The workshop with local stakeholders on the topic of ecosystem services was held on June 18th, 2020, in the Informative and educational centre – hostel “The Drava story” in Noskovci, Croatia. It was a part of the implementation of the DaRe to Connect The workshop was attended by representatives of the county, municipalities along the Drava River, forestry management authority, Natural History Society “Drava” and the employees of the host - the Public institution for the management of protected parts of nature and the ecological network of Virovitica-Podravina County.
The director of the Public Institution, Tatjana Arnold Sabo, presented the Dare to Connect project to the workshop participants and introduced them to the activities carried out so far.
In the continuation of the workshop, Tatjana Lesić, senior expert associate for protected parts of nature presented the concept of ecosystem services which is not sufficiently known. Examples of ecosystem services in the area of the Drava River were presented to make it easier for stakeholders to recognize/identify ecosystem services. Through the joint discussion on the ecosystem services and their use, local stakeholders completed a short questionnaire on the workshop topic. The questionnaire contained offered answers which stakeholders could round and add their views. Stakeholders listed water and air purification, pollination, hunting and fishing, nature tourism, irrigation, and cultivated goods as the ecosystem services we use the most. They also listed that the potential has not been sufficiently exploited for recreation and tourism in nature, exploring and education, use of geothermal energy, and irrigation.
It was also discussed threats and pressures on the biodiversity of the area along the Drava River and measures that should be taken to ensure great natural value and diversity of ecosystem services in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. One of the most important conclusions of this workshop was that we should establish (organize) a system of cross-sectoral cooperation of stakeholders in the management of natural resources and encourage ecological and sustainable agriculture. The proposal to distribute seedlings of native plant species free of charge to people in order to promote native species and point out the harmfulness of invasive species accepted all stakeholders.
Organization of workshops with local stakeholders in the other areas of interest such as fishing, hunting and tourism is in progress.