Process; ongoing (The Task Forces exist as long the activities can be carried out. In the past, some Task Forces were closed, but new ones emerged as well. It is a dynamic process.)
Submitted by / EUSDR Priority Area(s): PA 6 Biodiversity, Landscapes and Air & Soil Quality
EUSDR Priority Area 6 deals with a variety of topics, all of which have to do with the protection and preservation of our natural resources. We cannot manage these tasks alone. For this reason, PA 6 from the beginning put great emphasis on the involvement of stakeholders, experts and enthusiasts who wanted to work with us to implement the objectives of the EUSDR Action Plan. This has resulted in the establishment of a number of working groups, the PA 6 Task Forces. Here, representatives of civil society, academia and authorities gather to jointly define goals and implement their own work programme. In this way, existing knowledge and experience is pooled and integrated into the governance of the EUSDR. This process is a central element of PA 6 and therefore an EUSDR Flagship that explicitly involves all current six PA 6 Task Forces.
The process aims in particular to bring the implementation of the EUSDR and PA 6 to the surface and to give each interested person the opportunity to participate in the implementation. The Task Forces themselves are integrated into the PA 6 Steering Group through their chairs. In this way, multi-level governance can succeed.
In terms of content, the Task Forces deal with the following topics:
- Danube Sturgeon Task Force (DSTF): Protection and reintroduction of Danube sturgeon species.
- Danube Region Invasive Alien Species Network (DIAS): Control and prevention of invasive alien species.
- Danubeparks: Cooperation of protected areas in the Danube Region to improve ecological connectivity
- SONDAR: Soil protection and sustainable development
- Danube Landscape Task Force (DLTF): Sustainable landscape development
- Masterplan Bavarian Danube (WGMPBD): Preservation and strengthening the biodiversity along the Bavarian Danube
Need and (expected) impact
The starting point for the establishment of the Task Force more than 10 years ago was also the initial situation for the EUSDR: a quite high number of topics and activities to be implemented in the area, plus two coordinators and a Steering Group. Here it was obvious: support from the experts from the different regions in the EUSDR, as well as on the different topics in PA 6, was needed. At the beginning, therefore, the focus was especially on networking, from which the Task Forces emerged. The DSTF was the first and now has its own structures, such as Rules of Procedure, Chair and Co-Chair, an Executive Committee and a General Assembly. The Task Forces now play an important role as NGOs in their own right by intervening in political decision-making processes. PA 6 is very proud of this and wants to continue on this path.
Through the Task Forces, representatives of almost all Danube Region countries are involved in the process, who in turn drive forward the implementation of their Task Force’s work program at regional and local level. In this way, a true multiplier effect is created.
Each of the six Task Forces has around 20-40 members in several countries (please refer to the Task Force Chairs, listed below in the contact section).
Budget and Funding
The Task Forces themselves do not receive funding. Costs for meetings and travel & accommodation can be funded by the PAC projects from the Interreg Danube Transnational Programme. Most of the Task Forces however develop bankable projects for EU funding programmes (e.g. Interreg A and B, LIFE, Horizon Europe) and PA 6 does the best to support these efforts.
- Task Force Chairs Danube Sturgeon Task Force (DSTF); Peter Gammeltoft; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Danube Region Invasive Alien Species Network (DIAS); Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research – Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (IBER-BAS), Teodora Trichkova, email@example.com
- Danubeparks – Network of Protected Areas, Nationalpark Donauauen, Georg Frank, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Soil Strategy Network in the Danube Region (SONDAR), Government of Lower Austria, Erwin Szlezak, email@example.com
- Danube Landscape Task Force (DL:TF), Harald Kutzenberger; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Masterplan Bavarian Danube (MASTERPLAN); Landratsamt Neuburg-Schrobenhausen, Siegfried Geißler; email@example.com