Conference “Oaks will Go Green in Lithuania”

On 26 February 2006, in Marijampolė hotel Europa Royale, the Conference “Oaks will Go Green in Lithuania” was held. The main organisers of the conference were Marijampolė County Governor’s Administration, Association of Lithuanian Foresters and Association of Wood Processors. Many reputable persons participated in the Conference, including the Seimas members, representatives of Lithuanian ministries, heads of the Directorate General of State Forests, representatives of the Governors of Lithuanian counties, mayors of the Municipalities of Marijampolė county, coordinators of the areas in the Directorates of State Forests, wood processors, representatives of Private Forests Landowners Association and other guests.

The speakers of the Conference were Jonas Šimėnas, Chairman of the Seimas Committee on Environment Protection of the Republic of Lithuania, academician Leonardas Kairiūkštis, Mindaugas Kasmauskis, CEO of UAB Likmerė, Assoc. Prof., Dr. Jonas Jasaitis, the director of Village Development Research Centre of Šiauliai University. Albinas Tebėra, the principal of Kaunas Forest and Environmental Engineering College, Rimantas Braziulis, Chairman of Lithuanian Greenpeace Movement, and Vidmantas Jusas, the landowner of private forests were also actively participating in the discussions and expressing their opinion on different issues.

The main aim and topic of the Conference was State-Village-Forest. The participants of the Conference were unanimously against the privatisation of the forests. Many of them agreed that the state forest management system was operating well. As the question why private forests lack state attention was raised, the officers of the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania were expected to participate in the Conference; however, they did not arrive.

The organisers of the Conference are glad that it was not a one-day project and the Conference will have continuity. The result of the Conference was the adoption of resolution and establishing Public Council of Village and Forest Development, which will implement the goals of the resolution and foreseen tasks. The essence of the resolution is that a forest is national asset, which has to be preserved for future generations and satisfy ecological, economical and social needs of the society. The entire resolution and the theses will be submitted to the President, the Seimas and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. The members of the new Public Council of Village and Forest Development who will actively pursue resolution tasks will be:

  • Justinas Urbanavičius, member of the Seimas Committee on Environment Protection of the Republic of Lithuania;
  • Birutė Kažemėkaitė, Marijampolė County Governor;
  • Edmundas Bartkevičius, President of the Association of Foresters, Dean of the Faculty of Forests and Ecology;
  • Assoc. Prof. Jonas Čaplikas, Vice-Rector for Studies of the Lithuanian University of Agriculture;
  • Vygantas Mierkis, Chairman of the Standing Production Meeting of Forest Officers;
  • Vytautas Kanevičius, Mayor of Kazlų Rūda;
  • Rimantas Braziulis, Chairman of Lithuanian Greenpeace Movement;
  • Juozupas Zimnickas, director of the Association of Wood Processors;
  • Vidmantas Jusas, member Forests Landowners Association of Lithuania;
  • Rytis Kuliešis, director of Private Forests Landowners Association of Lithuania.