Before the end of May, the partners of the Sava TIES project will organize online trainings for the stakeholders on the topic of invasive alien species management in the countries along the course of the Sava river. So far, the trainings have been organized in Croatia (25.3.2021.), Bosnia and Herzegovina (7.4.2021.), and Slovenia (8.4.2021.), while the final one will be held in May in Serbia (5.5.2021.). The training is intended for employees of companies, institutions, and organizations whose work includes the management of natural areas or resources, and who face the challenges of the alien species management. The response to the training sessions held so far has been excellent, which is demonstrated by the total number of participants, more than hundred.
Invasive alien species are one of the biggest ecological challenges. Global trade and movement of people have brought many new species to new environments. Some of them become invasive – they establish stable populations in the new environment, their numbers rise, and they expand through the new environment. Invasive alien species have a negative impact on the biodiversity and ecosystem services, while some species also have a negative impact on the economy and human health.
Alien species are now a part of our everyday reality. Many invasive plants are so widespread that it is not easy to take a walk along a stream without encountering at least some of them. This should not drive us to despair. We should take this as a warning about the enormous invasive potential of some species. And we should use this knowledge, along with a better understanding of the invasive process, to prevent new species from being introduced. Our capacities and resources for alien species management will never be enough to deal with all of them. Therefore, to achieve the best possible results, we will have to learn to wisely choose our battles and cooperate with all the sectors – stated Jana Kus Veenvliet from the Symbiosis Institute.
The trainings were organized and conducted by the employees of the Lonjsko polje Nature park Public Institution and the Zeleni Prsten Public Institution of the Zagreb County in Croatia, Una National park and the Center for the Environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Public Institution Ljubljansko barje Nature Park in Slovenia, along with the support of the independent expert Jana Kus Veenvliet. The last training session will be conducted by the partners from Serbia – Institute for Nature Conservation of Vojvodina Province, Public Enterprise “Vojvodinašume” and Nature Conservation Movement Sremska Mitrovica. The participants of these training sessions have been or will be informed about the recent progress in understanding the process of spread, the outcomes, and the management of invasive species. They have been presented with the results of the Sava TIES project and the measures for improving the management of invasive alien plants in the Sava river basin. The participants also discussed the obstacles and possible solutions to management of invasive alien species using specific cases like the false indigo bush, the goldenrod, the Japanese knotweed, the common milkweed, and the Himalayan balsam. The training session concluded with an important message that the alien species do not know state borders and that cross-border and cross-sector cooperation is crucial for their effective management.