Preparatory activities

As a LIFE - Nature programme, the LIFE+ JunEx project begins with a series of preparatory activities. These activities are required by the programme, and they establish the basis for the implementation of the subsequent conservation and monitoring activities. In LIFE+ JunEx there are 6 preparatory activities, A1 to A6; these activities identify and record the flora, vegetation and forest characteristics of the juniper woods, as well as determine the germinability of seeds and the viability of seedlings to be grown in laboratory conditions. Furthermore, they define site locations for the conservation and restoration activities, technical specifications and guidelines for how to implement procedures.

Action Α1: Description of the flora and vegetation of the “Grecian Juniper Woods” in Prespa

The collection and processing of data on flora and vegetation in the juniper woods is indispensable for evaluating the baseline situation in the habitat. The information obtained on the flora and vegetation of these woods helps in the understanding of natural regeneration processes in the habitat, and assists in calculating grazing capacity. In addition, the data also helps in calculating the size and components of the floristic diversity of the juniper woods. Once this information has been processed, the results will be illustrated in thematic maps using Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Action Α2: Assessment of the silvicultural characteristics of the Grecian Juniper Woods in Prespa

Following the recording of the flora and vegetation, the next step is to assess the silvicultural attributes of the juniper woods. The status of priority habitat type 9562 *Grecian Juniper Woods will be evaluated and mapped through this activity, in conjunction with activity A1, identifying the natural, social and cultural processes that led to its current condition. These social and cultural processes will be identified through information from the files of the Forestry Department of Florina, the Municipality of Prespa, private records and interviews with loggers and farmers. Aerial photographs from 1940 onwards will also be used to establish the condition of the woods at various stages in the past.

Action A4: Determination of seed germination and seedlings' viability

The main objective of activity A.4 is to determine the best techniques for seed germination and the growth and development of the subsequent seedlings.

Junipers can withstand severe drought and quite low temperatures, and can be re-established on deforested land in mountainous arid and semi-arid zones. The two species of juniper considered in this activity (Juniperus excelsa and J. foetidissima) are almost identical in morphology; they occur in areas with comparable soils and climate, and are able to grow side by side. However, there are various factors that hinder the ability of junipers to reproduce by seed or vegetative reproduction.

Action A5: Technical Implementation Study of restoration and conservation works

This technical study details specifications for the technical works included in management activities C.1, C.2 and C.3. The aim of the study is to specify methods for logging, re-introduction of livestock, the regulation of grazing in an agroforestry system, enclosures and planting. This study will be based on the results of activities A.1, A.2 and A.3. The Management Body for the Prespa National Park was consulted over the technical implementation study and the Forestry Department of Florina approved it in accordance with Greek legislation.

Here you can see a summary of the report.

Action A6: Technical Implementation Study for grazing infrastructure

This technical study details specifications for the technical works for the livestock farming infrastructure which is included in activity C.2. Specifically, a study will be produced for both new construction and the maintenance of old livestock farming infrastructure, including open water storage tanks, drinking troughs and a livestock shelter, in order to ensure the approval of the works by the appropriate authorities.

See more here.