Kopački Rit, Croatia – Within the Drava LIFE project WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) organized three days of workshops from November 6-8 with an excursion into the Nature park Kopački Rit. Experts from the nature conservation and tourism sector, the Departments of nature protection of the Public Institutions of the counties along Drava, the Croatian Agency for Environment and Nature (protected area authorities, international experts of an Austrian integrative landscape planning office (REVITAL), ornithologists from Austria and Croatia as well as NGO representatives and Drava LIFE project partners attended the workshops.
The first workshop on the „Natura 2000 Drava Management Strategy“ was held on Monday and the participants discussed about the objectives and strategies on topics related to flood protection, agriculture, forestry and woods, protection of Natura 2000 sites, tourism, monitoring and education of visitors.
On the second day, participants discussed about a „Nature Visitor Guidance Plan for Drava“. The goal ist to develop an overall concept for the nature-friendly use of the Natura 2000 sites at the Drava in Croatia with regard to sustainable tourism and recreation. Renata Forjan, Head of Department for Visitors’ Management guided all the participants to boat cruising along the channels of Kopački Rit, showed them the interactive information center and had a presentation about visitor guidance and green tourism in Kopački Rit. Jasmin Sadiković, coordinator of Drava LIFE project and CEO of Green Osijek had a presentation afterwards about the Eco centre Zlatna Greda and grassroot initiatives in nature conservation.
On the last day the participants discussed about an „Action plan for river birds“ within the planned cross-border UNESCO biosphere reserve „Mura-Drava-Danube“ stretching across five countries. Objectives and actions for the protection of gravel and steep bank breeders like little tern, bee-eater or sand martin along Drava have been defined. After the workshop, the local ornithologist Tibor Mikuška led all the participants to birdwatching areas along the dams of Kopački Rit where they observed flocks of migrating geylag geese and other waterfowl species.
Kopački Rit represents one of the most significant tourist destinations in the continental part of Croatia with all its beauty and ecological value. For more pictures visit our photo gallery.
The results of the workshops will be proceeded and the draft will be finalized in the upcoming months within the working groups. Two additional workshops will be held for Visitors Guidance Plan.