Recharging biodiversity

Topic area
Agriculture and forestry, incl. value chain
Basic services, Leader, municipalities
Environment, biodiversity, nature conservation
Climate protection and climate change

Disaggregation level
Education & lifelong learning
Climate protection
Climate change adaptation
Protected areas
Nature conservation
Agricultural services
Direct marketing
Value added
Alpine pasture management & mountain agriculture

Project region

LE– Programming Period
LE 14–20

Project period

Project costs overall

Subsidy from LE 14-20

EN - 7.6.1. a) B Studien und Investitionen zur Erhaltung, Wiederherstellung und Verbesserung des natürlichen Erbes - Naturschutz

Project initiator

Short description

During the period 2016-2020, the nature parks of the federal province of Styria centrally focused their activities on nature conservation and biodiversity.

The emphasis was laid on the realization of the goals set out in the Biodiversity Strategy 2020. Furthermore, the focus was placed on a cooperation with the responsible department for nature conservation at the office of the Styrian Provincial Government as well as the project`s  alignment along the activities of the Association of Nature Parks in Austria. The project benefited from a unique network of ambassadors' groups, evolving from previous activities carried out by the nature parks of Styria.

A team of seven biodiversity experts, who were specifically responsible for the topic, was at the core of the project "Charging Biodiversity". The integration of these experts (complementing the management team)  certainly led to an intensification on the contextual and personnel level.

Point of departure

Since the work in the large network of ambassadors required appropriate coordination, a comprehensive list of tasks addressed to the seven biodiversity experts (permanent employment for the entire duration of the project), providing technical support to the nature park management, has been developed. They were to act as a contact point for nature conservation and biodiversity to the public and hence ensure improved networking of the ambassador groups as well as provide support in the further development of biodiversity projects and products.

Thanks to their expertise, the awareness-raising and marketing activities of the nature parks could be improved in terms of content. Furthermore, incentives for the promotion of biodiversity were set and the perception for biodiversity and its added value was facilitated.

"The very rare gentian species, Gentiana cruciata, requires extensively managed meadows to grow. If such meadows would be intensively managed, this gentian species would disappear immediately. Hence the question arises: more yield or rather more biodiversity?"

Targets and target groups

Specific target groups were the ambassador groups of the nature parks, but also the population living in the vicinity of the nature parks.

Project implementation and measures

Measures set (selection):

- Employment of seven biodiversity experts
- Summarizing of some basics of biodiversity
- Biodiversity and tourism
- Revitalizing treasures of nature
- Implementation of the nature education program "Natur wirkt!" (nature impacts!).
- Implementation of flagship events

Results and effects

This project represents a milestone for the development of nature parks in the federal province of Styria.

The employment of experts in all 7 national parks specifically responsible for the topic of biodiversity led to an upgrade in personnel and content and the creation of valuable job positions. The nature parks establishments have thus become indispensable partners in the implementation of the primary nature conservation targets of the province of Styria.