INFORMATION LETTER

Dear Colleagues!

We are pleased to inform you that in April 2019 Nature Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU), in partnership with the Institute of Ecological and Religious Studies (IERS) with the support of German Federal Foreign Office, launched a unique project “Adaptation of local communities to the expansion of national parks of Transcarpathia by common efforts of Churches and NGOs”. The project aims to adapt local territorial communities, which are on the territories expanded in 2017 and legally approved in 2019 of the national park “Uzhansky” “Synevyrsky” and “Zacharovanyj kraj” to new environmental conditions in nature conservation areas.

The uniqueness of our project is as follows:

  • we unite Churches and NGOs to ensure a higher level of adaptation of people to environmental conditions in nature conservation areas and near them;
  • we are establishing a platform for constant communication and fruitful interaction between the administrations of national parks and the local population through the mediation of the Church and civil society activists;
  • Together with environmental advocacy, familiarization of people with the rules and principles of environmental management in new conditions, we strive to develop among the local population practical skills and competencies for responsible environmental management.

To implement these three goals, on May 26-29, 2019, we invite all interested to the working meeting to the Synevir National Park, where we will gather representatives on the one place:

  • administrations of national parks participating in the project;
  • environmental NGOs, civil society activists;
  • environmental scientists, specialists in forestry and tourism;
  • parish priests, spiritual leaders;
  • activists of local communities and parishes, opinion leaders of local communities.

Based on their experience, knowledge, understanding of the specific situation, and taking into account the goals and needs of local territorial and religious communities, village administrations and national parks, environmental activists, and based on the experience of our German partners, we are going to develop an optimal model of practical adaptation of the local population to new environmental conditions.

Important components of our project that we need to consider are:

  • familiarization of people with new circumstances and rules of environmental management in protected areas;
  • case studies of European and national experience;
  • descriptions of the capabilities and skills of responsible environmental management;
  • proposals for optimizing the local economy from an environmental point of view, the development of ecological tourism, agriculture, etc.

To achieve this, we need to communicate not in the format of lectures and presentations, but in live communication to develop responsible approaches to the work ahead. For the convenience of communication, each day of the working meeting will be divided into two panels during which the headliners of the panel (leading from among the participants) will be able to talk about their needs, vision and goals and answer questions from other participants and work out common solutions together in disputes and arguments.

AGENDA. In addition to informal communication between people who will take part in such a complex and interesting project during the year, the program of the working meeting will include the following components:

  • First day (May 26)
    • First half of the day. Arrival, accommodation and familiarity.
    • Second half of the day: checkpoint «features of work, plans and opportunities NABU/IERS|IRCEF». We will tell about the organizers, prospects and formats of cooperation.
  • Second day (May 27).
    • First half of the day. A panel of representatives of the administrations of the National Parks, who will tell about the circumstances, rules, requirements and challenges of the use of nature conservation areas.
    • Second half of the day. Панель: «Features of the German and European experience in the organization of nature management in nature conservation areas».
  • Third day (May 28).
    • First half of the day. Panel “Needs and opportunities of local communities. Possible ways of cooperation between the clergy and local opinion leaders on the organization of environmental work “. 
    • Second half of the day. Panel “Features of the organization of sustainable tourism, energy efficiency, responsible waste management, etc. and appropriate infrastructure in the territories of national parks”
  • Fourth day (May 29) will be dedicated:  
    • formation of working group;
    • and negotiations on the development of a working plan for the period of the project and the development of project concepts for the future
    • Departure of participants.

We expect that the working meeting will become a platform for free communication of all participants, besides the fact that key speakers at each stage in free mode will be able to inform all other participants about their problems, needs, opportunities and goals (the first half of each seminar), as well as discussion what can be done to solve these problems, to realize the goals and opportunities during the implementation of the grant (the second half of each workshop).

At the same time, we plan our work so that the current grant becomes the basis for the prolongation of cooperation and ensuring the realization of the goals of national parks, local communities, NGOs and parishes for a longer period of time. For this, we need active communication and the achievement of practical results.

Therefore, all proposals of the participants of the working meeting will be divided into two components:

  • ensuring work during the implementation of this project,
  • providing work opportunities for the future.

We are waiting for you and your suggestions for active work!

Expenses on travel, accommodation and meal for invited participants are covered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany.

Best regards from the Organizing Committee:

Bokotey Alexander (IERS, Ukraine):   info@ircef.org,                     +38050-709-65-67

Tichomirow Boris (NABU, Germany): boris.tichomirow@nabu.de,       +49(0)30.28-49-84-1712

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