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Participation

Objectives:

To establish a strong and sustainable participation of the group of private landowners and a close cooperation between all stakeholders involved in the management of the area.

 

Actions and tools involved:

In order to establish a close collaboration with private landowners a good confidential contact and communication structure is crucial. This is offered by two actors. Firstly, the European Landowners’ Organization (ELO) which is the coordinating beneficiary is closely related with the group of private landowners. And also the local landowners’ organization – the OVML, as associated beneficiary is essential in this context.

Several actions are set out to enlarge the number of private landowners participating in the project, its integrated management plan (A3) and targets:

  • Identification and contact;
  • Information meeting;
  • Publication of project related articles;
  • Guided visits.


Furthermore, the conferences to be held will also focus on the participation of private landowners in Natura 2000 targets.

Beside good contacts, it is also crucial to conclude clear agreements. Such agreements should be written and the exact commitment has to be well described. These documents describe the precise engagement (actions, responsibilities, duration). So far, 7 (of the biggest) landowners have already signed such agreements.

  • The agreement states hat the landowner in question agrees with the restoration action on his property and that he will do the necessary preparatory works (studies, permissions, consultations, tenders) as well as the supervision and reports on the works. However, the landowner in question can claim unlimited administrative and technical assistance by the OVML.
  • The landowner also agrees to respect the general project agenda for the execution of actions and that he is willing to pay a certain budget of restoration works. 
  • The landowner also agrees to conserve all the restoration works for at least 10 years after the execution actions. 

 

There are at least 15 land owners who will be approached and stimulated during the project with the question to participate in the restoration actions. 

All agreements, made will be asked to become integrated and/or further adapted in line with the long term integrated management plan for the whole area.

Close cooperation between all or most of the various stakeholders of the project: since most of the stakeholders will be already involved in the steering committee of the project, the elaboration of the project itself has already been a great opportunity for further development collaboration between all or most of stakeholders in the project area. This collaboration is important to share valuable and practical information and experience, to enhance mutual respect and to establish and overall approach for the area (integrated management plan, after Life continuation plan, etc.).


Expected results (outputs and quantified achievements):

The total area of the EU protected area within the project area covers about 2,563 hectares. 73% (1871 ha) of this area is covered by ponds, forest, farmland and other (semi-) natural habitats. More than 50% (978 ha) of that is private property.

For the participation in the ecological restoration actions (and a long term management) the project can rely already on the agreements with the 7 big landowners in the project area (properties> 50 hectares, signed agreements), covering a surface of about 828 hectares. First of all, we expect to establish on these properties the results as mentioned under objective 1 for private property.

Furthermore, we expect to maximize the restoration activities on these properties and have at least and additional 5 to 10 private landowners participating in the project for a total of 150 hectares. Ten per cent of the budget foreseen for the concrete restoration actions on private property is foreseen for this purpose.

Concerning the after Life conservation plan we expect to have an even higher number of private landowners participating in the long term management plans: about 20 – 30 landowners (with signed management contracts), covering a total area of 1078 hectares.

Overall, we hope to enhance more generally on both sides (public and private), the fertile ground and atmosphere for sustainable collaboration and win-win situations.