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SGF project workshop in the Bardaca Wetlands in North Bosnia & Herzegovina

In the framework of the Ramsar 2005 Small Grants Fund project "restoration and rehabilitation of the Wetland Region Bardaca", a workshop was held on 24-25 November 2006 in the middle of the Bardaca area, where the Sava river forms the border between Bosnia & Herzegovina and Croatia. This is a mosaic of near-natural Sava floodplain areas with diverse habitat structures and shallow fish ponds covering about one quarter of the Bardacha core area.

DRAFT AGENDA

Friday, November 24th 2006

8:30                Registration at Welcome Desk, Bardaca Motel

9:00                Opening and Welcome

                        Presentation of Agenda

                        Adoption of Agenda

                        Prof. dr Mihajlo Markovic, Project Coordinator, Institute for Agroecology and Soil                     Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Banja Luka

                        Prof.dr Milenko Radevic, Expert in zoology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, BanjaLuka

9:10                Introduction

                        Dorothea AUGUST (Ms.), Assistant Advisor for Europe Ramsar Secretariat                          (Convention on Wetlands, Ramsar, Iran, 1971)

9:20                Expectations of Ministries from Project:

            Mr. Zdravko Begovic, B.Sc. Chem.Technology, Assistant Minister for Ecology,      Ministry of Urbanism, Civil Engeneering and Ecology;

 Representatives of other Ministries: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water            Management; Ministry of Education and Culture; Ministry of Trade and Tourism

 Ministry of Science and Technology...

9:40                  Coffee break

10:00              Introductory presentations:

                         „Criteria and  nomination procedure for Ramsar sites“  Ms. Dorothea August

10:20                "Toward wise use at nature park Lonjsko polje", Mr. Goran Gugic, Manager at the

                          Croatian Site Lonjsko polje

10:40                Overwiev of the Project: "Restoration and Rehabilitation of the Wetland Region                       Bardaca" Prof.dr Mihajlo Markovic

10:50                Video film dedicated to the value of Bardaca wetland region and its biodiversity

11:30                Presentations of experts:

                        (maximum 20 minutes for each expert, some experts have worked

                        in groups and have prepared one presentation)

13:00                Lunch break (during the lunch break, video movie about Birds in Bardaca will be            presented)

14:30                Presentations of experts (continuation):

                        (maximum 20 minutes for each expert, some experts have worked

                        in groups and have prepared one presentation)

16:00                Coffee break

16:20                Discussion within the Working groups (overwiev and synchronization of data)

  

18:30                Closing remarks

19:30                Dinner

  Saturday, November 25th 2006

8:30                  Continuation of discussion within the Working groups

10:00                Coffee break

10:10-11:00       Conclusion of the working groups, strategy and work plan for next activities,      responsibilities and communications – including outlook                  

11:00                Sight-seeing over Bardaca

Workshop participants

About 35 representatives from ministries and the University of the Serb Republic in Banja Luka, natural museums, agencies, local authorities, NGOs and individual land-owners participated in the two-day event.

The main target of the SGF project is the designation of the area as a Ramsar site and to elaborate a draft management plan, but it was also intended to develop materials for public awareness work and local education. While the workshop focused on the next steps for the first two aspects, this was also the occasion to launch the 24-page booklet "Bardaca - ecological values" (a bilingual version in Serbian and English). Furthermore a movie "Bardaca yesterday - today - tomorrow" was produced, which brings together nice aerial and landscape views with statements of experts on future management requirements.

The first workshop day was dedicated to looking at the results of comprehensive inventories of flora, fauna and socio-economic values as well as the way forward to designating Bardaca as a Wetland of International Importance. The presentation of the local approach at the Ramsar site Lonjsko Polje Nature Park, somewhat upstream in the Sava floodplain of Croatia, by the site manager Goran Gugic, was an important contribution to the discussion of the delineation of the future Bardaca Ramsar site in coherence with the hydrological regime needed for the fish ponds between the Vrbas and Sava rivers and the needs for the management of the other parts of the floodplain. This led the participants on the second day into thematic working groups on the implementation of the Ramsar Wise Use approach under the given local conditions, and on the elaboration of the Ramsar Information Sheet and the necessary steps towards the designation of the site for the Ramsar List. With the final conclusion and agreed action points in mind, the participants went for a site visit to gain a better understanding of landscape patterns, water regime, and land-use practices.

The project executants did good media work to spread information through regional newspapers, radio and the Serbian TV News.

This provided a first opportunity for a Regional Assistant Advisor of the Ramsar Secretariat, administering SGF projects on a regular basis, to participate in an SGF project event. The results of the workshop and the site visit show that such direct involvement has very positive effects on the implementation procedure by clarifying processes and contributing experiences from other projects and Ramsar sites to support the project.

                                                                                            By Dorotea August