On 13 and 14 June, guests from the Portuguese Centro region visited the International Certification Office Healing Forest. Luis Faraleiro (glamhealth), Miguel Vasco (iNature) and Alex Gesse (FTHub) came to Rostock to learn about the requirements and procedures for establishing a Healing Forest. The Portuguese guests are very interested in developing the Mata do Busaco forest near Coimbra into a Healing Forest according to the standards and criteria developed in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
On the morning of 14 June, the guests from Portugal visited the forest area Quellholz - Eikhäge in Bad Doberan, which is currently in the process of being designated as a Spa and Healing Forest. Sophie Jänicke and Elke Ringel from the responsible planning office PLAN AKZENT discussed the structure of the future Spa and Healing Forest and presented the planned therapy possibilities. They were supported by Annalena Joch from the Ministry for Climate Protection, Agriculture, Rural Areas and the Environment and Kerstin Ofiara from the State Forestry. Both informed about the designation process of Spa and Healing Forests as it is applied in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
The steps of the international certification process, as it will also be applied to the future Healing Forest in Portugal, were presented by Dr. Anne Rabes and Jan Schmidt from the International Certification Office Healing Forest during a workshop in the afternoon. Prof. Dr. Karin Kraft from the Chair of Naturopathy at the University Medical Center Rostock introduced the further training courses "Forest Therapy" and "Forest Prevention", which are offered and carried out by the State Forestry. Prof. Dr. Gerhard Tucek from the IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems gave a practical example. He presented the current certification project for two forest areas in Austria.
The subsequent discussions were very interesting for all participants. In particular, the guests from Portugal were able to gain a deeper insight into the procedures and requirements of the certification process for the planned Healing Forest in Portugal. The certification of the Mata do Busaco as a Healing Forest is planned for the third quarter of 2022. Besides the two forest areas in Austria, it would then be the third Healing Forest to be certified according to the international standards of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.