Have you heard about the EuroLargeCarnivores project?

By Estelle on November 14, 2018

Today we’d like to bring into focus the EuroLargeCarnivores project which aims at improving our coexistence with large carnivores in Europe through communication, exchange of knowledge and cross-border cooperation.

We asked Raffael Hickisch, Project Manager at WWF Germany, to tell us more about it.

WTI: What is the EuroLargeCarnivores project exactly?
R.H.: EuroLargeCarnivores (ELC) is a project funded by the EU LIFE Programme. It aims at showing the impact of many projects on wolf, bear, lynx and wolverine that were implemented over the past decades.
As diverse as the landscapes are that large carnivores return to, as divergent are the reactions of local communities living there. A return evokes emotions ranging from fear to elation. Conflicts arise especially with stakeholders in traditional agriculture such as sheep herding, for whom it is vital to find practical solutions for coexistence.
The ELC project aims at providing a platform to gather and share knowledge on human-large carnivore coexistence among various stakeholders across the European Union, Switzerland and Ukraine. Topics like monitoring, human-wildlife conflict mitigation and prevention, the discussion of fears and safety concerns, herding practices, but also poaching, economic opportunities and investment requirements are the focus of this LIFE project.

The ELC project also provides visibility for scientific publications regarding large carnivores. We are currently testing certain conflict mitigation approaches in 10 testing sites across Europe and there is for instance a comprehensive discussion among scientists on which instruments work for protecting your livestock from being attacked by wolf - hence, we don’t expect that one size will fit all. We do however want to provide people with context relevant information that can actually help them understand what works for their situation - and at the same time inform the European Commission about the conclusion we gather over the project duration.

WTI: Who are the people who started the ELC project and what was their main motivation?
R.H.: It has mainly been launched by a network of WWF country offices, and coordinated by WWF Germany (who is also my employer), but also includes non-WWF partners. We are also looking for cooperation in countries and regions we are currently not active in.

WTI: How is the website for the ELC project maintained and developed? Do you rely only on volunteers?
R.H.: In the countries and focus regions that the project is working in, the work is done by our project partners - however, in other regions any suited body (e.g. national administrations) are welcome to contribute.

WTI: What is the aim of the website? Is it solely informative or is it a more interactive platform?
R.H.: The website mainly provides visibility for people that we work with, as well as at a later stage context sensitive information such as: If my livestock is attacked, whom should I reach out to in my country? We try to provide space for discussion, so that everyone can provide their perspective (and not only successful project managers) - however, we have some doubt that the people that live in remote areas actually use the Internet as much. Another main function of this website is to keep track of what we learn and make it directly accessible to the European Commission.

WTI: In how many languages do you intend to translate the website and how could people help out with the translation?
R.H.: We’re currently covering 14 of the European languages: Croatian; English, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish plus Ukrainian - and we’d still need help for Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian,  Greek,  Irish, Latvian, Lithuanian, and Maltese.

WTI: Can you tell us how WebTranslateIt is helping you along the way?
R.H.: With a five year timeframe our budget for external assistance is limited, and we rather want to use this for on site activities, rather than for overhead, so WTI really came in handy. Also, the website content keeps evolving and WTI helps us to easily manage our team of volunteer translators and guarantee continuous translation.
The CMS (Pimcore) we use is directly pulling the translations from Webtranslateit - hence we now have the flexibility to finalise translations with different timelines for every partner, as it resonates with their time budget. Also it would be great if volunteers could help us out for the languages we do only have automatic translations for at the moment.

WTI: How do you finance the project?
R.H.: The project is largely funded by the EU LIFE Programme with the reference LIFE16 GIE/DE/000661. LIFE is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the EU.

WTI: Are you looking for volunteers in there any other fields related to the project (developing, content writing, editing, field workers…)?
R.H.: We are on the search for normal people’s experience with large carnivores, challenges and practical solutions - please share them with us via the take action function on our website, or by email.

Are you a translator and interested in helping out the EuroLargeCarnivores project reach out to as many people as possible? Get involved

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