NATREG – Management of natural assets and protected areas as an opportunity for sustainable regional development

Associated persons Daniel Zollner, Stefanie Weiglhofer und Michael Jungmeier
Clients University of Klagenfurt
Regions Austria, Slovenia
Year 2009

Creating harmony between the conservation of nature and human economic activities poses a major challenge. The conservation of nature is more often seen as an obstacle than as an opportunity for the development of those regions which are particularly worth protecting. The great potential of protected areas for sustaining biodiversity and as an opportunity for social and economic development is much discussed. Yet there are very few good examples or exchanges of knowledge on this subject. The main objective of the NATREG project is to recognise this potential, and promote the awareness of protected areas as the source of impetus for sustainable regional development, and of protected nature as a valuable asset. Six protected areas in the Alps-Adriatic and Pannonian regions – in Italy, Croatia, Austria, Serbia and Slovenia – are involved. The intention is to establish transnational and trans-sectoral cooperation and develop a joint strategy for the integrated management of protected areas. Courses and opportunities for knowledge transfer will be organised. Stakeholders from various sectors will be involved and ultimately a strategy for the creation of ecological corridors will be developed. E.C.O. and the University of Klagenfurt are arranging training courses and developing training materials on the areas of participation and regional development in protected areas, and organising workshops and conferences with international experts.Detailed information on the NATREG project is available at