Increasing education opportunities on sustainable development for Protected Area managers in Romania (EdOppPa)
Together with ProPark Foundation (RO), EUROPARC was successful in applying for a project with the Deutsche Bundestiftung Umwelt (DBU) on „Increasing education opportunities on sustainable development for Protected Area managers in Romania“. The project aims at developing, implementing and promoting innovative tools and approaches (on-line learning) to increase knowledge transfer to Protected Area professionals on nature conservation management.
The Romanian Protected Area management system is relatively young (in place since 1999) and huge efforts were already made to designate new Protected Areas in the country. However Protected Areas are still quite often places where lack of knowledge and competences for management, lack of communication and stakeholder involvement lead to conflicts and ultimately to unsustainable resource use and investments. ProPark Foundation, established with the aim to help Protected Areas professionals to develop their competencies, is pioneering the establishment of comprehensive capacity building programmes. Efforts are also made to support stakeholders in actively contributing to Protected Area management.
The project aimed at supporting ProPark to introduce new approaches into the capacity building programme by using modern technology. With developing on-line training, the time of face-to-face training sessions can be reduced, resulting in a more cost and time effective training for Protected Area staff and their employers, important when resources for staff development are limited.
EUROPARC supported ProPark in delivering the project with its vast network of Protected Area professionals. The innovative approaches to capacity building in Protected Area staff developed in this project will be shared across the Federation network.
The project started in December 2013 and lasted for 30 months.
The first officially certified Protected Area Specialists in Romania were trained to become efficient administrators of natural protected areas in the country.
In total 135 people have been following the 6 weeks online course on the www.proparktraining.ro learning platform, that was developed and open in June 2015. This platform was created with help of 30 trainers involved in developing about 38 on-line lessons divided in 12 modules. 12 of the trainers were then responsible for mentoring and supporting the trainees during the online courses (trained by Propark). A guideline (only available in Romanian) was also developed on how to conduct an on-line course.
In addition to the virtual learning module, during the 12 days of intense professional training the trainees acquired specific skills for the efficient administration of natural protected areas, for promoting them as model areas for the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources as well as for increasing the level of acceptance of protected areas among communities and the public.
3 face-to-face sessions of 2×6 days each were organised by Propark:
- the first one between September and October 2015 (15 participants)
- the second one in October and November 2015 (15 participants)
- the third one in April 2016; (20 participants)
12 trainers were involved in leading the different workshops during these face-to-face sessions.
In the end of this course, successful trainees were awarded graduation certificates issued by the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Protection and the Elderly and the Ministry of National Education, and thus became the first Protected Area Specialists.
It is a project we are very proud of: very ambitious but full of opportunities. Through these training sessions we aim to create a new generation of specialists who would contribute to improving the fate of protected areas in Romania,
said Georgiana Andrei, project manager.
The final report of this project is available for download in English and German at the end of this page.
Project Coordinator ProPark: Georgiana Andrei
Project Coordinator EUROPARC: Petra Schultheiss