The Regional Rural Development Standing Working Group (SWG) in South-Eastern Europe Europe, within the project “Rural development through integrated forest and water resources management in Southeast Europe: Rural perspectives: qualification, reintegration and (self) employment”, in cooperation with GIZ, supported the organization of the regional event “Fungal Conservation in a Changing Europe: The Challenges Ahead”. The event was organized by the Macedonian Mycological Society from Skopje, Macedonia in the period 1-6 October, 2017 in Ohrid, Macedonia.
The primary goal of the regional event “Fungal Conservation in a Changing Europe: The Challenges Ahead” was to stimulate discussion on the processes responsible for changes in the mycoflora on a local, regional, national and European level, such as habitat loss, climate change, excessive exploitation, pollution etc. The event aimed at promoting international cooperation in research, monitoring programmes and publication of a European Red Data List of threatened fungi.
This event was the first mycological gathering in Macedonia and was attended by 56 representatives of 29 countries. The event comprised presentations of major European fungal conservation projects, along with educational, infrastructural and political challenges for fungal conservation in Europe nowadays. The event also included a one-day field visit of the National Park Pelister, observing the five-needle molika pine forest – Pincus peuce.
This regional event is of great importance especially for the Balkan region, as large mushroom exporters, but still without appropriate legislatives for fungi protection.