The ECO KARST project aims to contribute to the protection and sustainable development of karst bio-regions in the Danube region based on their valued Ecosystem services*. The project addresses 7 nature protected karst areas in 7 different countries with common features and similar problems.
Project is co-funded by the European Union funds (ERDF, IPA).
The project builds on the opportunity to use the natural heritage of 7 protected areas as an economic development factor. The project will support development, based on a sustainable management and awareness of the vulnerability of karst ecosystems. By doing so, the project will increase pro-biodiversity business (PBB) opportunities.
ECO KARST will involve various public and private actors into capacity building, networking and know-how transfer. 7 local action plans and 1 common strategy for karst nature protected areas will be developed by local participatory Ecosystem valorisations. This will upgrade nature conservation and facilitate pro-biodiversity business in the Danube region.
Pro-biodiversity business models for entrepreneurs in the pilot areas will be developed and best PBB ideas will be widely promoted. Local and transnational networks for experience sharing and promotion will be established. Resulting guidance on how to introduce Ecosystem services and Pro-biodiversity business will serve as a toolkit for the entire Danube and Dinaric region.
*ES = the benefits people obtain from ecosystems, MA 2006
Major challenge in the Danube region is finding the right balance between conservation, protection and improvement of ecosystems, as well as their sustainable use.
ECO KARST addresses 7 protected karst areas in 7 different countries with common features (e.g. special biological/hydro-morphological features, etc.) and similar problems (flawed nature and forest management, water exploitation and pollution, etc.). Limited capacity to deal with the impacts of ecosystem degradation is exacerbated by the lack of adequate knowledge and action on the tangible and intangible benefits of ecosystem services (ES). Thus, the main objective is to contribute to the protection and sustainable development of karst bio-regions in the Danube basin based on their valued ES.
ECO KARST activities will contribute to a better balance between nature conservation and local green enterpreunship. Through the ECO KARST project, we will raise awareness of the importance of Ecosystem services and promote local entrepreneurship based on the conservation of biodiversity.
Result will be improved management and sustainable development of karst bio-regions driven by raised awareness about ES and increased number of committed PBB entrepreneurs.