Seven organizations are working together on the project. The experts of these organizations participate in ensuring the monitoring and the management of the protected areas. Also evaluation of ecosystem services, education and project management are among the most important project activities.
The Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic (MoE SR)
The Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic is the central authority of the state service, which, among other things, deals with the creation and protection of the environment, the protection of the nature of the countryside. MoE SR is the coordinating beneficiary and is responsible for the overall management of the project, reporting and communication with CINEA and the external monitoring team. It controls the timely and appropriate implementation of project activities as well as the actual drawing of the project budget. Also management of the project promotion, creation and administration of the project website and coordination the all communication activities of the project partners are in control of MoE SR.
The State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic (SNC SR)
The State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic is a professional nature protection organization established by the Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic with nationwide scope. Its task is the protection of nature and the landscape as well as the practical care of the specially protected nature and landscape parts. The IP LIFE NATURA 2000 project will address practical management measures in all project locations. E.g. care in peatlands and in several locations the care of protected species with the aim of creating suitable conditions for their existence and maintaining their favorable condition. It is also responsible for the evaluation of ecosystem services and the preparation of integrated care programs in the pilot project areas of Poľana and Záhorie.
Muránska planina National Park
Muránska Planina National Park is one of the youngest national parks in Slovakia. Until today, civilization has not massively penetrated into the harsh terrain in the central part, and thanks to this, this territory has preserved its natural character. Within the project, we will focus on management changes of forest areas to close to nature management. Subsequently we will also improve the conditions for endangered birds such as the western capercaillie, eurasian three-toed woodpecker or eurasian pygmy owl. Before felling, we will protect growth of black-berried honeysuckle, as it is a host plant for the larvae of the rare Pseudogaurotina excellens. This National Park is also exceptional for its semi-natural grasslands where proper management is also absent, which negatively affects the species living there. By combining the removal of trees and shrubs with regular manual (exceptionally machine) mowing, we will improve the conditions for butterflies, such as the mountain Apollo, large copper or large blue, as well as for several protected birds.
The Slovak Water Management Enterprise (SWME)
The Slovak Water Management Enterprise is a departmental organization of the Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic. It manages surface and underground waters and complex hydroecological activities in basins. Within the integrated project LIFE – IP NATURA 2000 SVK is responsible for the implementation of the restoration of freshwater environments such as the reopening of lateral branches, the restoration of riverbank environments or the adaptation of the hydrological regime in the project locations of Záhorie and Latorica. In these localities, it ensures the diversion of branches in the Morava basin. While in eastern Slovakia localities the main goal is the flooding of one of the branches of the Tice and the Tajba nature reserve. That is essential for the occurrence of European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis), the only native species of turtle that lives in Slovakia.
World Wide Fund for Nature WWF Slovakia (WWF)
The civil association WWF Slovakia was founded in March 2019 as part of the wider international network WWF Central and Eastern Europe (WWF CEE). It has been actively involved for over 20 years in nature protection, relevant policy solutions and increasing public awareness in the Danubian-Carpathian region under the original name WWF Danube-Carpathian Program. WWF Slovakia works within three program areas – forests, water and wild animals. All activities are accompanied by intensive communication towards the public in order to raise awareness of the necessity for nature protection in Slovakia. In this project, WWF is involved in the preparation of supporting documentation for the implementation of pilot conservation activities in the territories of Záhorie, Muránska Planina and Poľana.
DAPHNE – Institute of Applied Ecology (DAPHNE)
DAPHNE – Institute of Applied Ecology is the association founded in 1993 focused on nature protection, including environmental education. The main objective of DAPHNE is to provide professional background for nature protection in the field of applied research, monitoring and management of natural biotopes.
As the project partner, DAPHNE organizes the data collection on habitats and species that are under protection in Special Areas of Conservation about which we do not obtain the sufficient information. DAPHNE, in cooperation with SNC SR, is also responsible for environmental education. The goal is to fill the vacant positions of employees and lecturers in information centers and also to hold various events for the public.
The National Forest Centre (NFC)
The National Forest Centre is a contributory departmental organization of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic. It comprehensively ensures the tasks of forestry research and development in all areas of forestry and other branches in solving problems related to the natural environment and human activity within. It also deal with the research on landscape-forming, ecological and economic-social impacts of forests, forestry and agroforestry in the conditions of Slovakia. In the IP LIFE NATURA 2000 project, NFC coordinates the introduction of agroforestry systems in the project territories of Poľana and Záhorie. Furthermore, NFC cooperates in the design and implementation of close to nature forest management and management measures for the habitat restoration of Western capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) in the project territories of Poľana and Muránska Planina.
Comenius University in Bratislava, Faculty od Natural Sciences (FNSCU)
The Faculty of Natural Sciences was established in 1940, and since 1990, when the environmental section was created, basic research has expanded to include activities related to applied ecological research for the needs of nature conservation.
As part of the IP LIFE NATURA 2000 project FNSCU covers the preparation of methodology and monitoring to determine the zero status of indicator species of the ecosystems biodiversity within the areas of interest. The measures applied concern with some of the most well-known endangered species – European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis), Rosalia longicorn (Rosalia alpina), White-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos), Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) and more. Last but not least, the task of FNSCU is to prepare a study with an analysis of the target properties flexibility of Natura 2000 areas in relation to climate change.