Ministry of Environment and Physical PlanningAgency of Environment Assessment of the state and quantity of the Bear's ear populations - Arctostaphylos uva- ursi L. (Spreng.) in the Republic of Macedonia Sashko Jordanov, M.Sc Central and Eastern Europe Regional Worshop on Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity 30 May - 02 June 2005, Moscow
1. General information • The Republic of Macedonia is situated in the central part of the Balkan Peninsula and it occupies an area of 25.713 km2. • The richness and heterogeneity of species and ecosystems appear to be the basic characteristics of the biodiversity of the Republic of Macedonia. • Biodiversity of R. Macedonia is represented by over 18000 taxa of flora, fauna and fungi, of which over 900 are endemic taxa. • There are approximately 3,500 vascular plant species in Macedonia, of which 700 have medicinal properties, but only 120 species are utilised.
The collection of medicinal plants can be divided into two categories: collection for personal use and for economic purposes. • The Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning is the competent authority in the Republic of Macedonia for biodiversity protection. • The Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning prepared a new Law on Nature Conservation and National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (2004).
The main objective of the Strategy is to protect biological diversity and ensure its sustainable use for the benefit of people, taking into consideration the unique natural values and the rich tradition of the Republic of Macedonia. • A Case-study on the sustainable use of biological resources in the Republic of Macedonia has not been prepared yet. • An assessment of the state and quantity of bear's ear population - Arctostaphylos uva-ursi L. (Spreng.) in the Republic of Macedonia was prepared in 2003
2. Case-study an assessment of the state and quantity of bear's ear population • The bear's ear is a shrubby species, widely distributed on a global level. • In the Republic of Macedonia the species is distributed in the following areas (Skopje Valley, mountains of Yakupitsa, Karadzitsa, Dautitsa, Shar Mountain, Osogovo Mountains and Mariovo. • Bear's ear thrives on rocky ground in the light woods of black and white pine and in subalpic plant communities on limestone and dolomite ground.
Map of distribution of Arctostaphylos uva-ursi in Republic of Macedonia Serbia and Montenegro Skopje Bulgaria Albania M A C E D O N I A Greece
Total estimated quantity of Arctostaphylos uva-ursi in the Republic of Macedoniais 600- 650 t (fresh matter) or 230-300 t (dry matter). Most of it (150-200 t) comes from the areas of Skopje Valley, mountains Jakupitsa, Karadzitsa and Dautitsa) where there is mass collection of this species by the local people and its populations are excessively used. • Generally, the populations of Arctostaphylos uva-ursi are decreasing on a national level. • The Bear's ear is a well-known medicinal plant in the traditional medicine and pharmacology.The collection and trade of its is for commercial purposes. The leaves of the plant are collected in the period April-June or August-September.
The purchase price of the bear's ear leaves changes depending on the season of collection and the climate conditions. Purchase is done by private companies at purchase stations or at the collection site directly with the collectors. The purchase price in 2003 was 1,59 EUR for 1 kg leaves of bear's ear. • Official data on exported amounts of bear's ear have been recorded since 1993 to 2004. Greatest exploitation of the populations of bear's ear has been registered in 1995/96, when 65-80 t were exported annually. In 2004 43,5 t of bear's ear were exported. • New Law on Nature Conservation incorporates provisions for conservation of nature. It also covers the regulation of wild-growing plants collection and trade.
In the course of 2002, the new Law on Customs Tariff of the Republic of Macedonia was adopted with Decision for distribution of goods in export and import forms. The Decision includes lists of endangered wild plants, fungi and animals, placed under the regime of permit, issued by the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning. The List of endangered plants includes the species Arctostaphylos uva-ursi as well. • The conditions and manner of use of medicinal plants have not been regulated in the national legislation, because we have not prepared secondary acts for the concrete area. • There is no institution on the national level responsible for monitoring of the state of wild-growing plants, so there is no continuous monitoring of the same, and the data are based only on individual scientific research.
The Republic of Macedonia has not established a mechanism for sustainable use of biodiversity yet, especially concerning Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, nor has prepared a system and Action Plan for management of bear's ear population. • The Republic of Macedonia envisages to introduce a 5-year exploitation moratorium of the Arctostaphylos uva-ursi. • Maximum permitted exploitation quote after the moratorium is 7-10 t of the total estimated amounts.
3. Priority activities of conservation of bear's ear • Prepare secundary legislation on the regulation of wild- growing plants collection and trade (export-import). • Prepare of Case-study on the sustainable use of Arctostaphylos uva-ursi in the whole territory of Macedonia • Introduce 5-year exploitation moratorium for theArctostaphylos uva-ursi. • Introduce maximum permitted exploitation quote for after of moratorium.
Develop of Ecological Networks (Emerald and Natura 2000) as an important model of biodiversity and ecosystem protection. • Intoduce continuous monitoring of collection and trade of bear's ear • Control collectors, purchasers, purchase stations, producers and manufacturers • Include localities of bear's ear on Jakupitsa and Nidze, which will be proclamed national parks in the next period
Establish a mechanism for sustainable use of bear's ear • Inculde bear's ear in the next Red book of the Republic of Macedonia • Introduce commercial breeding of bear's ear • Introduce and implement the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines for the Sustainable Use of Biodiversity and Principles and Guidelines of the Ecosystem Approach in order achieve integrated conservation and management of land, water and living resources