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Public Participation in Odra Delta Nature Park Project (ODNP)

The ODNP project is being realized from October 2002 by EUCC - Poland and Vereniging Natuurmonumenten in cooperation with the Coastal & Marine Union - EUICC with support from Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries & The Ministry for Foreign Affairs under the PIN-Matra programme.

Introduction

The Odra Delta is an extensive lagoon surrounded by large wetlands and small villages in an agrarian culture landscape with high natural values. The Polish part of the Odra Delta encompasses approximately 2900 km² and is very rich in flora and fauna. The north-east part of the Odra Delta is protected by Wolinski National Park. The Odra Delta is one of the main core areas in European Ecological Network (EECONET). It is one of the most important resting area in the Western - Palaearctic migrating route. It is crucial link for migratory birds between east and west Europe. It is also prime, potential Natura 2000 site when Poland Accedes to EU.

Project outline

"Odra Delta Nature Park (ODNP): Demonstrating Active Nature Management as a path to sustainable development" is a project which will develop and implement the necessary measures for the establishment of the first private protected area in Poland. The park will first include the lands owned by EUCC-Poland (ca. 1000 ha at present) although it aims to include in a future the surrounding private lands. Sustainable agriculture practices with large educational aspects, recreation possibilities and proper water management are the most important aspects as they will further contribute to improve the socio-economic situation of the local communities surrounding the Nature Park.

The main outcomes of the project will be:

  • Incorporate necessary aspects of the Habitat's and Birds Directives of the EU;
  • Raise popular awareness of these Directives in the Westpomeranian Vojvodship;
  • Promote a sustainable relationship between agriculture, tourism and nature management;
  • Encourage the inclusion of individual farmers and local communities who could be marginalized culturally, socially and economically if uncontrolled development of the Odra Delta takes place;
  • Strengthen the institutional and operational capacity of EUCC - PL through exchange of the field management skills, communication skills, stakeholders involvement and other know-how and expertise, necessary for nature management;
  • It is also make ODNP and EUCC - PL, as a lead NGO organization working with local communities in the field of nature management, tourism and sustainable agriculture after accession, an example of good development. The project will also be used as a demonstration project for colleagues from Poland and other CEE countries;
  • Exchange knowledge between experts from eastern and western Europe by "twinning" Natuurmonumenten and EUCC - PL in the establisment of the Nature Park.

Actions for stakeholder involvement

To reach this goals in a field of public participation EUCC - Poland started the actions of stakeholders involvement. The development of a good communication strategy must precede the establishment of the Park. The aim is to show how wetland nature management can be combined with sustainable agriculture and tourism to produce a steady, reliable income to improve the socio-economic well-being of the communities. Communication and public relation products will help visitors to understand nature and sustainable development problems, as well as to understand the mission of the Nature Park. EUCC-PL will produce and implement a pamphlet showing how Natura 2000 can benefit the well-being of the local communities and organized local hearings to present it.

A document including guidelines and recommendations for agriculture (extensive grazing, moving, culture auxiliary cultivation), tourism (eco and agro aspects, educational tourism) and water and land management within ODNP and its surroundings, will be prepared together with relevant stakeholders.

Other actions on active stakeholder involvement are the following:

 

Results

The natural step after the implementation of the previous actions connected with Public Participation and other objectives of ODNP is establishing first private protected area ODRA DELTA NATURE PARK in 2005.



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