Meeting the new World Heritage Beech Forest Coordination Office

2nd September 2020

Last week, the BEECH POWER partnership had the pleasure to have a first virtual meeting with the new Coordination Office of the World Heritage Beech Forests. In this meeting, we initiated further efforts to strengthen the collaboration between the BEECH POWER project and the Coordination office, get to know its new team, and identify opportunities for synergies to achieve our common goals.

Role of the Coordination Office

The World Heritage site containing the extraordinary beech forests in Europe spans across 12 different States Parties. All 12 Parties have signed a joint Declaration of Intent to foster the conservation and protection of their valuable beech forests. The main decision making body of this international partnership is the Joint Management Committee. Each State Party has one representative in this Committee. In order to support the Joint Management Committee with their work, the Coordination Office was established. 

For the last few years, the Coordination Office was located in Austria. Now, the new Coordination Office moved to Belgium. It will help to answer questions and write reports for UNESCO and IUCN, and besides several other tasks, they coordinate also the field missions of IUCN experts in the context of the current extension nomination of the World Heritage property. Also, the Coordination Office currently works on finalizing the Guidance document for buffer zone management. They would also like to cooperate with the BEECH POWER partnership regarding the development of a Guidance document on management quality. 

Strong collaboration

The work of the Coordination Office, such as the Guidance document on buffer zone management, will be very helpful to component parts of the World Heritage property. There are several World Heritage component parts directly involved in the BEECH POWER project, thus a strong collaboration is essential. Therefore, there will be regular communication between the project partners and the Coordination Office for the remaining project duration and beyond, to create a long-lasting beneficial collaboration, which works towards the goal of protecting and safeguarding the unique beech forests in Europe.