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Visiting Boč ten years later!

October 31st 2013

In 2002 – 2003 I was involved in assisting Slovenian protected area managers in dealing with the issue of threats by visitors to biodiversity in the mountain landscape park of Boč. C After long discussions they decided on a strategic focus to deal with only one threat (trampling of the Pulsatilla Grandis) during one specific event (1st of May celebrations). See the story board.

Boc story

Five years ago I went back. Simona Kaligaric showed me around and explained that since 2002 the 1st May event is every year managed more effeciciently by the municipality. The community now really takes care of the site. E.g. the hunters association decided to turn the adjacent corn field they owned into grassland. They were afraid that the fertilizer they use for the corn, may harm the soil of the Pulsatilla.. “It changed my professional life”, Simona said then. “Leaving my desk and interacting with the people  in the field, makes my life definitely more complicated, but also much more succesful.” 

Last week on a sunny Saturday in September (2013) – it is now ten years after the project – I was again in Boč. And again Simona showed me around. When we came to the foot of the mountain at the end of the village we saw many cars nicely  parked at a parking. “Yes”  Simona said, “these days the responsible behavior is not only reserved for the 1st of May. Throughout the year many people use the trails to walk up the mountain through the dense forest. These challenging nature trails were one of the initiatives of the mountaineering society, after our project. They also look after the paths here.”

 IMG_2287Boc 2013When we came to the mountain inn, we saw more cars parked on a small parking and not a single one parked ‘in the wild’ as was the case ten years ago. A group of people from a nearby town were practicing karate on a field. “Look behind them”, Simona pointed out, “there is the basketball court that we made ten years ago – it is still maintained by the inn and used by groups of young people who come here during the year. Actually all facilities, e.g. campfire and camping places we made for the event management of the 1st of May are now used during the whole year. And people take responsibility: the hunters associations mow the pulsatilla field every year to make sure there is no overgrowth. The municipalities take positive interest.”

“I myself have not been here for quite some time, as I am now promoted to head our office in Maribor. But I am always surprised how well it works when you define the communication objectives properly. We used to think in broad terms of agriculture or biodiversity, as conservation issues. We now know we have to be much more concrete and start small. Once you have a concrete issue you can define stakeholders, find opinion leaders and listen to them to explore how they can be part of the solution.”  Then we went to the two sites of the Pulsatilla Grandis. I notice that Simona does not use anymore the Latin name, she uses the local name: Eastern Flower: “the Eastern Flower is doing well, much better than ten years ago and we hope that the habitat will slowly grow bigger.

2 reacties op “Visiting Boč ten years later!”

  1. Maritza Rodriguez schreef:

    Realmente la comunicación en todo el proceso es vital y nos asegura el cumplimiento de nuestros objetivos; y si va acompañada de jornadas de sensibilización y capacitación, es mucho más afectiva. Realmente eso ha sido la clave del éxito de Simona

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