The partner meeting including excursions to the Oder Delta took place from 28 to 30 September. It included a visit to the island of Udedom and a meeting with the Nature park director, Mr. Ulf Wigger. Topics highlighted were amongst others strategies of visitor management, conflict management in different user claim situations, cooperation with tourism and tour operators, opportunities for combined strategic development of nature conservation and economy. In the afternoon we visited the nature park visitor centre in Stolpe and took a solar boat trip on the Peene river with excellent views on the Peenetal. This is one of the successful examples of rewilding, in this case rewetting. In the 1990’s and early 2000, large investments were made in rewetting the peatlands along the river, extracting over 5000 hectares of land from agricultural use. Whereas locals feared this would lead to a decrease in the number of jobs, it actually created a 100% increase, from 35 jobs in agriculture that disappeared, to 70 jobs in tourism and nature conservation that were created. It is the first German example of an area where the complete water management of a river basin system is increased. It has led to an enormous increase in the number of cranes, the highest number of breading sea eagles in Germany, orchids and a general increase in the number of peatland related species such as beavers and otters. A highly informative Q and A took place with the park director Mr Ulf Wiggerthe on the organisation of the park and the cooperation with entrepreneurs and other public bodies.
Highly inspriring also was a meeting with Martin Schröter, owner of a number of tourism companies in the area and one of the driving forces behind nature restauration and the creation of a wildlife related economy in the Oder Delta.
During the partner meeting we addressed different topics like the minutes of the last conference call September, the study visits, the monitoring plans, the financial situation, the best practices for the Interreg Europe Platform and communication. During the steering group meeting a presentation on the landscape business model was given, we had a workshop and discussion about the RAP's and discussed the details of phase 2. Moreover, we got the chance to experience another wonderful experience of wildlife economy: the Weisse Düne Tour von Usedom Neppermin to Peenemünde, the link between the island of Usedom and the “back-country” – Peenestrom & Achterwasser.