From 25th-27th April DANUBEparksCONNECTED partners met in Sombor for the 2nd Riparian Forest Study Tour of the Middle Danube region. The event was organized together with a coopMDD project workshop, and included visits to three floodplain forest locations in Special Nature Reserve Gornje Podunavlje, Kopački Rit Nature Park and Duna-Dráva National Park.
The workshop was organized to discuss further steps for work package DANUBE CORRIDOR LAND - FOREST. This work package is led by the partner Vojvodinasume - a public enterprise in the field of forest management in Serbia. In the course of the project all partners will provide thorough information about the condition of their floodplain forests so that a concrete Danube Riparian Forest Fitness Check can be carried out. This will deliver important information and necessary actions to be taken for a Danube floodplain forest strategy. The study tour therefore was a huge opportunity for partners to elaborate the approach for creating Danube-wide Riparian Forest Corridor roadmaps and essential next steps of individual engagement.
The coopMDD project aims towards developing a joint Management Programme for the future 5-country UNESCO Biosphere Reserve "Mura-Drava-Danube", and through that creating a highly valuable Mura, Drava and Danube river corridor with natural habitats. Thus after presentations of both projects by Georg Frank and Magdalena Wagner, representatives discussed possible learning opportunities and ideas for future cooperation.
On the second day a study trip was organised to Special Nature Reserve Gornje Podunavlje in Serbia and Kopacki Rit National Park in Croatia. These guided walking tours with protected area managers were important elements not only for strenghtening the partnership and exchanging valuable knowledge about floodplain forest management in the region, but also for learning more about local pilot actions that may serve as an inspiration to other areas.
In the evening the representatives were introduced to the know-how of professional bat monitoring, since Danube riparian forests are of outstanding importance for bat conservation.
On the final day of the study tour the work package expert group and other participants were guided to some demonstrative sites within Duna-Dráva National Park in Hungary, while discussing some of the challenges these areas have to face in riparian forest restoration and conservation.
Thank you to the colleagues from Vojvodinašume Public Forest Enterprise, Kopački Rit Nature Park and Duna-Dráva National Park for their hospitality!