Karlovac University of Applied Sciences organised the first national workshop for stakeholders on 8 March 2019. The primary goal of the workshop was to gather all the relevant Croatian stakeholders to join their efforts and knowledge in order to contribute to achieving the project’s objectives of managing and restoring aquatic ecological corridors for migratory fish species in the Danube River basin through an interdisciplinary and multi-sectoral approach.
The event was attended by the representatives from the national authorities such as the Ministry of Environment and Energy and the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, Hrvatske vode – the national water management company, HEP d.d. – the national energy company, various public institutions for nature protection, NGOs, private companies and members of the scientific community.
The workshop was divided in two parts. The first part was dedicated to lectures on topics such as biology and ecology of migratory fish species, conservation of migratory fish species, hydro morphology of big rivers, the mapping of distribution of migratory fish species and their habitats with an overview of the existing data and the data that could be useful for the project. Even though the second part of the workshop was intended for discussions, the participants were actively engaged and initiated an exchange of experiences already during this part of the workshop.
The second part of the workshop was structured as a World Café where the participants worked with moderators in groups to address the problems preventing the achievement of the project’s objectives, through sharing perspectives, ideas and solutions. Specifically, they discussed the shortcomings in national legislation regarding nature protection and in the implementation of Natura 2000; the exchange of data between academic institutions; the role of nature protection institutions in regulating and controlling the legislation; the exchange of data between institutions involved in the protection of migratory species and their habitats; plans, strategies and programmes which need to be taken into account when preparing the strategy for the protection and restoring of Danube’s ecological corridor for migratory fish species.
The discussions were fruitful and lead to agreeing on further improvement of collaboration between institutions and increasing the efficiency of important data circulation. This workshop was certainly one of the major milestones in reaching the ultimate goal of increasing the degree of implementing conservation measures to protect migratory fish species and their habitats in the Danube River basin.