests, the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service and the Split Scout Association, with the support of the Civil Protection Directorate, the Red Cross City of Split, the Canadian Embassy in Croatia and City of Split.
So far 6,300 volunteers have taken part in the three-year Boranka reforestation drive, with more than 60,000 trees planted across Dalmatia. The drive is financed from sponsorships and donations. while seedlings are provided by Croatian Forests.
The next afforestation actions will be organised for the weekends of November 7th and 8th and November 14th and 15th in the Split suburb of Sitno Donje.