Follow up workshop on the Alpine process and preparing for the Continental/Pannonian/Steppic and Black Sea process
Dates: Monday, 22 September2014 - Tuesday, 23 September 2014 (Note that travel may be required on 21 and 24 Sept)
Location: Hotel Alfa Art, Budapest, Hungary
On 22nd and 23rd September 2014 CEEweb for Biodiversity, with support of ECNC, organised a Natura 2000 Management Workshop. The event consisted of two parts: a follow up of the Alpine Biogeographical seminar and a preparatory Continental/Pannonian/Steppic/Black Sea workshop. Altogether 38 experts from governments of Hungary, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland and Austria as well as NGO, National Park and Forestry representatives were present. The group discussed various approaches to forest management, funding opportunities for conservation, as well as issues within the forests and grasslands habitats.
The first day of the workshop was focusing on the priorities from the Alpine Biogeographical Seminar held in Graz. It covered the topics like different management options for forest habitats, and innovative financing possibilities for the management of Natura 2000 sites.
Day two of the workshop was an opportunity to generate some information and contribute to the Seminar Input Document for the Continental/Pannonian/Steppic and Black Sea regions.
The discussion on financing identified the most popular funding instruments (i.e. LIFE+, the Operational Programme Environment (OPE), European Rural Development Fund (ERDF) and agri-environmental measures, the Norwegian and the Swiss Fund) and the least utilized funds (i.e. the Fisheries Fund, the Transborder Collaboration Fund and the European Social Fund (ESF) with some exceptions to both (e.g. the LIFE fund being under-used in the Czech Republic and Germany and the Fisheries Fund being adequately utilized in Romania).
The group emphasized that there was a need to use clear definitions as well as defining Favourable Conservation Status (FCS) for different forest habitats and devising a toolkit to determine appropriate measures for forest habitats to reach FCS. Despite having been identified as a priority at the Graz seminar, these issues had not been discussed sufficiently. After much discussion and many alterations four main approaches to the management of forests in Natura 2000 sites were identified by the gathered experts, as well as the main pros and cons of these aproaches. Out of these the most appropriate one should be chosen on a site to site basis:
- Sustainable separate stance even-aged forestry
- Uneven-aged continuous cover forestry (group selective cutting, no stand approach, no clear cuts)
- Close-to-nature management with specific biodiversity measures
- Non-intervention management
Preparation for the Continental/ Pannonian/ Steppic and Black Sea Biogeographical Kick-off Seminar
Two working groups discussed the key management issues, pressures & threats and proposed solutions to habitats within the regions. The aim of the exercise was to generate information for the Seminar Input Document. Some of the concrete recommendations for the kick-off seminar were:
- Create a database with case studies searchable by key words
- Information and experience on habitats tackled in previous seminars (biogeographical regions) must feed into this process
- Habitats should be grouped by similar management styles (within grasslands, forests etc.)
- Adequate representation of all stakeholders must be ensured
- A more narrowed down habitat selection should occur (must consider selected habitats and their specific problems, not only habitat groups in general such as forests, grasslands etc.)
- Clear rules regarding the support for MS/NGOs’ future conservation activities should be spelled out in advance, in the seminar document
- More time is needed for consultation regarding the target experts
- A detailed questionnaire should be conducted The results of the workshop will be channeled as recommendations into the Kick-off Seminar.
Nature administrators, environmental practitioners, site managers, landowners and NGOs
Download a full Workshop Report or visit the event's website for all workshop documents: https://www.ceeweb.org/event/biogeographical-process-networking-event/