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Koprivnica Hosts Croatia's Largest Food Forest

WWF Adria, the City of Koprivnica, and Komunalac have planted over 900 plants that will provide a sustainable orchard for the students of the University North.

KOPRIVNICA - The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), in collaboration with the City of Koprivnica and their municipal company Komunalac, today planted the largest food forest in Croatia, marking Earth Day. This food forest, which will be publicly accessible to students and citizens, has "sprouted" at the University North in Koprivnica, serving as an effective tool for adapting to the increasingly severe climate crisis.

A food forest is a dynamic ecosystem designed to mimic the structure and functions of a natural forest, where fruits, vegetables, and other useful plants grow. It consists of layers of edible plants, trees, shrubs, and herbs, carefully planted to create a sustainable and productive landscape. On 1/10 of a hectare of land, more than 2000 kg of food can be grown annually through permaculture planting methods.

"We planted the first food forest last year in Koprivnica, in the heart of the Amazon of Europe, within the UNESCO Five-Country Biosphere Reserve Mura-Drava-Danube. This Earth Day, we mark by planting the largest food forest, five times larger than last year's, with 150 fruit trees and even 750 seedlings of complementary aromatic and culinary herbs, as well as smaller fruit trees and vegetables. What's most beautiful is that due to planting in a permaculture manner, it is actually self-sustaining," emphasized Nataša Kalauz, Executive Director of WWF Adria during the planting event held on Monday at the University North, especially thanking Komunalac for their excellent collaboration and dedication to this significant project.
Before the actual planting of the food forest, attended by Mayor Mišel Jakšić of Koprivnica, as well as numerous preschoolers, students, and students from the city, during a brief reflection on Earth Day, Dunja Mazzocco Drvar, Director of Nature Conservation Program at WWF Adria, highlighted why a food forest is the best way to plant considering the current climate: "Month after month, we witness different climate records, even weather extremes that remind us that the climate is already changing and continues to change, making both nature and us more vulnerable. Just today, the European Copernicus Climate Service released a report stating, among other things, that in 2023, a record number of days with extreme heat stress were recorded, and heat-related mortality increased by 30% in the last 20 years. Green spaces in cities are one of the most effective ways to reduce the urban heat island effect, and forests planted in this way will preserve themselves in changed climate conditions. Such actions and encouraging citizens to replicate food forests in their homes are useful tools for adapting to the climate crisis and all the weather extremes we face."
During this celebration, the winners of Terra Therapy 2.0 "Vote for Earth!" were also announced. Following last year's Terra Therapy, which introduced the first Croatian digital Climate Dictionary, the project's continuation focused on clarifying the issue of climate change with a call to action. Students from the University North presented their works while a food forest was growing in the courtyard.
The planting of the largest food forest took place thanks to the financial support of partners and friends of this event, the Intesa Sanpaolo Group.
© komunalc
University North

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