During the 3rd call of the Interreg Central Europe programme, the Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development submitted a project called BEECH POWER. The Joint Secretariat of Interreg has approved this project proposal, which will start officially in April 2019.
Please also read: 1st General Assembly of European Beech Forest Network
The full project title is: World Heritage Beech Forests: empowering and catalyzing an ecosystem-based Sustainable Development. The consortium of the project consists of the following partners:
- Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development (Lead Partner) from Germany
- European Wilderness Society from Austria
- Kalkalpen National Park from Austria
- Public Institution Paklenica National Park from Croatia
- Angermünde City Administration from Germany
- Slovenia Forest Service from Slovenia
- National Forest Centre from Slovakia
In addition, the following Associated Strategic Partners are involved:
- Federal Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism, Austria
- Ministry of Rural Development, Environment and Agriculture of the Federal State of Brandenburg, Germany
- CEEweb for Biodiversity, Hungary
- State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic, Slovakia
- Hainich National Park, Germany
- Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin, Germany
- Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, Slovenia
- Municipality Loška dolina, Slovenia
- Municipality Kočevje, Slovenia
- European Beech Forest Network e.V., Germany
- City of Starigrad, Croatia
- World Natural Heritage Beech Forest Grumsin e.V., Germany
- Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic, Slovakia
The UNESCO World Heritage (WH) Site ‘Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe’ represents the most complex transnational serial natural site in the UNESCO portfolio – comprising 78 component parts in 45 protected areas (PAs) in 12 countries. The programme area shares almost 25% of the components parts distributed in 5 countries (AT, DE, HR, SK and SI).
While local management units of the component parts face similar challenges, i.e. concerning buffer zone management, the respective environmental and socio-economic contexts differ considerably on local and national level. The main project objective is to improve management quality and effectiveness of the WH site to safeguard the ecosystem integrity of the single component parts by improving capacities and active participation possibilities of relevant stakeholders. The project takes an ecosystem-based and participatory approach working on different administrative levels to anchor the WH site in sustainable regional development and produce replicable and innovative models for WH beech forests and their local surroundings (i.e. WH Beech Communities, sustainable buffer zone management, Beech Forest Quality Standard).
The main outputs are guidelines and strategies for stakeholder participation and regional development, a handbook for buffer zone management, recommendations for visitor management, a communication concept and a Beech Forest Quality Standard that support protected area administrations, public authorities and actors from civil society in their daily work. The results will be applicable for other WH component parts outside the programme area. The transnational cooperation responds to the challenges of a transnational WH site, as comprehensive solutions must reflect the heterogeneity of the single component parts. Further, it ensures the establishment of a WH-wide learning network between different stakeholders that would not be possible on national level.