Today was a meaningful day for the UNESCO WH Site. The mayor of the City of Angermünde (Germany), Frederik Bewer, and the mayor of the municipality of Starigrad-Paklenica (Croatia), Krste Ramić, have signed a memorandum of understanding laying the foundation for a long-term partnership.
Both municipalities, the city of Angermünde and the municipality of Starigrad-Paklenica, share a strong identity of being a World Heritage Beech Community as component parts of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe” are located within their municipal boundaries: The Grumsin Beech Forest in Angermünde and Suva draga-Klimenta and Oglavinovac-Javornik in Starigrad-Paklenica. This is why both parties have already been cooperating since 2019 within the framework of the BEECH POWER project.
As one activity of this Interreg project, the European Youth Exchange BEECH ACADEMY was implemented for the first time in September 2021 in Angermünde and in March 2022 in Starigrad. In total, 28 pupils and 4 teachers from the involved Schools “Elementary School Starigrad” and “Freie Schule Angermünde” as well as two rangers from the respective protected area management – the National Park Paklenica and the Naturwacht Brandenburg – participated in this pilot run. Today, the City of Angermünde and the Municipality of Starigrad decided to continue with this project of a European youth exchange about the WH Beech forests on a regular basis in order to transmit the importance and value of the old-growth beech forests and the World Heritage Site they represent to younger generations and, thus, to contribute to their preservation and protection.