The 16th Steering Group Meeting of the Priority Area 6 was held on November 11th 2021 in a virtual format. The key topic of the meeting was ecological connectivity in the Danube Region, within numerous successful actions, projects and initiatives have been achieved. Initially, the topic was introduced by a key note speech by the EU COM, DG Environment, in view of the policy framework (e.g. EU Green Deal, EU Biodiversity Strategy). Then started a journey on ecological connectivity from the river itself to land-based solutions to the mountainous area of the Carpathians, with an impressive range of projects. For example, the Masterplan Living Space Bavarian Danube was a bottom-up process, which was the key to its success, and it can work as a blueprint for other regions, potentially resulting with a wide chain of effective masterplans along Danube and other regions as well, and for which the Bavarian Masterplan Working Group can offer support. Besides the Masterplan, there have been many other great activities, projects and initiatives, from PA6 Study on Ecological Connectivity, MEASURES project, LIFE WILDisland project, LIFELINEMDD project, DaRe to Connect project, CONNECTGREEN project, SAVEGREEN project, LIFE Danube Free Sky project, Danube River Basin Management Plan and Danube Flood Risk Management Plan. Ideas were developed and discussed on how to capitalize on the existing experiences and results in the Danube Region and to address these topics even stronger at the policy level.
All the projects and initiatives will be given attention and a platform for further discussion and follow-up activities from the PA 6, for the purpose of successfully capitalising the results. There is a lot of experience, materials, guidelines, management plans, action plans, tools, training material and capacity models that were generated, and all of that can be used further as applicative solutions. For this purpose, it is concluded that it would be useful to build a catalogue/inventory that would gather all results and solutions in one place, to enable the availability and accessibility for sharing and further use. By combining all experience, results and know-how, a holistic and multidisciplinary approach can be developed, which can enable a successful capitalisation of results in the future.
The meeting was attended by 51 participants, Steering Group Members, Observers and Guests (including from ICPDR, DSTF and line ministries) within the Priority Area 6: Biodiversity and Landscapes, Quality of Air and Soils.