The partnership will run for five years and aims to transfer knowledge between the German and Romanian nations in species research and monitoring projects, large carnivore management, development of educational programmes, creation of economic mechanisms for communities, tourism programmes, training and communication.
Foundation Conservation Carpathia, the largest nature conservation project in Romania, will benefit from over 50 years’ experience of the Bayerischer Wald National Park in the framework of the Cooperation Partnership between the two entities. The partnership was signed in Finsterau, one of the communities in the vicinity of the Bayerischer Wald National Park, by Dr. Franz Leibl, Head of the Bayerischer Wald National Park Administration, and Christoph Promberger, Executive Director of Foundation Conservation Carpathia, at a press conference.
The two parties will work together to:
- Improve and exchange knowledge in the field of research and monitoring, with a focus on modern remote sensing techniques
- Develop environmental education programmes and training programmes for young rangers
- The exchange of experience in ecological restoration
- Manage large carnivores and herbivores
- Exchange experience in regional development of tourism programmes
- Exchange experience in local community involvement, economic development and communication projects
In the framework of the partnership the organisations also host visits of stakeholders from the project area: authorities, researchers, journalists, employees of the two projects, to see and get to know how a national park works and its effects on the local economy and people.
The Bayerischer Wald National Park and Foundation Conservation Carpathia started their cooperation in April with a working visit of a group of mayors from the southern Făgăraș Mountains.
From 24-28th October, a team of Romanian journalists from the local and national press visited the Bayerischer Wald National Park and met with representatives of the park, local authorities and organisations developing programmes with the park, thus getting to know the operating model and its impact on the local economy.
“We are honoured and proud of our partnership with the Bavarian Wald National Park,” said Christoph Promberger, Executive Director of Foundation Conservation Carpathia. “Because we, Foundation Conservation Carpathia, as a project are partnering with the largest, oldest and most valuable national park in Germany. This is something special, especially because in June, when the team of this park came to see us and saw the Făgăraș Mountains, they could not believe that the Făgăraș Mountains are not a national park. They told us that we have all the ingredients that a park should have, we just don’t use this potential for the local communities. I think we can learn a lot from them.”
“Through this partnership we believe we can lay the foundations for an intensive exchange of knowledge for the benefit of both organisations,” said Dr. Franz Leibl, Head of the Bayerischer Wald National Park Administration. “We have to learn about the wild forests, about the coexistence of humans and wild animals, about large carnivores.”
The Bayerischer Wald National Park was established in 1970 as a mechanism for economic growth. It covers an area of 24,250 ha and together with the Czech Sumava National Park – 69,000 ha – forms the largest protected area in Europe. The establishment of the National Park was initially opposed by the local residents, but opinion has changed as the park has increased community income considerably. Today 85% of residents are positive and support the park’s existence, and acceptance of the park has grown steadily over the years. Access to the park is free and it is supported by public funds, with an annual budget of between €20 and €25 million. The presence of the park brings around 1.4 million tourists to the area, generating €52 million for the local economy, according to research data from 2018. On average, a tourist spends €78/day in the area and opts for 5 nights’ accommodation at hotels and guesthouses in the region.
The park develops many education programmes for schools in the community, involves local people in guided tours and generates jobs for the whole area.
About Foundation Conservation Carpathia
Foundation Conservation Carpathia contributes to the conservation and restoration of the natural ecosystems of the Carpathian Mountains for the benefit of biodiversity and local communities. From 2009 to date, the project has saved over 27,000 hectares of forests and alpine meadows in the south-eastern Southern Carpathians from logging and has restored 1,819 hectares of forest by planting over 3.5 million seedlings, created a 96,500 ha active game management area, and contributes to the well-being of communities in the vicinity of protected forests through social, education and green business development projects.
The Făgăraș Mountains represent the last oasis of biodiversity on the continent of over 200,000 hectares, where the largest and most important national park in Europe can be created.