LIFEstockProtect, the largest and most ambitious livestock protection project in the German-speaking region of the Alps, is off to a flying start. After it has been approved this summer, it has officially started on 1st September 2020. Last week, it took the next step with the internal Kick-off meeting of all beneficiaries. Due to Covid restrictions, the meeting took place online. This, however, could not overshadow the enthusiasm of all participants that the project is finally starting.
Please also read: Filming livestock protection in Austria and Italy
Work has started
Even though LIFEstockProtect is still in its first month of its five years of run time, work has already started and the first obstacles have been cleared. Many partners are hiring or have already hired new staff to implement the project. First tenders and acquisition of external expertise are on their way to implement the project with expertise and material. The feedback from many participants proved the media interest in livestock protection. Not only did a film crew already produce material about LIFEstockProtect for a German TV documentary, but outreach activities have taken place in many places.
It was great to finally officially kick-off LIFEstockProtect with all beneficiaries. Everyone is exciited to start with the ‘real’ work and help farmers with livestock protection. At the same time, it was impressive to see the partners´ commitment and the work they have already done this summer.
Some of the involved people have even used their summer holiday to prepare the project. They visited ‘Almen‘, the typical summer pasture in the Alps, to get a first impression of possible project locations and visit the affected farmers. The European Wilderness Society took the immersive experience even further. During the meeting, two employees and three volunteers were in a rural area in Tyrol, Austria to support a local sheep farmers with the ‘Almabtrieb’, the traditional herding of sheep back down to the valley in autumns. They went from the online conference room directly back to the mountains.
The participants attended the meeting from over 13 different locations all around the project area:
The next steps in LIFEstockProtect
The next months will focus on setting up work structures for LIFEstockProtect and starting the preparatory actions. This includes collecting information about the current state of livestock protection in the German-speaking Alps and preparing the courses, which will start next spring.