Protecting animal species in the French-German border
Hello everyone! I am Léa, I come from France and my volunteering at the Parc Naturel Régional des Vosges du Nord as an IVY is already coming to an end.
I have spent 6 months working on the Interreg project “Endangered Animal Species in Vosges du Nord - Pfälzerwald Cross-border Biosphere Reserve” approved by the programme INTERREG Rhin Supérieur-Oberrhein. The project aims to develop concrete protection measures and to increase the number of breeding facilities for the reintroduction of threatened species. The main objective of the project is to protect three animal species: stone crayfish, scarce large blue and dusky large blue (butterflies), and greater mouse-eared bat. The project takes place in the transnational area of the Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Pfläzerwald-Vosges du Nord (France and Germany).
Volunteering as an Interreg volunteer is a great opportunity to learn more about European projects. I have studied European and Regional Project Management and I have learned a lot of theory and now it is very interesting to gain some practical experience. It is great opportunity to be involved in such a project about protection of threatened animal species and to work with colleagues from different horizons: European project manager, naturalists, communication manager, German partners from the Biosphere reserve of Pfälzerwald, etc...
The project started in July 2020 and will end in June 2023. Due to the Covid crisis, the communication and awareness-raising actions where slowed down. Now, as the situation is a bit better, more activities with the public are organised. I’m mostly in charge of the project’s communication actions and coordination with the German partners, such as organising a press conference, a film debate, and meetings with all the partners. In order to increase the visibility of the project we are designing postcards and posters which we will give during events with general public or schools. Moreover, school projects will be conducted in 2022 and until the end of the project, in areas where the endangered species are present.
Furthermore, I am also participating in the office daily life of the Natural and Regional Park of Vosges du Nord. I had the occasion to go on the field with my colleagues to do a certain fish prospecting which is called lamprey or to do some butterflies prospecting. As you can notice, tasks are very varied!
It is also a chance to live in Vosges du Nord and to discover its beautiful landscapes through the numerous hiking trails.
Thanks to this experience, I am learning a lot about territorial cooperation in the EU and how the local communities and natural areas benefit from it. I recommend anyone to take part in Interreg Volunteer Youth! If you are interested to get involved in a European project which deals with topics you are interested in, to work with foreign partners and to discover a new region, this is a great opportunity!
Léa Chauvet, Interrreg Project Partner for Endangered Animal Species Project at Parc naturel régional des Vosges du Nord (PNRVN) – SYCOPARC