More than 100 participants from 11 countries came together to learn more about the new DANUBEPARKS project. A welcome speech of Christian Lösel (Lord Mayor of the City of Ingolstadt), key notes by Carl Manzano (General Secretary, Donau-Auen Nationalpark), Florian Ballnus ( Priority Area Coordinator, PA 6, EUSDR), Veronika Sikova (Priority Area Coordinator, PA 2, EUSDR) and Gusztáv Csomor (Project Officer, DTP Joint Secretariat), perfectly introduced the audience to the subject.
DANUBEparksCONNECTED consists of 15 project partners and 9 associated partners from almost all Danube countries. It is co-funded by the European Union through the Interreg Danube Transnational Programme and has an overall budget of more than 3 Mio. EUR.
The main objective of the project is to expand the already well established DANUBEPARKS network beyond the borders of the protected areas and develop a Danube Habitat Corridor. Over the next 2, 5 years strategic activities and pilot actions will be implemented on land, water and in the sky. The different Work packages have been presented by the Work package leaders. The main topic for the conference were the work packages DANUBE FREE SKY and WILDisland.
DANUBE FREE SKY ensures collision- free bird migration along the Danube flyway. In the course of the conference the concept of marking powerlines by drones to prevent bird collision has been introduced.
The Danube WILDisland corridor protects islands which are flagship habitats for intact river dynamics and home to characteristic species. Each project partner nominated WILDislands within their territory which will not be managed in the future and dedicated to nature protection.
The corner stone of DANUBEparksCONNECTED is the cross-sector approach. Among the participants of the kick off conference were representatives from Danube Protected Areas, NGO’s, energy sector, navigation and water management, local politics and public. The main success of the event is that cross-sector cooperation’s have been established directly at the conference.
Our partners of the City of Ingolstadt managed to interest the local media in the event which resulted in an article on the front page of the local newspaper “Donaukurier” and a short reportage on local TV.