E.C.O. Institute of Ecology Klagenfurt
In the overall assessment, based on document analysis, discussions and workshops in the region as well as a regional economic model calculation, there is an extremely positive picture of the national park work. The construction work carried out, the developed structures, processes and activities do not need to shy away from the international comparison. The strategic decisions of the national park management can be traced in terms of content. The documentation is comprehensive and transparent. The overall orientation of the national park is suitable for the future.
In the evaluation, innovative and high-quality, sometimes unique visitor and educational offerings, comprehensive and systematic public relations in the region and beyond the region, highly qualified, motivated and effective team in a modern service company, basic natural spatial inventory, quality of selected research and planning tools and demonstrably positive regional economic impact.
The reduction of the barrier effect of roads, railways, forestry, alpine pastures and closure routes, the safeguarding of the budgetary situation by valorisation of shareholder contributions and the further development of the legal framework for the strict application of the IUCN criteria are seen as needing improvement. An urgent need for action arises in the evaluation of the increased involvement and co-design possibilities for involved and affected interests within and outside the region, in the development of a comprehensive management plan with the interests involved, in the improvement of the interaction between the landowner (Steiermärkische Landesforste) and the National Park GmbH and in the improvement of the demarcation, zoning and perspective for the (natural) spatial development of the national park.
At the technical and operational level, the evaluation yields a large number of suggestions, which are prepared in the nearly 200-page final report.
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