Conservation Management Support Network


The issue I would like to ask your attention for is the establishment of a Conservation Management Support Network, a joint undertaking of the Dutch Karkonosze Foundation (established in 1990 as a facilitating organisation for co- operation with Central European institutes, GOs and NGOs), the Board for Polish National Parks and all national park administrations in Poland (Poland has, at present, 21 national parks (276 000 hectares) of which 6 are designated Biosphere Reserves in the UNESCO MaB programme).

The motivation for establishing CMSN is the recognised need to substantially strengthen the (organisational) capacity of national parks in Poland if they are to effectively fulfil their role as corner stones of the Polish strategy to conserve the still substantial landscape and biological diversity in Poland, take action to prevent the irreversible loss of currently threatened values and, where possible, prepare for the restoration of lost biodiversity. And, to create circumstances for the future of sensitive areas to become truly sustainable.

Establishing CMSN is to provide a solid structure and model for effective communication / co-ordination / co-operation among peers and relevant stakeholders. And, to create the right infrastructure to build a practical National Park Information System (including AIS, GIS, DSS, MIS) for the Polish national park system which may, then, be easily adopted by similar organisations (particularly in Central Europe).

Element of an ongoing process of landscape and biological diversity protection efforts, developing the concepts for CMSN / NPIS has been integrated in a number of closely related and co- ordinated projects in Poland and countries to the South and East of Poland. CMSN in particular, represents an innovative, joint effort of Intergovernmental (IGO), governmental (GO), non governmental (NGO) organisations, institutes and corporations to participate in long term Biodiversity Protection efforts. In practical terms, CMSN is part of the work programme of the National Parks Component for which the Polish government has borrowed two million US dollars from the World Bank under a Polish Forestry Development Project financed by the World Bank and the European Investment Bank. The additional funding required for the realisation of the full NP Component will be generated by applying a number of equally innovative strategies, involving an even wider variety of sources than CMSN.

However, as this message is primarily about CMSN, I will stick to that issue now. The initiators of CMSN are three organisations mentioned earlier, whereby the Karkonosze Foundation will initiate international, the Board for Polish National Parks national (i.e. government, national foundations / funds, and the national park administrations local (i.e. regional and local governments, institutes, local NGOs) input to CSMN.

A practical reference frame work for the development of CMSN (and the components of the model NPIS) will be provided by means of generating fully integrated (short term) management plans for all national parks in Poland. To be developed and maintained in a cyclic, dynamic organisational process, and supported by all the participants to CMSN. These plans will reflect the rights and responsibilities of ALL stakeholders, users, and external elements directly affecting and influencing the management of the national park in its complex environment.

The support / co-operation process is, of course, where, hopefully, you, or your institute / organisation, will join forces in the realisation of this difficult but worthwhile cause for the future of biodiversity protection.

A few, proposed (your comments on this are very welcome), guiding principles for CMSN, and NPIS components, are:

1. The entire process will be based on existing entities. I.e. no new facilities will be established, though participants may be provided with infrastructural means to effectively participate.

2. Financial contributions by the participants to the development and maintenance of CMSN / NPIS components (e.g. applications, data / information sets) will, initially, be voluntary. A code of conduct on this issue for the future will be jointly developed by all ACTIVE participants when CMSN has become fully operational by the end of 1996.

3. Already existing relevant data, information, etc. will be available from, and to, CMSN participants free of charge.

4. Reasonable compensation for time and expenses will be paid to any participant contributing to new to be developed items for CMSN and the NPIS components. Arrangements will always be made by means of specific Terms of Reference and contracts between CMSN and the participant / contributor.

Any reader having had experience in the management of conserving landscape and biological diversity, will be well aware of the complexity of the described effort, and I sincerely hope many of you will find the concept interesting and challenging enough to become one of many active participants in its realisation.

The entire (development) project will continue until the year 2000. As we hope to involve a number of students / graduates in interdisciplinary workgroups to realise specific tasks, do not hesitate to contact me to see if this effort could be of help to you as well as to the development process.

Best regards,

Henry Baumgartl

For more information, please send me an EM with a short description of your (or your institute / organisation) background / field of interest, or contact me at:

Karkonosze Foundation
P.O.Box 2298
NL - 1620 EG Hoorn
The Netherlands

Tel & Fax +31 229 241992

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