Good cooperation between protected areas and local community guaranty for success

Zagreb - Good cooperation of the local community with the management of a protected area is essential for the good performance of all parks. Such a good cooperation is precisely one of the main goals of WWF's programme "Protected Areas for Nature and People". This is why the training for assessors of PAs in Adria region was organized in the period of January 24 to 26 in Zagreb, Croatia. In next few months they will assess the cooperation among local communities and PAs management in over 70 protected areas, members of the Parks Dinarides network.  

"Based on this assessment, we will define the needs according to which we need to educate employees of protected areas for better cooperation with the local community. 25 experts who have expressed their desire to be our appraisers gathered in Zagreb. They are supported by a team of consultants from the UK, Slovenia and Serbia, and trained to conduct assessments of co-operation of protected areas and local communities, "said Leon Kebe, leader of the" Protected Areas for Nature and People" in WWF Adria.

The assessment will be carried out in more than 70 protected areas of the Dinaric Arc. Assessors are coming from Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo*, Albania and Macedonia, and were selected by a tender published by WWF Adria and the Parks Dinarides - network of protected areas of Dinarides. Over the next two months they will collect information on the current level of cooperation between protected areas and local communities. Examples of good practice have shown that through the partnership and cooperation of the local population and the park, greater economic, environmental and social benefit is achieved.

"In the framework of the project we have prepared two questionnaires: to collect the data from the perspective of protected areas and to collect data from the perspective of local communities. Each protected area will fill in a questionnaire, while the representatives of the local community will answer the questions of  5-10 questionnaires, "explained Violeta Orlovic Lovren, one of the consultant. With the help of a questionnaire the project team will analyze cooperation and identify examples of good practice. After analysis, the results will be evaluated with the aim to prepare an implementation plan with clear recommendations for the development of future cooperation.