As part of the component for cooperation between the Faculty of Forestry in Skopje and the Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH-HAFL) from Switzerland, the Nature Conservation Programme in Macedonia supported the development of three Bachelor’s degree and two Master’s degree theses of three Macedonian and two Swiss students who in the period from August to September worked in the Bregalnica region on preparation of the field-related aspects of their thesis. The Macedonian and Swiss students worked in pairs according to the methodology developed by BFH-HAFL under the mentorship of professors from the Faculty of Forestry in Skopje and the Bern University of Applied Sciences from Switzerland with the purpose of knowledge exchange between the students, as well as between the professors of the two institutions.
The students Marija Sterjovska (FF) and Patrick Schwab (BFH-HAFL) worked on the topic “Optimisation of Cultivation Measures in Beech Forests of Sucker Origin in the Upper Bregalnica Region”, the students Daniel Gjenchevski (FF) and Christian Aeschlimann (BFH-HAFL) worked on the topic “Genetic and Carbon-Binding Potential of Beech Forests of Sucker Origin in the Upper Bregalnica Region” and the student Boris Najdovski worked on the topic “Significance of Sheep Grazing for the Management of the Areas in the Upper Bregalnica Region”. In the field research, the students were given big support by the Public Enterprise “Makedonski shumi” through its subsidiaries in Kochani, Pehchevo and Berovo who were also familiarised with the work methodology of the students. It is expected to have the theses completed and the viva voce examination taken by the end of the year, except for the topic “Genetic and Carbon-Binding Potential of Beech Forests of Sucker Origin in the Upper Bregalnica Region” for which the oral defence is expected to be given in 2016.