Creation of  sustainable model for buffer zone management around World Heritage Beech forests

This work package is targeting the buffer zones of PAs comprising WH component parts as border areas with high potential for conflicts between different interest groups but also as areas for regional outreach of the PAs in terms of involving stakeholders in their management, transferring knowledge regarding natural heritage and promoting sustainable development in the region.

The outputs comprise strategies for protected areas and concerned public authorities for active stakeholder participation in buffer zone management, for conflict solution, visitor information and WH communication as well as sustainable forest management, which all contribute to achieving the project specific objectives in terms of mobilisation and active integration of concerned actors in buffer zone managment and regarding capacity building among local stakeholders and public authorities.

Several activities will be implemented to achieve these outputs including praticipatory risk assessments of selected buffer zones of WH component parts in Poloniny NP (SK), Snežnik-Ždrocle and Krokar (SI), which will include joint strategic planning fo increased stakeholder involvement in buffer zone management and for conflict solutions. Furthermore, strategies for visitor management and concepts for WH knowledge transfer as well as for making the forest experience for visitors and local identification with the WH forest come alive are jointly developed by all partners and partly implemented as pilot activities and evaluated in Kalkalpen NP (AT).

In the framework of another activity all PPs and concerned APs will cooperate on the joint development of a guideline for sustainable beech forest management practices in buffer zones of protected areas comprising WH component parts, which will be based on a jointly conducted assessment of existing forestry practices in the buffer zones of the target areas. The guidelines will be used in a pilot training action for foresters from public and private forestry.