LIFEstockProtect, the largest and most ambitious livestock protection project in the German-speaking Alpine region, is off to a flying start. After its approval this summer, it officially started on the 1st of September 2020. Last week, the internal Kick-Off meeting of all beneficiaries signalled the next step in the process. As result of Covid restrictions, the meeting took place online. However, this could not overshadow the enthusiasm of all participants that the project was finally starting.
Work has started
Even though LIFEstockProtect has only just completed its first month of the five year project period, work has already started and the first obstacles have been cleared. Many partners are hiring or have already hired new staff to implement the project. The tendering process has begun and external expertise acquisition is ongoing, contributing to project implementation with material and expertise. Feedback from many participants has evidenced the media’s interest in livestock protection. Not only has a film crew already produced material about LIFEstockProtect for a German TV documentary, but outreach activities have taken place in many places.
It was great to finally officially kick-off LIFEstockProtect with all beneficiaries. Everyone is excited to start with the ‘real’ work and help farmers with livestock protection. At the same time, it was impressive to see the partners´ commitment and the work they have already done this summer.Max Rossberg- Project Manager of LIFEstock Protect and Chairman of the European Wilderness Society
Some of those involved even spent their summer holiday preparing the project. Moreover, some visited the ‘Almen‘, typical summer pastures in the Alps, to get an idea of possible project locations and to visit affected the farmers. Futhermore, the European Wilderness Society took the immersive experience even further. During the Kick-Off meeting, two employees and three volunteers were in a rural area in Tyrol, Austria to support a local sheep farmer with the ‘Almabtrieb’, the traditional herding of sheep back down to the valley in the autumn. They went from the online conference room directly back to the mountains.
Participants attended the meeting from over 13 different locations all across the project area:
The Next Steps In LIFEstockProtect
In the following months, project partners will focus on setting up work structures for LIFEstockProtect and starting the preparatory actions. This includes collecting information about the current state of livestock protection in the German-speaking Alps and preparing the educational and livestock protection training courses, which will start next spring.