General Meeting of COST Action CA22155 - Network for forest by-products charcoal, resin, tar, potash (EU-PoTaRCh)

The COST Action EU-PoTaRCh, for which the Poznań University of Life Sciences serves as the Grant Holder Institution, being among only a few Polish universities, has already had its 1st  General Meeting in Prague.

From the 4th to the 7th of March, the 1st  General Meeting of COST Action CA22155 - Network for forest by-products charcoal, resin, tar, potash (EU-PoTaRCh) took place. This exceptional event initiated the creation of a network for knowledge and experience exchange among scientists, traditional and contemporary producers, and enthusiasts of PoTaRCh products.

The meeting was attended by over 70 members of the Action from 32 countries. Over the course of three days, Action members shared knowledge and experiences related to PoTaRCh, focusing on its heritage, archaeology, environment, identification, and new applications. On the first day, the leaders of the five Working Groups (WG1 Heritage, WG2 Analytical Characterisation, WG3 Archaeology, WG4 Environmental History, WG5 Future Perspectives) delivered keynotes addressing the areas of interest of each group. On the second day, Working Group members began working in smaller teams to achieve the Action's goals. The final day featured a conference during which 14 presentations were delivered, and 15 posters were presented. The meeting was organized by the Institute of Ethnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences.

The Poznań University of Life Sciences, as the Grand Holder Institution of the Action, was represented by Action Chair, Professor Magdalena Zborowska from the Department of Chemical Wood Technology, Dr. Jakub Brózdowski, also from the Department of Chemical Wood Technology, serving as the Science Communication Coordinator of the Action, and Katarzyna Trzeciak, Head of the Projects Department at UPP, serving as the Grand Holder Manager of the Action. A student of Wood Sciences, Ahmet Erdem Yazici, also participated in the meeting. Such a diverse representation of our university provided participants with multifaceted support in both substantive and organizational matters, strengthening the presence of the University among dozens of foreign institutions from the world of science and research.

The CA22155 Action - Network for forest by-products charcoal, resin, tar, potash (EU-PoTaRCh) aims to:
- Develop a new, comprehensive perspective on the European history of potash, tar, resin, and charcoal by integrating knowledge scattered across Europe and beyond;
- Explore the cultural structures of non-timber forest by-products, which are intriguing in terms of tradition, language, and identity;
- Create open-access knowledge resources on PoTaRCh to demonstrate its presence in Europe with connections beyond Europe's borders without losing local and subregional context;
- Set a new standard for further archaeological, historical, environmental, chemical, and sociological research on PoTaRCh.
These objectives will be pursued over the course of 4 years through working meetings, training sessions, seminars, and conferences organized in the countries participating in the Action.

The next meeting, scheduled for 2025 under the format of the 2nd General Meeting of COST Action EU-PoTaRCh, will take place in Poznań, with the Poznań University of Life Sciences as the organizer. We have already extended our invitation to interested colleagues from the scientific community to participate in this event, about which we will provide detailed information at the beginning of 2025.

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