Last week (February 19 – February 22, 2018), representatives of CENER21 participated at the Third Steering Committee meeting that was held in the Bükk National Park, Hungary. The event gathered all project partners from 9 different countries, who performed the first project review and discussed the progress on the work packages and the plans for the future. As a leader of the work package related to communication activities, CENER21 performed many activities focussed on the ECO KARST project promotion and visibility. This meeting was a great opportunity to strengthen relations with the project partners, as well as to share achievements and challenges faced.

The activities of the program included a review of the Performance and Quality Plan by all project partners, as well as the First Year Review meeting and interactive workshops. On this occasion, Mr. Gusztáv Csomor, a Project Officer from the Danube Transnational Programme, joined the ECO KARST team for a discussion on the project progress, experienced challenges and delays.

“The project implementation is proceeding well despite some of the delays in WP3, due to the higher work load that was originally expected. Additionally, the project was able to recover from the delays in communication activities since CENER21 (the new project partner from Bosnia and Herzegovina) has joined the partnership. The meeting gave the impression of the partnership having good atmosphere and working relation. My main recommendation is to keep this good spirit and performance, as well as the project partners shall find best solutions to engage the key stakeholders in the implementation in order to ensure the establishment of planned stakeholder networks, their feedback and contribution to the project activities and the development and uptake of outputs.”, concluded Mr. Gusztáv Csomor.

The interactive workshops where all project partners analyzed strength and difficulties in all work packages, resulted with great suggestions for the project implementation in the future. Project partners were very satisfied with the proactive attitude of the  CENER21 team, good internal communication and efforts invested in project visibility on social media while establishing good connection with the general public.

The Third Steering Committee was officially concluded with the presentations on the progress of each work package and plans for the future.

Besides meetings and workshops, a field trip was organized on the last day of the program. The field trip started with a visit to Cserépfalu village, where it was possible to see an example of the wooded pasture management. In this village, participants also had a chance to see an unique rock formation carved by mankind – the so-called beehive rock. A number of legends, assumptions and scientific hypotheses were created regarding the function, carvers and age of the niches of the hive stones. One of them is that the niches of the beehive rocks are mementos of the Medieval forest rock apiculture.

After the Cserépfalu village, the ECO KARST team explored the St. Stephen Cave in Lillafüred village. The cave was discovered in 1913. According to local legend, a dog fell into a 15-metre deep shaft, which was the cave’s only natural opening. People found the cave when they rescued the dog.. Interesting fact about the cave is that patients with respiratory illnesses are treated here.

The Third Steering Committee Meeting program was evaluated as a highly successful event that resulted with a valuable feedback from the JS representative, suggestions for improvement and harmonized plan for the future. CENER21 is honoured to participate in the ECO KARST project and thrilled to give its contribution to the protection, conservation and sustainable use of karst ecosystems in the Danube and Dinaric region together with other project partners.