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. That is why the BEECH POWER project was created, with the 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, funded by the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE Programme 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. 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 European Beech Forest Network supports the projects and takes part as an Associated Strategic Partner.

Project details

  • Project budget: € 1 864 328.98
  • Total ERDF project funding: € 1 525 058.32
  • Start date: 01/04/2019
  • End date: 31/03/2022
  • 7 Partners
  • 5 countries

For more information, visit the BEECH POWER website and media database, and follow the project on social media: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.