Empowering World Heritage Beech communities as model
for ecosystem-based sustainable development

The main purpose of this work package is to sustainably enhancing the cooperation between protected areas comprising World Heritage component parts an adjacent communities on a regional and transnational level. This will be achieved by 3 outputs, which include (i) governance strategies for incorporating natural heritage in regional sustainable development and for actively involving local stakeholders in planning processes, (ii) models for the creation of participatory processes in the surroundings of selected protected areas and (iii) a pilot network of World Heritage Beech Forest communities.

The outputs contribute to the project specific objectives as they focus on active participation of local/regional public authorities and civil society in the management of selected WH component parts and their surroundings by developing relevant strategies in cooperation with decision-making entities and further relevant stakeholders. Furthermore, the outputs contribute to enhancing capacities of relevant authorities and stakeholders through the creation of platforms for mutual exchange of knowledge/experience.

The outputs will be reached by an assessment of the stakeholders in the selected target areas before including them in the following steps in joint situation analysis and strategy planning.
Apart from developing new strategies/working programs a parallel approach will implement, test and evaluate 3 pilot measures, which were already identified in former cooperation projects as mechanisms needed for (i) enhancing the cooperation between protected areas and stakeholders in their surroundings, (ii) increasing transnational cooperation and exchange between WH protected areas and (iii) anchoring the WH component parts by the creation of regional added value. The regional strategies developed in 4 target areas and the evaluation results of 3 pilot actions will be the basis for the development of overall strategies for other protected areas of the WH site.