Below, find all the news articles of the last months and years in chronological order.
DANUBEPARKS 2019 Conference in Kopački rit
Last week an international conference „DANUBEparksCONNECTED & DANUBEPARKS Association“ was organized in Kopački rit (Croatia) on 6th-8th November 2019.
The main part of a conference for the DANUBEparksCONNECTED project was held on, 7th November when the Project Management Meeting took place to discuss the development of LIFE WILDisland as a follow-up for WP3 WILDisland and WP6 Danube Riparian Forest Corridor.
On the same day, a field trip was organized to the northern part of Nature park „Kopački rit“ where participants took a walk through the forest to the coast of river Danube and one of „wild islands“ which is included in the project plan for LIFE WILDisland.
The WILDisland initiative aims to preserve natural Danube islands as flagship habitats for river dynamics. The Danube Wild Island Habitat Corridor contributes to strengthen the ecological connectivity and to preserve natural wilderness that exists in the heart of Europe.
The WILDisland map presents the results of the first inventory of Danube islands: over 900 islands were identified along the Danube River which covers an area of more than 138,000 hectares.
On the 8th of November General Assembly of DANUBEPARKS was held. Agenda:
1. Opening and Agenda (DANUBEPARKS President, V. Rožac)
2. Activity Report 2018 (Secretary General, G. Frank)
3. Financial Report 2018 (Treasurer, T. Schneider)
4. Approval of the acts of the Management Board
5. Presentation Activity Plan 2020
6. Budget Plan 2020
7. Other issues (by all Members of the Association)
After General Assembly was held, an external expert from E.C.O. Institute DI Michael Huber moderated workshop „Guiding Principles toward Future Perspective for DANUBEPARKS“. Planning and consulting for protected areas, conservation areas and international development cooperation projects is the expertise of this institute and hopefully, it will support further development of DANUBEPARKS.More
DANUBE FREE SKY conference - Tulcea, Romania
Last week Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Authority organized an international conference "DANUBE FREE SKY" (16.-18. September 2019).
The Danube is a flyway for bird migration of European importance. While the Danube Protected Areas preserve the most valuable sites, power lines are dangerous barriers.
On the first day of the conference after introduction, keynote speeches were held:
- DAN HULEA (Executive Director of the Romanian Ornithological Society): Bird Conservation at lines in Romania and along the Danube - possible synergies with DANUBE FREE SKY
- ALEXANDRU DOROSENCU (Danube Delta National Institute): The DANUBE FREE SKY Position Paper - Collision
- REMO PROBST (BirdLife Austria): The DANUBE FREE SKY Position Paper - Electrocution
After presentations, a field trip in the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve was organized, including a site visit to critical power lines in the Delta to promote follow-up conservation actions. On the boat, best practice conservation actions along the Danube were presented with space for discussion.
On the second day of conference focus was on a discussion about DANUBE FREE SKY as good practice for Europe (from raised awareness to common standards):
- TAMAS PAPP (Milvus Group): Bird Species Conservation at power lines - LIFE project for European Roller,
- BEN JOBSON (BirdLife International, Science Research Assistant, Cambridge): Ongoing initiatives, outlook and possible fields of cooperation.
Also, reports from power lines operators from Upper, Middle, and Lower Danube were presented about the status quo, to do's and possible joint future cooperation.
At the end of the conference, Lucia Deutschova (Raptor Protection of Slovakia), Ion Munteanu (DDBRA Executive Director, Natural Heritage, Ecological Education, and International Relations Department) and Georg Frank (DANUBEPARKS Secretary General) presented conclusions of the conference with main focus on:
- Success and challenges for bird conservation at power lines in Europe and along the Danube.
- Lessons learned from Life Energy and the Carpathians.
- DANUBE FREE SKY Strategies and future recommendations for the Danube Region.
Danube Day 2019 celebration
On the 29th of June each year, the 14 countries of the Danube Basin jointly celebrate one of Europe's greatest river systems and the people and wildlife that rely on it. This year on this symbolic date DANUBEPARKS Network decided to celebrate opening of our first office in Croatia.
At 10:00 AM we raised flag with DANUBEPARKS logo in front of Public Institution Nature Park „Kopački Rit“ and president of association Vlatko Rožac delivered press statement about meaning of office opening in Croatia:
„Now it existence for almost 12 years Danube River Network of Protected Areas continues to strive to expand its programs and projects. Establishment of our first DANUBEPARKS Network office in Croatia is one more proof that we developed to a well-established association with long-term perspectives and that we are building our capacity continuously.“
After this, employees of DANUBEPARKS Network and PI Nature Parks „Kopački Rit“ held educational workshop for children. We talked about significance of Danube river with focus on protected and endangered species of animals inside river system. Coloring activities and educational games for children were part of our program and after that we joined DunavArt festival program and enjoyed the beautiful sounds of a piano concert of Konstantin Krasnicki.More
DANUBEparksCONNECTED final conference - Novi Sad, Serbia
Representatives of the DANUBEPARKS Network attended last week on the three-day final conference of the DANUBEparksCONNECTED project. Organized by Public Enterprise „Vojvodinašume“ from Serbia, the conference was held at the Hotel Park in Novi Sad .
On June 11th, in Novi Sad, Steering Committee Meeting and Project Partner Meeting was held, on which the main conclusions about project were drawn up and the project reports were reviewed.
On second day of the conference, June 12th, welcome speeches for all participants was delivered by Marta Takač (director of „Vojvodinašume“), Nebojša Vojnović (undersecretary, Provincial secretariat for regional development, interregional cooperation and local), Brankica Tabak (undersecretary, Provincial secretariat for urbanism and environmental protection), Marton Mikos (representative of EUSDR PA6) and Vlatko Rožac (president of DANUBEPARKS Association).
After welcome speeches introduction and overview of DANUBEparksCONNECTED results was presented:
- DANUBEparksCONNECTED: highlights and results (Stephanie Blutaumüller and Georg Frank, Donau-Auen National Park),
- WILDisland initiative (Balazs Toth, Duna-Ipoly National Park),
- DANUBE FREE SKY (Ion Monteanu, Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Authority),
- Danube Dry Habitat Corridor (Christiane Kotz, Landratsamt Passau).
Considering that conference was held in Serbia there were presentations also about ecological connectivity in Vojvodina Province of Serbia and about habitat corridors in Serbia.
Different projects on ecological connectivity along Danube were presented by members of several organizations:
- DaRe to Connect – Green Belt (Markus Pochtrager, University of Vienna),
- Sturgeon – MEASURES (Mijana Lenhardt, University of Belgrade),
- Coop MDD (Marko Tucakov, Institute for Nature Conservation of the Vojvodina Province),
- Sava TIES (Ivana Vasić, PE „Vojvodinašume“).
At the end of second conference day, moderated panel discussion was held on topic: „DANUBEparksCONNECTED and ecological connectivity in the eyes of the international organizations“. Members of panel bord were: Marton Mikos (EUSDR PA6), Edith Hödl (ICPDR), Georg Frank (DANUBEPARKS) and Jan Kadlečik (Carpathian Wetland Centre).
Third day of conference was held in Sombor with a space for outlook and conclusions, and also agreements about final phase of project - activities and reporting.More
Cycling the Danube - trip to the natural treasures along the Danube
- 3.000 Kilomters
- 10 Danube Countries
- 17 Protected Areas
- 120 DANUBEPARKS conservation actions
Cross-border grazing action in Donau-Auen National Park
The cross-border grazing within the DANUBEparksCONNECTED project is returning, through which we aim to maintain the grassy habitats of the flood protection dyke within Nationalpark Donau-Auen.
The Danube Wild Island Habitat Corridor
Islands are flagship sites for natural river dynamics. Join the Danube-wide initiative for their conservation.More
The first activity of our 2nd Danube Volunteers day has been organised by Donau-Auen National Park. Around 30 Volunteers from WWF Generation Earth collected 18 big garbage bags on the riverbank of the National Park.
We thank all participants and are looking forward to the next activities happening until June in all DANUBEPARKS Protected Areas.More
In November 2017all members came together to elect a new management board. Carl manzano, Director of Donau-Auen National Park has been re-elected as DANUBEPARKS President.
Despite severe human alterations, the Danube River still is of transnational importance to protect biodiversity in Sout-East Europe, and represents a major ecosystem on European scale. The Protected Areas along the Danube preserve and restore the most valuable habitats, thus safeguarding an important part of Europe’s natural heritage for future generations.
Consequently, already in 2017, DANUBEPARKS – the Danube River Network of Protected Areas was founded to boost transnational and Danube-wide efforts for nature conservation, river restoration and nature education.
After the successful implementation of two Danube wide EU-Projects, the DANUBEPARKS Association was founded in 2014 to provide a more stable framework of cooperation and a stronger joint voice. 12 full members and four observer members provided a solid ground for collaboration and experience exchange. Carl Manzano, Director of Donau-Auen Nationalpark has been elected as President and Georg Frank has been appointed as General Secretary. Since then the DANUBEPARKS office was located at Donau-Auen Nationalpark.
Meanwhile, DANUBEPARKS continued to grow and today consists of 16 Protected Areas from nine Danube countries. In November 2017 all members came together in Ruse (Bulgaria) for the General Assembly and to elect a new management board. The management board is the elected body steering the operational work of the organisation and has to be elected every three years, according to the associations’ statutes. Carl Manzano (Donau-Auen National Park, Austria) has been re-elected as DANUBEPARKS President, Stela Bozhinova (Persina Nature Park, Bulgaria) and Vlatko Rožac (Kopački Rit Nature Park, Croatia) as Vice-presidents. Radmila Šakić (Vojvodinasume, Serbia) and Thomas Schneider (City of Ingolstadt, Germany) represent
The 10 years anniversary has already been celebrated in July in Kopački rit (Croatia). “One of our guiding principles has been that nature conservation along the Danube needs cooperation without borders. The experience of the last ten years, proved us to be right“, explains Carl Manzano, Director of Donau-Auen National Park, and DANUBEPARKS President after his election.
The current project, funded by the Interreg Danube Transnational Project, fosters ecological connectivity by bridging the Danube Protected Areas towards a Danube Habitat Corridor. The initiative shows that DANUBEPARKS continues with intense experience exchange and cooperation and the development and implementation of cross-border and Danube wide nature conservation strategies and measures.
The 1st First Year Review – More than a formal obligation
On 14th November 2017, DANUBEparksCONNECTED was the first project of the Danube Transnational Programme that had the First Year Review. The meeting took place in Ruse/Bulgaria, was embedded into an expert workshop on ecological connectivity, and was hosted and organized professionally by the Bulgarian partner Rusenski lom Nature Park.
Together with Project Officer Gusztáv Csomor from the Joint Secretariat, the first results and experiences of the project implementation were concluded. All project partners were present and contributed their positions. Therefore, the monitoring visit turned out to be a milestone in internal communication, strengthening the project team and creating perspectives for follow-up initiatives.
For the DANUBEparksCONNECTED project team the formal obligation of having a First Year Review has been a very useful tool to discuss the stage of project implementation with our project officer, having the time to reflect strengths and weaknesses within the team, and to continue our implementation work now with new inspiration.More