On Monday 28th September, another Situation Analysis workshop was organized within the BEECH POWER project, this time by the Public Institution Paklenica National Park. Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the workshop was held remotely, via the Zoom platform. The workshop was organised using the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation.
The workshop started with a short introduction of each participants. Mihovila Milin from Paklenica National Park opened the event with a presentation about BEECH POWER project. Following, the workshop facilitator Ivan Martinić gave a presentation about the methodology Open Standards for the practice of Conservation, as well as the purpose and manner of work within the workshop.
Mihovila Milin introduced to the participants the features and current management status of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in the national park. The present stakeholders were then divided into two groups according to their preference, each with its own moderator. The first group discussed the state of the World Heritage sites, with special attention to the strengths and weaknesses of their conservation. The second group discussed what are the new opportunities for the World Heritage sites and how to take advantage of them.
Stakeholders of the first group generally agreed that the current level of protection of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in the national park is satisfactory due to the fact that the sites are located within the boundary of a national park, where according to the Nature Protection Act, any economic activity and forest exploitation is prohibited. The management regime of the Park with respect to zoning significantly contributes to the preservation of naturalness and protection of the site, and the zoning is currently being restored in order to raise the protection to an even higher level.
The second group agreed that there is a strong need to educate visitors and all interested parties about the localities, importance and behaviour. Moreover, it is necessary to engage children and youth through the organisation of various educational programs. In respect to visitors all interested, more effective promotional activities would provide benefits both for the whole park and for local communities. Participants concluded that the inclusion of the respective old-growth beech forests in the World Heritage list provides additional tools and resources for the protection of the whole area and local communities, and to strengthen the effectiveness of communication and cooperation, the establishment of a so-called Partnership council would provide a good basis.