Virtual project visit to finalize first quarter of LIFEstockProtect

By now, we are used to online meetings, webinars and workshops. In the third week of January, NEEMO visited all LIFEstockProtect project beneficiaries virtually. They are responsible for the monitoring of LIFE projects and of NGOs that receive funding from the LIFE Programme. Usually, this would have been complicated to organize. But thanks to online meeting tools we got all 17 partners in the same “room” within minutes and were able to share the project progress as a unified team.

Positive feedback for project progress

During the first day of the meeting, all beneficiaries presented themselves to NEEMO. This was followed by an overview of the progress of the preparatory A actions of each action leader. The first couple of months of a project usually are spend setting up the management structure and administrative procedures. Besides doing so, the LIFEstockProtect project also initiated all preparatory A actions and even almost completed some of them. For instance, the development of a training protocol for scatdogs, developed by Naturschutzhunde, is in its final stages.

The European Wilderness Society, responsible for the communication activities of the project, presented the very successful outreach of the project so far – online, in printed media, and through networking activities! We count a total of 64 press appearances in the first quarter, a quite impressive number. We continued with an outlook for the year 2021 and the potential impact of Covid-19. So far, luckily, we managed to overcome Covid-19 related issues successfully. In some aspects it allowed and will allow us to reach even more interested people, like for example with the first multilingual Alpine Livestock Protection Conference on the 26th of January 2021. The online setting of the conference allowed for the registration of more than 450 interested individuals all over Europe – something that would not have been possible with an on-site event.

We finished the day with a presentation by NEEMO. Theresia Holzamer explained us what their role within LIFE is and how they will be involved in the project over the next five years. They provide expertise combined with local knowledge and the necessary language skills, in order to offer administrative and financial support to the project.

Individual consultancy on day two

The second day was dedicated to ensure that the project management team is familiar with the financial administration of the project and to clarify outstanding doubts. Of course, making sure that the financial side of things is done right is crucial for project success. Thus, it was also important for project beneficiaries to be able to ask NEEMO pending questions in individual consultancies.

Overall, the feedback from NEEMO was very positive. The fact that after four months all preparatory A actions and some additional D and C actions are in progress, that the project dealed successfully with Covid-19, and that the project outreach is tremendously successful, reassured all project partners about their continuous efforts.

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