29.03.2012 / Project - News

4th Training Session in Austria

The Regional Workshop in Orth/Donau (Austria) on March 27th, organized by Donau-Auen National Park and the Environment Agency Austria, was focusing on the cross-border cooperation programmes of the region in the next funding period, specifically the Slovak-Austrian programme.

by Franz Kovacs

The session started with presentations by Maria Tiefenbach (Environment Agency Austria) about the SURF-Nature Results and Martin Hutter (Managing Authority Slovak-Austrian Programme) about the EU Regulations and Strategies as the basis for programme development. Especially the current suggestion in the draft documents to focus on 4 out of 11 thematic objectives, as well as the objectives themselves and the position of nature protection (as a sub-goal of thematic objective no 6) raised interest.
During the open discussion afterwards, project managers from different NGOs and managing bodies were especially interested in how nature protection stakeholders can get involved in the negotiation process. Francois-Edouard Pailleron (Lower Austria Regional Government Office) explained that they need to know specific project ideas as well as quantified realistic results, for arguing nature protection as part of the future programme and to ensure a realistic distribution of funds to the various thematic objectives. Martin Hakel from Bratislava Region also invited nature protection stakeholders to get in contact, as until now there is little exchange with them.
From the side of project managers, specifically the trilateral RAMSAR site in the Morava-Dyje Region and the Slovak-Austrian cooperation of Danube Protected Areas were mentioned as initiatives that would need further funding for ensuring continued and stronger results. At the same time these are able to build up on existing successful cooperation, thus being reliable partners for the programme bodies.
The workshop definitely added to the inclusion of nature protection perspectives in the programming process and enabled the various representatives to get in touch, partly for the first time. We strongly hope that the workshop will also foster a more intensified contact in the future!