The first Thematic Transnational Task Force Meeting on biodiversity and landscape conservation

Banská Bystrica, 17-18th June

On 17-18th June 2019, Banská Bystrica, Slovakia, will welcome a variety of national experts and protected area managers from the Carpathian region to jointly address issues concerning biodiversity and landscape conservation in the Carpathians. The two-day event will foster transnational cooperation between seven neighbouring states, Parties to the Carpathian Convention and will allow sharing expertise and best practices identified in the Carpathian region in order to improve Carpathian protected areas capacities in response to biodiversity loss. The event is organized by the State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic in cooperation with the Ekopsychology Society from Poland as part of the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE Centralparks project.

The Transnational Thematic Task Force on biodiversity and landscape conservation is one task force of five in total established within the project. Going in line with the aim of Centralparks, the task forces will be focusing on key pressures driving biodiversity loss in the Carpathians, such as infrastructure development, tourism pressure, degradation, fragmentation and destruction of habitats, poaching, illegal logging, pollution and climate change. These expert groups are tasked with the goal of the development of strategic policy documents and tools that will support the Carpathian region on the long-term. The first Thematic Transnational Task Force Meeting on biodiversity and landscape conservation will initiate the three-year-long joint work to develop the Carpathian strategy for enhancing biodiversity and landscape conservation in, and around all Carpathian Protected Areas.

Let’s get to know the partners: European Academy of Bolzano/Bozen (Eurac Research)

The lead partner, Eurac Research is a private non-profit advanced research centre established in 1992 in Bolzano, Italy. It comprises more than 450 staff members and collaborators who, united by the shared values of passion for their work and a commitment to quality, have the opportunity to work in a multicultural environment thanks to a wide diversity of nationalities represented among its team. The activities of Eurac Research include national and international research projects as well as direct cooperation with public and private clients.

Eurac Research is internally organized into 11 research institutes, performing research activities in different fields from issues related to minority rights protection, federal, regional and local governmental trends and the efficient management of public administrations to studies on renewable energies, promotion of sustainable development and the protection of natural resources. Besides 9 labs, which focus on the field of renewable energy, Eurac Research also has biobanks, ancient remains labs, a biomedicine lab, an extreme environmental simulator terraXcube, an environmental sensing lab and an alpine environment open-air lab.

Eurac Research is seen as one of the most significant scientific partners for the Carpathian Convention. The Institute for Regional Development has also been invited to contribute to the Conference of the Parties (COP), the main decision-making body of the Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians.

The organisation has over 20 years’ experience in EU co-financed projects, in terms of both participation and management. Since 2010, Eurac Research has been involved in 161 projects funded by different EU schemes. Currently, Eurac Research is involved, both as Lead Partner and Project Partner, in 80 ongoing projects. Eurac Research has extensive experience in the management of projects thanks to the high level of qualifications and skills of its staff. Its experience will benefit the harmonisation of  biodiversity protection and regional development in the Carpathian protected areas.

The team

Project Kick-off

16-17th of April

The official Kick-off meeting of the Centralparks project took place on 16-17th April in Bolzano, Italy. The meeting welcomed 8 project partners as well as representatives of national Ministries and the Carpathian Convention. The expert meeting provided a platform for intense knowledge exchange through action plans, strategies and cooperation strategies that will provide guidance for the project.

The Centralparks project, co-funded by the European Commission through the INTERREG CENTRAL EUROPE Programme, has the overall budget of 1.6 Mio. EUR. The project unites 8 project partners and 8 associated partners from 9 European countries, aiming to harmonise management capacities in Carpathian Protected Areas. The project will support nature protection and local sustainable development, improve integrated environmental management capacities and policies, and will focus on mitigating current threats and pressures to biodiversity.

The kick-off meeting was opened by the welcome speech of Lead Partner responsible Isidoro de Bortoli, Prof. Roland Psenner, the president of Eurac Research, and Dr. Thomas Philipp Streifeneder, the head of the research institute of regional development. As the project focuses on the Carpathians which are a strong link between the project partners, Eleonora Musco, representing the Carpathian Convention officially welcomed the partnership.

Over the next 3 years, guidelines, strategic documents and pilot actions will be implemented. During the meeting, the three Thematic Work packages have been presented by the Work package leaders.  These work packages focus on the integration of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in the Carpathian Region, building capacities of Carpathian Protected Area managers and strenghtening ecosystem services in the Carpathians.

It was a strong and productive start. We are looking forward to the fruitful cooperation!