Effective public awareness campaigns can help halt loss of biodiversity and flagship species are frequently used in order to affect public attitudes towards ecosystems such as forests, oceans and rivers. The European otter (Lutra lutra) provides a potential flagship species for this purpose and otter conservation actions will have knock-on benefits for a wide range of other species in freshwater ecosystems.
The project’s main objective is to improve public awareness in Slovenia about the importance of protecting and conserving freshwater ecosystems. This will help implementation of relevant EU legislation, including the Habitats, Birds and Water Framework directives. Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) methods will be promoted using the European otter as an ambassador of freshwater habitats and biodiversity. The finale aim is to develop an effective tool for communication activities, necessary to support the goals of “Countdown 2010” and beyond (to stop biodiversity loss by 2020) as well as following the goal of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), which aims to improve water quality in the Danube and its tributaries.
- Communication workshops (at least 20, with at least 400 participants in total);
- Nature education days and similar events using direct communication methods;
- Information and communication programmes using web tools, mobile phone applications, outdoor demonstration models, advertising campaigns, social media and exhibition panels;
- Public opinion surveys (in the final stages of the project);
Networking with four-to-six LIFE projects on similar topics, connecting at least three European otter and/or water centres, sharing materials and experiences, establishing at least one connection and best practice exchange between similar organisations and companies and each of the associated beneficiaries; and
- An after-LIFE communication plan developed in co-operation with project partners.