Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Sunday, 18 November 2007

Eco-networks: management or coordination?

Can Public Councils - platforms of stakeholders, a body without legal personality - be tasked with the management of eco-networks? Participants in the kick-off seminar of the Bulgarian-Greek cross border eco-networks heavily debated this question in Sofia this week. Should Public Councils become NGOs? Should we have new legislation?

I realized that the confusion originates from the word ‘management’. To ‘manage’ a protected area or a Natura 2000 site you need legal ownership of the land and or legislation on all aspects of land use. The state is not owner of the whole eco-network. The core areas of the eco-networks are protected areas, mostly owned by the state and Natura 2000 sites have to be managed according to a special regime. But the buffer zones and corridors are not under any special regime. Land owners and municipalities are under no obligation to contribute to the eco-network. They do so on a voluntary basis. So it is better to communicate the task of Public Councils as “to coordinate the voluntary contributions of the eco-network with the management of the Natura 2000 sites and the protected areas in the region”. If you frame it this way, everybody can agree. And the task becomes much more ‘manageable’!

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