Despite the global corona virus pandemic, a successful meeting of project partners and 20 SavaParks Network members took place from 5th to 7th October 2020. SavaParks Network consists of about 20 members from 13 different institutions and 5 countries. The meeting was held through an online platform and the participants were happy to meet and exchange information and experiences in a “new normal” way.
The network members were provided with training in communication and negotiation skills which was extremely useful for the improvement of Network’s future activities related to the complexities of nature protection management. The participants also heard presentations on good practices in invasive species management in Croatia and Serbia. Petra Kutleša, the head of the Department for Alien Species, Institute for Environment and Nature at the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development presented the projects co-financed with the EU funds concerning invasive species which her institution implements in Croatia. She presented the first Croatian national database of alien species. She also announced the launch of the “Life CONTRA Ailanthus” project which will be focused on the eradication of Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima). Tree of Heaven is an invasive alien plant which causes problems to agricultural, transport, and nature protection sector as well as to the local population due to fast spread and overgrowth, Petra stated. Goran Tmušić from the Laboratory for Invasive and Allergenic Plants at the Faculty of Sciences University of Novi Sad, Serbia made a presentation on successful cooperation between scientists and local administration in eradicating ragweed and other allergenic plants on the territory of Vojvodina.
Project partners presented pilot measures implemented in protected areas in this year and a financial framework of the prior costs of the invasive plants eradication methods. This valuable data will be presented in a public document titled “Cross-sectoral guidelines for joint management, control and eradication of invasive alien species in the Sava river basin”. An analysis has been started of the legal framework of the management of the non-native invasive species in the countries of the Sava river basin. The findings and recommendations of this analysis, which will also include the experiences of the Sava TIES project, will be presented to national and regional decision-makers in the following year with the aim of being incorporated in the legislation. The findings and recommendations are intended for nature protection, agriculture, forestry and water management sectors and will be available to the general public.This meeting, although held online, proved to be extremely useful for exchanging information between the partners and SavaParks Network members and establishing cross-sectoral cooperation.