The science of Forestry originates from the countries of Central and North Europe, due to contemporary and incrementally increasing needs for wood as raw material as well as due to the problems created by the extensive destruction of forests and, generally, of the natural environment.
Such concerns have led to the organization of university departments in Middle Europe and later on in the rest of the continent, Greece included. In this light, the first higher education Forestry School in Greece was founded and operated in 1917 in Athens and was later transferred to Thessaloniki in 1927 to form one of the first educational units of the newly-founded Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
The Department of Forestry and Management of the Environment and Natural Resources of the School of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences in Democritus University of Thrace that resides in Orestiada started its operation in the academic years 1999-2000 with the entrance of the first students. In the current academic year, it will accept approximately 160 students.
According to article 1 of P.D. 203/90, the purpose of the foundation and operation of the new department is the cultivation and promotion of Forestry Science as well as of the Environmental Science with special emphasis on the direction concerning the management of natural resources and on the training of scientists who are able to study, research, comprehend and apply modernmethods for the development, improvement, protection and management of forests and woodlands and of the natural environment.
Forestry is a science that is largely based on the principles of sciences such as Physics, Mathematics, Botany, Zoology, Mineralogy, Meteorology and Chemistry. Nevertheless, it also needs the assistance of theoretical science such as Economics and applied sciences such as Topography. In this way, it creates its own edifice with the aid of similar scientific fields. In some areas, the science of Forestry collaborates with scientists of different specialty, mainly with engineers, chemists and biologists.
The Department of Forestry and Management of the Environment and Natural Resources aspires to contribute significantly to the development of Forestry Science, the enhancement of management and exploitation of Greek forests and, in general, of the natural resources as well as to the protection of the natural environment in our country through training, research, publications and the general active participation of its teaching staff and graduates.
More particularly, the presence of Democritus University of Thrace in the outermost prefecture of Evros and in the city of Orestiada has an additionally salient mission, i.e. to act as the Cultural Lighthouse in the wider area and contribute significantly to the development of local cultural andintellectual move.