New Interreg project starting on UNESCO Beech Forests

We are thrilled to announce that the European Wilderness Society will be starting soon with a transnational and multi-year Interreg project, called BEECH POWER. Under the lead of Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development, together we submitted the project during the 3rd call of the Interreg Central Europe programme. The Joint Secretariat of Interreg has approved this project proposal, which will start officially in April 2019. 


The project, fully called: ‘World Heritage Beech Forests: empowering and catalyzing an ecosystem-based Sustainable Development’ will be a 3-year challenge together with a great partner consortium:

In addition, the following Associated Strategic Partners are involved:

International focus

The UNESCO World Heritage Site ‘Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe’ represents the most complex transnational serial natural site in the UNESCO portfolio. It is comprising 78 component parts in 45 protected areas in 12 countries. In BEECH POWER, the partners focus on almost 25% of the components parts, distributed in the five following countries: Austria, Germany, Croatia, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Leading to innovative models

Local management units of the component parts often face similar challenges, like with buffer zone management. However, the respective environmental and socio-economic contexts differ considerably on local and national level. The main objective of BEECH POWER is to improve management quality and effectiveness of the World Heritage site. This is necessary to safeguard the ecosystem integrity of the single component parts. Furthermore, it helps to improve the capacities and active participation possibilities of relevant stakeholders.

The project uses an ecosystem-based and participatory approach, working on different administrative levels to incorporate the World Heritage site in sustainable regional development. As a result, it aims to produce replicable and innovative models for World Heritage beech forests and their local surroundings.

The European Wilderness Society is looking forward to kick-off this project together with our partners soon. Stay tuned for more updates.

The BEECH POWER project is a great step in the right direction to ensure continued protection, appreciation and understanding for the natural heritage beech forests in Europe.

Max A. E. Rossberg
Chairman, European Wilderness Society
European Beech Forest Network Vilm 2017
European Beech Forest Network Vilm 2017

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