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Blutwölfin
Wednesday, September 21st, 2005, 11:49 AM
Experts fear for Europe's plants

A list of the 800 most important sites for wild plants in central and Eastern Europe has been published by the charity, Plantlife International.

Many of the sites contain endangered species and yet a fifth have no legal protection, the group warns.

Agriculture, forestry and tourism are the main threats to "Europe's last areas of wilderness", its report says.

If they cannot be saved "we risk a spiritual impoverishment such as no generation has known before", it adds.

Hundreds of specialists from academic institutions and non-governmental organisations identified the best sites for wild plants, fungi and their habitats in seven countries.

They were Belarus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

The report also looked at the threats to each internationally important site for wild plants (IPA).

It found that:

* Poor forestry practices threaten 44% of IPAs
* Tourism threatens 38%
* Agricultural intensification (grazing, hay-making, arable) threatens 29%.

Other threats include development, urban and transport, and invasive plant species.

Plantlife International wants all IPAs to be recognised as priority sites for conservation.

"This is the first time that we've ever had this kind of comprehensive survey," Elizabeth Radford told the BBC News website.

"We want people to visit these sites but it has got to be managed sensibly and carefully."

Parallel projects in south-eastern Europe and in Russia are also under development. The list of IPAs in the UK will be published early next year.

Source (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4603507.stm)

Rehnskiöld
Wednesday, September 21st, 2005, 01:00 PM
What kind of plants are the issue here? maybee mankind could do without some weeds at least.Anyways, the politicians might ought to arrange for more national parks.To bad that the system does not incourage private landowners to take initiatives aiming to save rare plants and such. Profit is the only priority it seems. Good,nordish land owners see when the beauty of nature is worth loosing some profit they could otherwise have made by forestry and growing crops.

Frostwood
Wednesday, September 21st, 2005, 02:59 PM
I don't see the reason behind clear fellings of forests, other than the pleasure of short-term profit acquired from selling large amounts of timber in a small time, with no regard to the future productivity of the forest. It does take quite long to grow new trees from the scratch, and how does the soil react to a sudden planting of nurseries, which demand their share of nutritions from the soil? Even selective cuttings are probably used today just to prepare the forest for a clear felling by weeding out trees that are too old or too young to maintain the tree's similarity to each other until the day of chainsaws arrives. And what good that so quickly acquired lumber will do when builders hiss with anger at the wretched planks, which can't be stepped on without leaving a mark in it, so efficiently they have been cultivated.

After that there is nothing left but the most hopeless, little crooked trees and a long, long time to wait until there is something to be seen that could be called 'forest'. Not to mention the flora and fauna lost, or the mighty landscapes that invigorate our souls when merely glanced at - so often so much more than just a quick glance, instead a deep, appreciative gaze - or even long-term profit. It seems we live in times when everything has to be got immediately, no time to waste, time is money so don't waste it, and so on.