At the edge of the forest

In the Czech Republic, monoculture, storms and an invasion of bark beetles have put the forests under severe strain. Bringing them back to life to save the ecosystem is the mission of the Čmelák association.


Forests in the Czech Republic cover approximately 34% of the territory. They allow soil erosion control, water management and offer sumptuous landscapes.

The last centuries have been synonymous with spruce monoculture to enable people to stock up on wood for use. It is now that the consequences of these monocultures are being felt. Indeed, the spruce is a favorable habitat for the development of bark beetles. But there is too many spruces which have caused the invasion of bark beetles in Czech forests, attacking the bark of trees.

Today, the forests are present but are no longer useful because the trees are sick: these are “dead” forests. The consequences are terrible on their entire ecosystem.

The project

To restore the original composition of the forests, endemic species must be planted. More precisely, it is in the region of Liberec that the association concentrates its actions. On the ground, Čmelák mobilizes volunteers to implement protection measures for the future.

The aim is to strengthen the resistance of these forests and develop biodiversity. The objective of this project is to plant 200,000 trees in 2 and a half years.

A few words about the NGO

Čmelák was founded in 1994. Active for 26 years, it has 240 permanent volunteers. Through 24 forest revitalization projects, the association has already planted 550,000 trees.

How do we proceed with Cmelak?

To save the forests in the Czech Republic, Čmelák proceeds in several steps:

  1. Remove diseased spruces from the forest to prevent the spread of bark beetles.
  2. Plant fast-growing trees, such as beeches, to bring back a favorable microclimate for planting endemic species.
  3. Plant endemic species to revive forests and their biodiversity.

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