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Posted on: 27th September 2010
EUROPARC Consulting chose the beautiful Sumava and Bayerischer Wald National Parks (in Czech Republic and Bavaria respectively) as venues for the fifth and final Training Champions training event in September 2010.
Over a three-year period, participants from all seven Carpathian countries came together for a series of training seminars which were part of the Carpathian Ecoregion project. This programme aimed to contribute to halting the loss of biodiversity in the region. Training new trainers was seen as a vital part of this effort. EUROPARC Consulting, with its reputation for thorough and successful training courses, was chosen for this task.
The latest event in September 2010 had a greater emphasis on field trips, and on contrasting management practices in western Europe with those in the Carpathians. The two national parks visited represent the largest contiguous forest in western Europe, and were a spectacular setting for the last training event in the series.
In the Sumava National Park, the group looked at both land management and recreational issues, including the plight of freshwater mussels in the Vltava River and the vexed question of responding to bark beetle infestations. The group sampled sustainable tourism, in the form of cycling!
The Bayerischer Wald National Park provided opportunities to consider the place of interpretation and visitor centres as well as to contrast differing approaches to bark beetle management – such as the relative merits of clear-felling/replanting and non-intervention/natural regeneration.
At the end of the session Carol Ritchie, Director of the EUROPARC Federation, presented the successful participants with their certificates. This proves that they have completed the full course, designed by EUROPARC Consulting, to help equip them with knowledge for managing protected areas effectively (management planning, sustainable tourism, communications skills, dealing with communities and education for sustainable development), but also with the training skills necessary to pass on this knowledge to others. A demanding task successfully accomplished!
Each participant has set out how they plan, over the next two years, to use the knowledge they have acquired. In particular, they are indicating how, using their improved training skills, they will pass on this knowledge to colleagues and stakeholders in the areas where they work.
An important additional benefit has been the formation of an informal network of participants representing some of the most important areas in the Carpathians – long may it continue.