The first training of the personnel of Kaszó on general nature conservation aspects and issues, and that of the project was held in the Multifunctional Eco-touristic Visitor Centre on 5th December 2013. Presentations were held on the National Registration System of Forest Damages (Országos Erdőkár Nyilvántartási Rendszer), the methods and practice of forest examinations, natural forest renewal methods, insect species damaging forests and the threats of climate change to forests. The training was finished with a presentation on nature conservation methods and the aim and objectives of the project.

The European Commission (EC) organised the kick-off meeting for the LIFE 2012 winner projects in Warsaw. The event was held on 5th November 2013 with the participation of Hungarian, Slovenian, Slovakian, Czech and Polish beneficiaries.

The technical and financial desk officers of the EC, the Polish monitoring experts and coordinating beneficiaries of the projects participated in the event. The presentations of the EC desk officers focussed on technical and administration challenges and their support from Brussels. The question and answers session provided useful inputs to the project implementation. There were 23 project presentations in the afternoon session. Based on the presentations, most of the Eastern European LIFE 2012 projects focus on grassland rehabilitation, the number of wetland projects is much lower (2-3 presentations). Project KASZÓ-LIFE was presented by Mr István Lábodi, exernal project management expert.

 

The first public information meeting was held on 6th November 2013 in the Multifunctional Eco-touristic Visitor Centre of Kaszó. The aim of the event was to provide first-hand information on the activities and impacts of the project actions. The location of the concrete conservation actions was illustrated by maps. Topics of the meeting included the negative impacts of the climate change and possible answers to it presented by the experts of ERTI. Mihály Szász, the project manager from Kaszó emphasized that the objective of the project is to avoid this future option. Partners pay special attention to inform the public and several notice and information boards will be installed in the project area.

Our professional participated in the conference “Nature conservation treatment of aggressive invasive species in practice”. The event was organised within the framework of a LIFE+ Nature project titled „Conservation of priority natural values in Turjánvidék Natura 2000 site southern unit” and a project of the Hungary-Slovakia Cross-border Co-operation Programme, „Standardized protection against invasive species in sand and floodplain habitats” on 14-15 October 2013. The participants shared their experiences, best practices of invasive elimination – which is the crucial part of our project. 

The winner of the procurement procedure for providing project management services is Lábodi Consulting Ltd. The winner will coordinate the project progress monitoring activities for five years. Lábodi Consulting Ltd. has several years’ experience in the management and administration of international projects including LIFE+ projects as well (Eastern Bakony, Hungarian Little Plain). 

The project idea, expected results, the actions and activities to be performed were shared with the stakeholders, institutions, local inhabitants and entrepreneurs in the course of stakeholder meetings before commencing the conservation activities. Discussions with the representatives of the Duna-Dráva National Park Directorate (DDNPD) were held on 19th September 2013. Besides the general introduction of the project to we discussed in detail the activities of the concrete conservation actions of project KASZÓ-LIFE. The experts of DDNPD agreed to professionally support the project.

On 16th October 2013 conservation actions, expected results, impacts were shared with the local entrepreneurs emphasising the positive aspects for the locals.