Project programme: Interreg Central Europe
Project title: World heritage BEECH Forests: emPOWERing and catalyzing an ecosystem-based Sustainable Development

Project acronym: BEECH POWER

Project index number: CE1340

Lead partner organisation: Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development, Germany

Project partners: European Wilderness Society, Austria; Kalkalpen National Park, Austria; Angermünde City Administration, Germany; Slovenia Forest Service, Slovenia; National Forest Centre, Slovakia; PubliC Institution Paklenica National Park, Croatia

Associated partners: Austrian Federal Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism; Ministry of Rural Development, Austria; Environment and Agriculture of the Federal State of Brandenburg, Germany; CEEweb for Biodiversity, Hungary; State Nature Conservancy of Slovak Republic, Slovakia; Hainich National Park, Germany; Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin, Germany; Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, Slovenia; Municipality Loška dolina, Slovenia; Municipality Kočevje, Slovenia; European Beech Forest Network e.V., Germany; World Natural Heritage Beech Forest Grumsin e.V., Germany; Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic; Slovakia; Municipality of Starigrad, Croatia

Short description of the project: The UNESCO World Heritage (WH) Site „Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe“ represents the most complex transnational serial natural site in the UNESCO portfolio – comprising 78 component parts in 45 protected areas (PAs) in 12 countries. The programme area shares almost 25% of the components parts distributed in 5 countries (AT, DE, HR, SK and SI). While local management units of the component parts face similar challenges, i.e. concerning buffer zone management, the respective environmental and socio-economic contexts differ considerably on local and national level. The project takes an ecosystem-based and participatory approach working on different administrative levels to anchor the WH site in sustainable regional development and produce replicable and innovative models for WH beech forests and their local surroundings.

The main objective: The main project objective is to improve management quality and effectiveness of the WH site to safeguard the ecosystem integrity of the single componentoarts by improving capacities and active participation possibilities of relevant stakeholders.

The main project outputs: The main outputs are guidelines and strategies for stakeholder participation and regional development, a handbook for buffer zone management, recommendations for visitor management, a communication concept and a Beech Forest Quality Standard that support protected area administrations, public authorities and actors from civil society in their daily work. The results will be applicable for other WH component parts outside the programme area

The main project elements: Empowering World Heritage Beech communities as model for ecosystem-based sustainable development; Creation of a sustainable model for buffer zone management around World Heritage Beech forests; Development of an exemplary European Beech Forest Quality Standard and Certification System; Communication.

Total project budget: 1.864.328,98 EUR

ERDF Co-financing: 1.525.058,32 EUR

Project implementation period: 1.4.2019 – 31.3.2022

Project website:

More information:


 Workshop on Situation analysis in Paklenica National Park

 Online Situation Analysis workshop was organized on September 28th, 2020 by Public Institution Paklenica National Park and moderated by external experts. Faced with the resulting pandemic situation, the workshop had to be held remotely, via the Zoom application. The methodology of implementation of the workshop was prescribed and it was Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation.

The workshop started with a short introduction of each participant which was followed by the presentation about the BEECH POWER project and the presentation about methodology Open Standards for the practice of Conservation, the scope of the workshop. The participants were also familiarized with the site features and current management status. The stakeholders were divided into two groups of their choice, each group had its own moderator.  The first group discussed the state of the WH area and what is being done well in conservation, and what can be done better. The second group discussed the topic: What are the new opportunities and how to take advantage of them and what are the next steps.

The results of the first group discussions were general agreement on the current level of protection of UNESCO WH sites in the NP which was rated satisfactory due to the fact that the sites are located within a national park, where according to the Nature Protection Act, any economic activity and forest exploitation is prohibited. The management regime of the Park (zoning) significantly contributes to the preservation of naturalness and protection of the site, and the zoning is currently being restored in order to raise the protection to an even higher level.

The common conclusions of the second group were: the need to educate visitors and all interested parties about localities, meaning and behavior, the need to include children and youth that can be included in various educational programs, the need to educate visitors and all interested, taking advantage of additional better promotions, both for the whole park and for localities, listing provides additional tools for the protection of the whole area and localities, in particular, establishing better communication and cooperation with a wider range of stakeholders, establishing a partnership council is a good opportunity.

The results of the workshop in Croatia will complete the results from similar workshops on Situation Analysis held in Germany and Slovenia. Summarized in the joint report, they will be used as a starting point for the upcoming workshops in Strategy development.

radionica analiza situacije