Field workshops in Zagreb: 5th Natura 2000 monitoring workshop – part 2
After a virtual and theoretical first part of the 5th Natura 2000 monitoring workshop in 2021 (due to Covid), last week it was finally time for the practical field workshop in Zagreb, Croatia from 23-25 May 2022. As an output of the Eurosite Remote Sensing Support Group (RSSG), the workshop was co-organised by Eurosite members Geonatura Ltd., the Public Institution NATURA VIVA, as well as with Javna ustanova – Park Maksimir. It also served as a Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process networking event.
On day one, 48 participants from 14 countries throughout the European Union gathered in Zagreb for three days of learning about the effects of observer variation on field monitoring data and integrating new technologies for monitoring in Natura 2000 site management. The workshop was kicked off with welcoming speeches by the Croatian Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, Geonatura Ltd., and Eurosite, after which Bruno Combal of the European Commission introduced the EU Grassland Watch (monitoring grasslands in Natura 2000 sites with Copernicus data) and the Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process was introduced by Theo van der Sluis (Wageningen Environmental Research). The rest of the afternoon was filled with presentations by the leaders of the workshops of the following days, introducing their topics, tools and methods.
After an early bus ride and somewhat of a climb, participants arrived in Krč, at the Natura 2000 site HR2001298 Vejalnica i Krč on day two, where they participated in four field workshops, given by monitoring experts:
- Clive Hurford and Alan Brown gave a demonstration on observer variation in field data
- Sébastien Chognard let participants gather field data by means of the EarthTrack mobile app
- Ricardo Díaz-Delgado had participants count the amount of orchids in a plot, after which he gave a drone demonstration to indicate the observer variation and how drone data can complement monitoring activities
- Wojciech Mróz had prepared a workshop on field monitoring with botanical indicators and conservation status.
After a lovely lunch in the field, everyone traveled back to Zagreb where the results of the observer variation field exercises were presented and discussed. Additionally, a knowledge market provided participants with the opportunity to present their own work and projects. The evening was closed with the traditional EuroCocktail, where participants bring some produce from their region to share with international colleagues while networking.
The last day included a field visit to the Natura 2000 site HR2000596 Slunjčica in Rastoke, where Eurosite member NATURA VIVA welcomed us and presented the area. At Eurosite, we would like to thank all participants, speakers, and co-organisers for their enthusiasm and contributions to the workshop.
A workshop report will be available on the dedicated event page in due time. The workshop presentations have been uploaded on the event page as well. In case you wish to join the Remote Sensing Support Group, please contact Wojciech Mróz.