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4th steering committee of Eco Karst project

Fourth Steering Committee meeting was held last week (September 24 – September 27, 2018) in Apuseni Nature Park, Romania. The event gathered all project partners from 9 different countries, who discussed the progress on work packages focusing on the first round of workshops and making plans for the future.

Mr. Razvan Puia, a director of cabinet of prefect institution in Bihor County held a welcome speech. Mr. Puia emphasized the significance of ECO KARST project for the region, wishing us a lot of success in the next few months!

Participants were introduced to the meeting with an overview of results achieved in Period 3 presented by the Leading Partner. Each pilot area had a chance to report about the feedback they received from their stakeholders during the first round of workshops. The meeting also included several dynamic and innovative activities where participants were able to prepare for the second round of stakeholders’ workshops and express their ideas for the PBB award concept.

Besides meetings and workshops, a field trip was organized on the third day of the program. First thing in the morning, ECO KARST team visited the cooper’s workshop, where they had a chance to see how authentic products of wood and textile are being made. After pleasant chat with the hosts, ECO KARST team visited the Poarta lui Ionele showcave. Next destination was the amazing viewpoint - summer village Calineasa where it wasn't possible to capture all the beauties of landscape with the camera!

In the afternoon, the team learned more about processing of Arnica montana in Ecoherba - Bioflora Apuseni facility. Arnica montana collected in the park and processed in this facility will later become an important ingredient of famous Weleda products. The interesting part about this is that Apuseni Nature Park is the only place in Europe where it’s allowed to collect Arnica montana. The main goal of Ecoherba – Bioflora Apuseni facility is the preservation of oligotrophic grasslands in the cultural landscape, rich with endangered species through sustainable land use patterns and the fair trade of Arnica montana. In collaboration with Weleda, the companies organise training courses for the local pickers to ensure sustainable harvesting of Arnica’s inflorescences.

Still carrying the pleasant scent of Arnica inflorescences in their nostrils, the team discovered the world’s largest underground glacier in the showcave Ghetarul de Scarisoara! What a stunning place!

After closing the 4th Steering Committee meeting, ECO KARST team visited the facility for mushroom and forest fruit processing.  Emilian company supports local community development, by involving women and youth in their business activities. Their strengths are women, youth, high-quality mushrooms and forest fruit combined with modern processing technology. The final product is visually appealing, practical and tasty. One of the products that was ready for degustation was their smoothie Terrarium. ECO KARST team even prepared their own smoothie, using the static bike installed in their premises!

In the evening, ECO KARST team enjoyed in marvelous traditional Romanian music and dance which made the stay in Romania even more interesting.

Fourth Steering Committee was a great success, we are very satisfied with the activities and results achieved. We would like to thank Apuseni Nature Park for an incredible hosting and organization of our stay in Romania! In just a few days, we learned a lot about Apuseni Nature park, Romanian tradition, local population and their life in Apuseni mountains.

Source http://www.interreg-danube.eu/approved-projects/eco-karst

Text and photo: CENER21

Toward nature, JP National park Tara
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