Opening Conference of the LIFE17 NAT/PL/000018 Project

Opening Conference of the LIFE17 NAT/PL/000018 Project

On 26 September 2019, the opening conference of the LIFE17 NAT/PL/000018 Project entitled “RENATURYZACJA ŚRÓDLĄDOWEJ DELTY RZEKI NIDY” (Eng. Renaturalization of the Inland Delta of the Nida River) was held in the “Zacisze” Training and Recreation Centre in Krzyżanowice Dolne.

The inland delta of the Nida River is one of the richest natural areas in Europe and it is crucial for the protection of biodiversity. The network of drainage channels built in the mid-1980s lead to a permanent lowering of the groundwater level, which resulted in the shallowing of the river bed and drying out of the area. Due to the significant threat to the natural habitats and unique species of flora and fauna found there, the site has been selected as the project implementation site.

The Thursday’s conference was attended by nearly 80 people, including representatives of government and local authorities, forest inspectorates, local communities, NGOs, project partners and the media. The conference was divided into two parts: paper presentation and field section.

The event was opened by Tomasz Hałatkiewicz, the Director of Complex of Świętokrzyskie and the Nida River Landscape Park (ZŚiNPK), who presented the assumptions and objectives of the project. The “Protection of biodiversity — from ethics to practice” (original title: Ochrona bioróżnorodności – od etyki do praktyki) was discussed by Małgorzata Jankowska-Błaszczuk, PhD (dr hab.) from the Jan Kochanowski University. The presentation entitled “Grazing farm animals in EU nature project areas — is it worth it?” (original title: Wypas zwierząt gospodarskich w przyrodniczych projektach unijnych – czy to się opłaca?) was given by Tomasz M. Gruszecki, PhD (dr hab.) from the University of Life Sciences in Lublin. The lecture on the Delta was given by prof. Tadeusz Zając from the Institute of Nature Conservation of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Kraków, and the water system of the inland delta of the Nida River was discussed by Jacek Florek, PhD Eng. (dr hab.) from the University of Agriculture in Kraków In the paper presentation section, a screening of a fragment of a documentary film took place, which showed attractive and unique natural values and activities of our project.

In the field part of the conference, the participants visited the town of Umianowice, where they had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the facilities selected to carry out the protective actions. An additional attraction was the trip to the site by the Świętokrzyskie Commuter Railway the so-called “Ciuchcia Express Ponidzie” (Eng. Ponidzie Express Choo-choo-train) and a falconer show prepared by a Life project employee, bird sanctuary specialist — Marcin Słoma and the students of the Complex of Forestry Schools — Zespół Szkół Leśnych im. Romana Gesinga in Zagnańsk and members of the Falconer Section “Ćwik”.

The conference was an opportunity not only to broadly present the project assumptions but also to establish contacts between people from various environments, working for environmental protection and sustainable development.