Optimization of the use of the resources of the Natura 2000 network for sustainable development in the Carpathians

project website: http://www.iop.krakow.pl/karpaty/ 

“Natura 2000 in the Carpathians” project was conducted as part of the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism (Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein).

Timeframe of the project: 01.04.2007–30.04.2011

Coordination: Institute of Nature Conservation, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków

Project description

The aim of the project “Optimization of the use of the resources of the Natura 2000 network for sustainable development in the Carpathians” was to engage local communities to contribute to the Natura 2000 network by the joint preparation of the governance strategy for Natura 2000 sites in the Polish Carpathians and the pilot implementation of measures for the active protection of natural habitats and species habitats on the selected areas. The project included the development of educational programmes aimed at spreading knowledge about the natural and cultural resources of the Carpathians. The project’s priority was also to create an integrated information system for the dissemination of data on the Natura 2000 sites, its application in nature protection and spatial planning, as well as promotion of the natural, touristic, and economic values of the Carpathians. The project was concluded by making scientific and socio-economic analyses, based on the experience of Polish and Norwegian experts, to indicate the sites of conflict between economic development and nature conservation and solutions to them.

Major tasks of the project were:

  • to develop a governance strategy for each of the intended special areas of habitat protection and the existing special areas of bird protection in the Polish Carpathians. As part of the strategy preparation, an inventory of natural habitats and species habitats from the EU Habitat and Bird Directives was carried out, as well as an analysis of existing and potential conflicts, socio-economic conditions, and the chances of sustainable development in these areas. The strategies provided material for developing protection plans for relevant areas
  • to implement programmes for active protection (of mountain meadows, peatbogs, forests, and large carnivores), to conduct educational programmes promoting nature protection at local level addressed mostly to schools and local communities
  • to create an integrated system of information about the Natura 2000 network in the Carpathians
  • to perform an analysis of the coherence of the Natura 2000 network in the Carpathians and develop a regional development strategy for this network.
  • to publish books and information brochures documenting the project’s achievements.