Karst poljes: sensitive landscapes in need of protection

Workshop participants on an excursion to the Livanjsko polje.

Working together for the Karst poljes: workshop participants on an excursion to the Livanjsko polje.

© Pavel Be?ka

The Karst poljes in the Dinaric Alps play a key role in the conservation of waders and waterfowl. These long flat-bottomed basins are subject to intermittent flooding and as a result are exceptionally dynamic and varied habitats. Preserving these valuable biotopes was the subject of an international workshop in Bosnia-Herzegovina in early October, organised by EuroNatur and its partners Naše ptice and Naša baština. The Livno event was attended by approximately 60 representatives from the worlds of politics, science and nature conservation.
“At the Livno workshop, we succeeded in opening up a wide-ranging debate on the conservation needs of the Dinaric Karst poljes. We have successfully set up a regional network to take on this problem,” says EuroNatur project manager Romy Durst. The workshop, entitled The Dinaric Karst Poljes as Nationally and Internationally Important Wetlands, provided a platform where, for the first time, international experts could pool their ideas on the topic. The goal was to draw up a clear picture of how valuable and also how endangered these sensitive habitats now are. The main dangers were identified together with different approaches for the sustainable use of the sensitive poljes. 

The Karst poljes of Bosnia-Herzegovina are particularly well preserved. However, as yet there is no lobby for them there, and there is a lack of official regulation to protect them from damaging interventions. The workshop was the climax of an EuroNatur project started in 2011 that has provided the ecological data to serve as a basis for appropriate conservation measures for the Karst poljes in Bosnia-Herzogovina.

The papers and outcomes from the workshop are available to download here.


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