What is KLAR?
KLAR! Nature and Geopark Styrian Eisenwurzen
The Steirische Eisenwurzen nature and geopark has existed since 1996 and, with its 58,600 hectares, is the largest nature park in Styria. It is also the only UNESCO Global Geopark in Styria. It includes the four municipalities of Altenmarkt, Landl, St. Gallen and Wildalpen in the Liezen district and is part of the Gesäuse tourist region. The objectives – nature and geology protection, regional development, ecological education and nature tourism – result in a great motivation for the communities as well as KLAR! to report. A large number of funding projects to support and preserve the various protection categories of the Styrian Eisenwurzen have already been implemented. Many attempts have been made to address the aspects of climate change. With the help of KLAR! this should increase in the future – because the future preservation of all those cultural landscapes that characterize the region can only be achieved by taking climate change adaptations into account.
Due to climate change, the region has to contend with drought stress and changes in the vegetation periods in the cultural landscapes (forest, extensive grassland farming). In addition, there are increases in the average annual mean temperature and an increase in extreme weather events, which have a greater impact in alpine areas.
The challenge in the future will be to keep jobs in the existing economic sectors, to open up new areas, to create new jobs in the highly qualified sector and also to consolidate educational institutions and offers accordingly. In addition to reversing the population outflow, maintaining the regional structure and preserving and protecting the natural and cultural landscape and its special features are of central importance
In a participatory process, the region has agreed on a subsequent 5-year plan, which involves various stakeholders from different industries. This results in the following goals by 2025:
- Make the nature park and its tasks better known to the locals
- Increased teaching of nature conservation topics (geopark, forest, etc)
- Visitor management
- Protect meadows, meadow orchards and alpine pastures from abandonment
- Market agricultural products more regionally
- Increased nature tourism
- Making the nature park climate-friendly
The concept of a climate change adaptation model region offers a unique opportunity to incorporate the last point more into all other activities. This requires certain resources, which are very well supported by a model region. Due to the small structure of the region, a bundling of strengths is essential for the future. Only together – from the small farm to the mayor – can the Steirische Eisenwurzen Nature and Geopark go into a climate-friendly future. The KLAR! program the ideal conditions.
In phase 1, the region relies on awareness-raising measures and strong involvement of the population and various stakeholders:
- Under the motto “Everything CLEAR?”, two events/excursions will be held in measure 1 as a “climate change expedition” with a focus on forests.
- Under the motto “Conversations in the meadow”, two events on the subject of agriculture will be held in Measure 2.
- In the third additional measure, an attempt is made to reach the population via the regional radio station Freequenns (www.freequentns.at).
In addition, various adjustment measures in the following areas will be necessary in the future to strengthen the region:
- Sustainable nature tourism
- Preservation of the cultural landscape (forest and grassland)
- Renewable Energy
- Water balance
- Natural hazards and civil protection
- Public transport network
(as of May 2021)
Find out more about the KLAR! program