«Raising environmental awareness in local communities by joint conservation of bats in cross border regions of Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Ukraine»

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PRESS RELEASE

BAT4MAN

«Raising environmental awareness in local communities by joint conservation of bats in cross border regions of Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Ukraine»

Uzhhorod, April 8, 2020

           The overall goal of the BAT4MAN project is to support the sustainable use of the natural environment in the border regions of Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Ukraine by jointly protecting bats through active conservation measures, public awareness campaigns and dissemination of best practices to local communities.

The project contributes to the achievement of the goals and objectives of the program through effective cross-border cooperation of partners who initiate progress in the field of real environmental problems and provide support for the conservation and sustainable use of common natural values ​​in the cross-border region.

The project is implemented by the Association E-Consult Satu Mare in partnership with the Institute of Ecological and Religious Studies, the Society for the Protection of Bats of Slovakia and the Hungarian Association of Ornithology and Nature Conservation.

The project is funded by the UIS Hungary-Slovakia-Romania-Ukraine Cross-Border Cooperation Program 2014-2020.

       

Project details: This project was formed due to the negative attitude of most locals in the border area to bats. This can lead to the degradation of natural resources, which will negatively affect the ecosystem resilience of the target areas of Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine.

Bats are one of the key elements of the ecosystem because they are directly responsible for controlling agricultural pests (consuming insects). Thanks to myths and fairy tales created by humans, bats become objects of superstition. The extinction of even one species of bats will lead to huge environmental losses and significant imbalances in the ecosystem.

  • This project will focus on the protection of bats in the target region through the implementation of specific environmental measures, such as:
  • proper assessment of endangered bat populations;
    creation of alternative shelters for bat colonies (boxes for bats, warning tables).
    The focus will also be on the protection of cultural heritage, in particular the protection of religious sites in the Churches (cleansing of sacred buildings from bat litter).

Project budget: EUR 449,635.07, of which the EU contribution is EUR 404,671.56.

The actions of the public awareness campaign will be implemented through a mobile exhibition, joint seminars on making boxes for bats, a documentary film about bats.

The results of the project will be disseminated through the publication of materials (instructions for the protection of bats and books for children), through a website and social networks (for example, Facebook), warning tables “The Church is committed to bats.”

Our target groups – priests, dioceses, church administrations, community organizations, local people – will be informed about the importance of bats and their conservation.

On the Ukrainian side, the project has already found the support of the Commission on Ecology of the Greek Catholic Diocese of Mukachevo, the Commission on Ecology, Migrants and Tourism of the Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine. We are convinced that the joint efforts of local communities, NGOs, believers and the clergy will be the key to the responsible conservation of biodiversity in our countries.

This is an innovative project, as partners in the four countries will act synchronously, sharing best practices and involving large numbers of locals in bat protection activities, disseminating knowledge and visualizing the project professionally not only at the national level but also internationally.

For more detailed and further information, please contact:

Alexander Bokotey – iers@ircef.org,

Head of the NGO “Institute of Ecological and Religious Studies”

or to the IERS press manager

Antonina Zeikan – 066-104-57-92; e-mail: iers@ircef.org

This material has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The content of the material is the sole responsibility of the project beneficiaries and does not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.

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