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Annual meeting of the partners and the scientific committee of the project

07 November 2019

The annual meeting of the partners and the scientific committee of the project "Conservation of Zelkova abelicea (Ambelitsia) in Crete (2017-2020)" was held at MAICh on Thursday and Friday 7-8 November 2019.

During the first day of the meeting, the progress of the project, its results so far and the actions planned for the following years were discussed. On the second day, the participants visited the areas where the project activities are being implemented in Omalos Chania, as well as the largest recorded Ambelitsia tree in Crete, dedicated to the memory of Professor Oliver Rakham (1939-2015) at the site of Koutsopetros in Omalos.

Project activities implemented in Omalos include small fences for the study of biotic and abiotic factors in the growth of Z. abelicea, enhancement of natural regeneration of the species and information signs to raise public awareness. Also, in collaboration with the Municipality of Platanias, an area has been created for the conservation of the local flora of Omalos, where 400 Zelkova seedlings have been planted and visitors’ interventions have been made. The purpose of this site is to preserve the genetic material of Zelkova abelicea and other important plants in the Omalos area and to exploit this area for information and public awareness. 

Finally, the participants of the project welcomed the initiative of the Konstantinos Mitsotakis Foundation to fund actions other than those of the Z. abelicea conservation project and stressed that any effort made to protect this endemic and endangered tree of Crete is significant.

The meeting was attended by representatives from the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (project coordinator), the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens - Department of Biology, Botany Section, the Institute of Botany Biosciences and Bioresources of Palermo, Sicily, the Hellenic Agricultural Organization - Demetra - Laboratory of Forest Entomology (FRIA), the Chania, Rethymnon and Heraklion Forest Directorates and the Management Body of Samaria National Park.

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