Autor: Praca zbiorowa
The main theme of the 24thGeneral Meeting of the European Grassland Federation is ‘Grassland – a European Resource?’. It is well known among grassland experts that grasslands are important resource in agriculture, environment and landscape. A question however arises whether grasslands are really perceived in Europe as important resources. Forages obtained from grasslands are often supplemented by maize, number of grazing animals has decreased in recent decades, previously utilized meadows and pastures have been abandoned in many regions and lost their high biodiversity.
The main topic of the 24thGeneral Meeting of the EGF aims to stimulate discussion about the future of European grassland management and multi-functionality. The subject is ‘hot’ and of great importance but it is not completely new because for the last two decades multi-functionality of grassland has been a key concept of European agriculture and one of the fundamental directions of EGF policy. Grasslands are treated not only as an important source of fodder for animals which provide energy and proteins required for milk and meat production but also as a major element of the European landscapes, habitats for many plants and animal species, source of biodiversity, place of human activity. European society expects permanent grasslands which guarantee safety food and natural biodiversity but also are important in the aspect of cultural and social image. We are sure that grassland ecosystems are valuable European resources but, on the other hand, they are under threat and considerable pressure and their stability is in danger. It is our duty to protect the existing grasslands and secure their multi-functions for future generations but it needs more collaboration between scientists from different disciplines and requires new bridges between science, practice and agricultural policy. This was the background for us to select the main theme of the 24thGeneral Meeting of the EGF in Poland.
Five plenary sessions have been prepared; each session is introduced by two plenary papers given by very well-known experts. We would like to thank all of them for accepting our invitation and excellent work. We have received many contributions which provide interesting, new ideas and promising approaches. After final reviews, 206 papers have been published as full scientific papers and 46 as abstracts. We would like to thank many people who have contributed to the conference. We express our gratitude to 300 delegates from more than 30 countries all over the world for their activity in preparing lectures, papers, posters and workshops. We thank numerous people for their help and effort made in order to organize the meeting: members of the Organizing and Scientific Committees and external reviewers for their hard work. Special thanks should be given to Mariusz Kulik, the secretary of our Meeting for his tremendous work, Roger Wilkins and Josef Nösberger – Honorary Life Presidents of EGF – for consultations of invited papers and also Alan Hopkins for the English language revision of all contributions. The Executive Committee of EGF was also very helpful in preparing our conference. Our very special thanks go to the EGF Secretary Willy Kessler for his advice and help. The conference would have been difficult to organize without the financial support of sponsors from industry and public bodies. We hope that the conference in Lublin will be an excellent occasion for up-to date research and will become a forum for open discussion between scientists, advisory people and farmers.
Fifteen years ago Poland was a host of the EGF Occasional Symposium. Now we have a great honor and pleasure to offer our hospitality and facilities to all participants of the General Meeting.