“Welcome to Klagenfurt”

The new “Management of Protected Areas” course gets off to an enthusiastic start


“Welcome to the Alpen-Adria-Universität”.

On February 17th, 2012, Professor Hans-Joachim Bodenhöfer and Dr. Michael Jungmeier greet the new participants in the university certificate programme “Management of Protected Areas”. Guests from Brazil, Malaysia, Nepal and several Central and Eastern European countries are met by icy winter temperatures. Course materials have been prepared, the instructors have arrived, the participants are ready to start: a new course commences.

“Ready, set, go!”

The participants have a tightly-packed programme ahead of them, starting with a guided tour through the university, the library and around the campus. Michael Jungmeier uses the opening lecture to sketch out the map of the integrated management of protected areas: definitions and principles, the life cycle of protected areas and the Klagenfurt approach to management. Particular emphasis is given to the concept of Parks 3.0., the next generation of protected areas.

“Nothing is more practical than a good theory”.

In line with this motto, international speakers present their introductions to the topic area: Christoph Imboden (CH), long-time manager of BirdLife international, offers insights into concepts of biodiversity and sustainable development. Andrej Sovinc (SI), IUCN, talks about the history and principles of IUCN categories of protected areas and international designations. Sigrun Lange, E.C.O. Germany, teaches about the life cycle of protected areas, using the theoretical framework of the IPAM toolbox as well as the book “People, Parks and Money”.

“Let’s participate!”

Several formal receptions, a number of excursions and a conference including the managers of Austrian protected areas complete the programme. In keeping with tradition, this conference is jointly organised by the Austrian Environmental Umbrella Organisation and the Alpen-Adria-Universität. This year’s event is dedicated to conflicts and opportunities for participation in protected areas. Over 100 managers, advisors and planers working in protected areas come together to reflect upon their experiences and swap stories. The shared enjoyment of a traditional Carinthian Reindling (cake) brings the event to a close.

“Very, very, very, very interesting”.

Having completed the first module, participants are very satisfied. Particular praise goes to the “appropriate mixture of theory, practical approaches and hands-on case studies”, the “international dimension” and the “multi-cultural and multi-dimensional” programme focus.

Most participants return to their homes at the end of the intensive course module. They will meet again when the next module takes place in May.


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