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ŠUMARSKI LIST 9-10/2011 str. 4     <-- 4 -->        PDF


Lifetime Achievement Award is conferred to
Emeritus ProfessorBRANIMIR PRPIĆ, PhD

The State Awards ceremony for the year 2010 was held in the Croatian Parliament on the eve of Croatia’s Independence
Day. The Lifetime Achievement Award,the State Award for Science in the field of biotechnical sciences,was conferred to Emeritus
Professor Branimir Prpić, PhD. The expert commission for biotechnical sciences, adhering to the principle of presenting
science awards only to most distinguished scientists who have achieved outstanding results in their scientific field, based its
proposal for the candidate on the reviewers’reports of individual candidates. The proposal was accepted by the Selection Committee
forState Awards in Science. Due to Professor Prpić’s health problems, the award was received on his behalf by Professor
Milan Oršanić, PhD, Dean of the Faculty of Forestry of the University in Zagreb. After the awards competition had been announced,
at the initiative of the Croatian Forestry Society the Scientific Council of the Faculty of Forestry of Zagreb University
put forward the laureate, the professor at the Faculty of long standing.

A more detailed overview of the teaching, scientific and editorial work of our distinguished professor and longtime editor-
in-chiefof Forestry Journalis given in the Awards column of this issue. We shall only briefly comment on several introductory
texts from the Editorial, a column which Professor Prpić as editor-in-chief launched in 1975 as a periodic column,but which
became a permanent feature in1994. The choice of topics has been very varied and has almost exclusively focused on the condition
ofthe forestry profession at a given moment and on the main problems it faces. In a way, the columnrepresents a historical
survey of important events and turning points in the profession. Sometimes, the Editorial has given food for thought to
everyone trying to solve a particular problem, but most often it has actually provided a solution to the problem. The solution
may sometimes have reflected the editor’s personal belief, but most often, it has been the joint effort of the scientific-specialist
profession, whose port-parole Professor Prpić was and which he openly advocated in his column, regardless of occasional divergent
political dictates.

In the first text (FJ 1-3/1975), At the Threshold of Jubilee, the editor announces the forthcoming 100th anniversary of the
Forestry Journal and highlights its significance for the forestry profession. He urges specialist readership to read and subscribe
to the Journal, but first and foremost to participate in its creation by writing contributions. The theme of 1975 dealing with
forestry in Dalmatia would be very topical today if the financial means for non-market forest functions were reduced or, God
forbid, revoked. Let us quote the final sentence from the text: “It is even more unrealistic, to say the least, and indeed untenable,
that forestry on karst should be perceived as an economic-productive activity, and that it should depend on itself, on the rent for
goat pasture and on small services for tourism, as well as on the understanding or non-understanding shown by municipal executive
bodies to forestry organisations”.

A significant topic from 1976 relates to the celebration of the 130thanniversary of the Croatian Forestry Society, an important
institution for the forestry profession, where the need for its promotion is particularly stressed in its work programme:
“Begin by explaining the role of the forestry profession in the preservation and improvement of forests and by stressing the importance
of non-market forest functions, whose value can only be raised by forestry experts. I would also leave it to the profession
as a competent institution to deal with important priority relationships “between the raw material basis and timber
processing industries”. In one of the articles from 1986 he writes: “In a time of crisis, such as today, there is often strong pressure
on cheap raw material which cannot cover all the costs of simple and expanded biological reproduction of forests”.In the
same article, in addition to the forest fund encumbered by ever-growing needs for good quality raw material, he warns of forest
decline caused by changed chemical climate. In the last article of that year he concludes:“The timber processing industry
should strive to further improve the precious material from our forests and to do business successfullyin order to be able to also
acquire raw material from abroad”, because the annual yields of our forests are limited.

In the issue 3–4/1988, Professor Prpić writes about the endangered status and decline of some tree species and points to a
different attitude towards the forest compared with that of “30, but also 10 years ago”. The relationship between its raw material
and energy value and its ecological and social value is constantly changing in favour of the latter. There is a well known
saying that “man can do without timber, but cannot do without a forest”. Here is another important sentence: “Every attempt to
invest in modernisation of timber processing from the already exhausted forest fund leads to rapid devastation of forests and
loss of their ecological, social and direct economic (raw material) functions”.

Space does not allow us to mention all the other topics of high interest, such as changed water relations in the sites, the
Dunav-Sava canal, organisation of forestry, participation of forestry experts in the planning of infrastructural projects, calculating
non-market forest functions, and many others.

We hope that the readers will be encouraged by the above topics and citations, and particularly by a more detailed overview
of Professor Prpić’s work to try and compare problems of the profession in the past and today, and possibly even answer the
question what, if anything, has changed. The working opus of Professor Prpić will be even more extensively presented in a special
book which the Croatian Forestry Society is preparing to mark 40 years of his activity as editor-in-chief of Forestry Journal.

In the end, on behalf of our readers and on our own behalf, we warmly congratulate Professor Prpić on his well deserved

Editorial Board