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Премия рунета 2017

WWF OPENS A BOXWOOD NURSERY IN KUBAN

24 september 2018
An official ceremony was held in Apsheronsk dedicated to the opening of a greenhouse to grow the relict Buxus colchica, which appeared to be on the verge of extinction. The long-term project of the World Wide Fund (WWF) will be implemented in the territory of the Apsheronsk Forestry Technical College. In three years, part of the box trees planted and grown in the nursery will be used to create a mother plantation, while the other part will be planted out in the wild to restore the boxwood population, 99% of which has been destroyed by pyralid moths.

The opening ceremony started with the words of welcome by the WWF Russia and college representatives, as well as the Governor of the Apsheronsk District. Valery Shmunk, Head of the Russian Caucasus Regional Office, noted that creating a greenhouse was only the first step in this important, large-scale and long-term work for restoring the Buxus colchica in the Caucasus Ecoregion.

"I'm sure that thanks to this project that joins scientists (environmentalists and plant biologists) and ordinary people who care about nature, in about eight years we will see the first tangible results of our common cause in nature. This nursery is a guarantee that the ancient relict species will not disappear from the Earth despite human errors," said Valery Shmunk. He also mentioned that this project was implemented on the donations from the Russian business and the supporters of WWF Russia that were collected after pyralid moths destroyed 99% of Russian boxwood forests.

During the ceremony, the first 300 cuttings of this relict shrub were planted. It should be noted that the greenhouse built in the territory of the Apsheronsk Forestry Technical College will contain a total of about 25,000 plants. However, experts explain that nursery gardens can be fully planted with cuttings only next year, when there is sufficient planting stock. Interestingly, various planting methods will be used in the greenhouse: cutting and sowing. The seeds will be preliminarily stratified, that is treated with cold, or pre-dried to speed up germination and increase their germinating capacity.

The first results will be seen in three years. Half of the plants will be planted on the instructional farm of the college to create a mother plantation, and the other half will be used to restore the boxwood population in the wild in places of its original growth.

The director of the Apsheronsk Forestry Technical College, Viktoriya Kharchenko, noted that the greenhouse built on the instruction farm would play a significant role, including for students. She believes it will enable the students to study in detail this unique plant and teach the future forestry workers to be environmentally responsible. Moreover, she emphasized that several persons are already willing to write a diploma project on a topic related to Buxus colchica.


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