Despite the global pandemic caused by the coronavirus, about 20 members of the SavaParks Network, from 13 different institutions and 5 countries, held a regional workshop and a meeting of all Network members using the virtual platform.
In order to strengthen and improve the SavaParks Network there was a regional workshop with the main goal to direct further work of the Network, define the vision and mission and the structure of the network itself. As the workshop leader, Mirjana Bartula, PhD; from the Nature Conservation Movement Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia, stated: “In addition to the challenge of finding the best ways to eradicate and manage invasive alien species that represent the main enemy and the backbone of the Sava TIES project; our important goal is to add and strengthen visibility to the Sava Parks Network”. The Network’s goal is to preserve the natural and cultural values of the Sava River from its source to mouth, its tributaries and floodplains; biodiversity, favourable ecological status and cultural heritage for present and future generations. This can only be achieved through transnational collaboration.
During the 5th Steering Committee meeting several activities were presented: planned pilot measures in protected areas for this year, development of a database of invasive alien species in the Sava River Basin, studies on land use and risk assessments for certain invasive alien species which have proven to cause major problems in the Sava River Basin such as False Indigo Bush, Goldenrod or Knotweed. The initiation of work on the country policy reviews, study of legislative frameworks related to the management of invasive alien species in the Sava River Basin, was also introduced. The aim of this activity is to give recommendations based on the experience of this project to national and regional decision-makers and ultimately incorporate them into legislation. The results and recommendations relevant to the sectors of nature protection, agriculture, forestry and water management will be summarized in the final publication of the Sava TIES project and made available to the general public.
Although the members of the Network could only assemble virtually, we can conclude that this meeting was extremely useful and successful in terms of sharing information and inter-sectoral connection. This was also an opportunity to share positive thoughts in these challenging times we are facing.