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TransParcNet Meeting 2018

TransParcNet Meeting 2018 © Stefania Petrosillo

10th TransParcNet Meeting

From 5th to 8th June, 70 participants from 14 countries attended the TransParcNet meeting 2018,organised and hosted by Podyjí National Park (Czech Republic) and Thayatal National Park (Austria), supported by Interreg Austria – Czech Republic.

TransParcNet Meeting 2018

See the photo album at: http://bit.ly/transparcnet2018

“Bridges over troubled water – Nature protection of river landscapes”

The theme of this year was strictly connected with the story of these cross-border territories: situated along the Iron Curtain, they started to cooperate during the Cold War to protect the river Thaya (Dyje) against dam building. Since this dark period, the two areas continue working together with many common initiatives and projects for nature protection and public awareness.

The meeting “BRIDGES OVER TROUBLED WATER – NATURE PROTECTION OF RIVER LANDSCAPES” took place in Podyjí and Thayatal area at the Czech – Austrian border and focused on nature protection of river landscapes in transboundary regions © Nový Hrádek

The presence at the meeting of Austrian and Czech high national and local authorities demonstrated the strong support that both parks receive from their ministries and municipalities: the political endorsement is indeed very important for the sustainability at long term of all transborder cooperations.

Different experiences, projects and scientific researches were illustrated in the 3 sessions devoted to the management of river ecosystems and river basins and the efforts on cross-border cooperation for water protection. Below you can download the presentations from each session.

Session I “Changes and challenges of river ecosystems” 

Jan Dušek: Changes in Dyje river community and water regime during last 100 years
Robert Konecny, David Veselý: Dyje 2020 – Thaya 2020 Project (Konecny)
Robert Konecny, David Veselý: Dyje 2020 – Thaya 2020 Project (Veselý)

TransParcNet Meeting 2018, River Thaya (Dyje) © David Freudl

Session II “The river basin landscape impact on the state of watercourses“

Jan Pokorný: The relationship of landscape structure on energy and water balance
Lenka Reiterová: Changes of landscape structure in buffer zone of Podyjí National Park during last 15 years
Ronald Pöppl: Soil and Water Conservation Measures in the Fugnitz Catchment
Burkhard Beudert: Bark beetle outbreak and windthrow compensate for climate change effects on water cycle in headwater catchments of the Bohemian Forest
Patrick Holzapfel: Sediments, ecosystem services and interactions of floods and droughts in the AT-CZ border region

TransParcNet Meeting 2018 © David Freudl

Session III “Transboundary cooperation in water protection” 

Nick Huismann, Vlado Vančura: EU The WildRiver Concept
Magdalena Wagner: Amazon of Europe (Mura – Drava – Danube)
Tiia Kalske, Riina Tervo: Transboundary water management in the joint border area of Finland, Norway and Russia
Carl Manzano: Danubeparks – Transboundary cooperation and communication on river revitalization
Mihály Tóth: Wetland Connectivity project – the Raab river

TransParcNet Meeting 2018 © Silke Weich

Final session

Christian Übl, Tomáš Rothröckl: Bridges to neighbors – project of new pedestrian bridges across the Thaya river
Michal Hošek: Conclusions

Workshop outcomes

3 workshops explored different technical aspects of the protection of rivers and landscapes and a 4th workshop focused on agriculture and climate change adaption.

In the 1st  workshop Nature protection of river habitats used for energy production”, the main pressures represented by hydropower were discussed (residual flow in small streams, non-respecting of permissions, migration barriers, influence of the water level in lakes etc.). These infrastructures could be accepted in protected areas only if they are taking into account methodologies prepared by nature conservation institutions (including rivers connectivity issues) and adopting the new (fish-friendly) technologies. The instruments from the Water Framework Directive should be more used.

Download presentation: Nature protection of river habitats used for energy production

In the 2nd  workshop “Nature protection of river habitats used for water sports and recreation”, participants underlined as boating, rafting, canoeing, angling can have a very negative impact (disturbing water fauna, spread of alien species, etc.), as well as organizing water sports competitions on wild rivers.

Some suggested responses: harmonize legislation and enhance the efficiency of water management in transboundary parks across Europe, using all existing legislation options for decreasing of human impacts – incl. Natura 2000 regulation-, declare most valuable parts of river as a natural heritage without any sports and recreation. EUROPARC informed about the dialogue started by the federation with Outdoor Sport ENOS on this topic.

Download presentation: Nature protection of river habitats used for water sports and recreation (incl. angling)

The very difficult aspect discussed in the 3rd workshop was the “Harmonization of different legal frameworks in the border rivers´ nature protection”.  Participants underlined the importance of establishing a good and trustful relationship between countries and the acting persons, of promoting bilateral project funding and of identifying good practice examples.

Download presentation: Harmonization of different legal frameworks in the border rivers´ nature protection

A 4th workshop was dedicated to a different topic “Agricultural landscape and adaptation to climate change” and inevitably participants asked for a change of the subsidies system in CAP (Common Agricultural Policy in the EU), and funding for farming that adopts good practices. They also stressed that in the communication to farmers it is important to emphasize that agricultural adaption is about rural development and not only about nature conservation. EUROPARC presented the federation’s policy paper on sustainable agriculture in protected areas and CAP reform and the work of the EUROPARC Commission on Agriculture and PAs in the identification of an instrument (as a new Charter for Sustainable Agriculture in PAs) to support and award the dialogue between parks and farmers.

Download presentation: Agricultural landscape and adaptation to climate change

The EUROPARC Transboundary Task Force

During the TransParcNet meeting, the new “refreshed” EUROPARC Transboundary Task Force, chaired by Michael Hosek, EUROPARC Council member, and coordinated by Stefania Petrosillo, EUROPARC policy officer and person in charge of the programme, discussed the new Strategy and identifying its priorities for the next months: among them, to increase the visibility of the EUROPARC Transboundary Programme “Following Natures Design” among other cross-border protected areas potentially interested to join the network.

The TransParcNet meeting 2018 ended with a beautiful excursion that let participants enjoying views of deep Dyje/Thaya river valley, large forests, vast heathlands and historical monuments.

A message from the Thayatal and Podyjí Directors

“We would hereby like to thank you all for coming to the Austrian-Czech border region and for participating and the TransParcNet Meeting 2018. We are especially grateful for you interest, for you support and for your willingness to share your experiences and to exchange knowledge with all of us.  It has been a pleasure to welcome you in the National Parks Podyjí – Thayatal and we hope you enjoyed the meeting as much as we did. We appreciate all your contributions and would like to emphasize our thanks for your active participation which made this meeting very informative and valuable. We wish you all the best for your transboundary work and we hope to meet again soon. “

Christian Übl, Thayatal National Park director
Tomáš Rothröckl, Podyjí National Park director

And, indeed, EUROPARC and all participants thank a lot the two directors and their enthusiastic and professional staff for the perfect organisation of this meeting.

The organisation of the TransParcNet Meeting 2018 was supported by the Interreg Austria – Czech Republic.