ACTION E.2 – Education of officials working with human-bear conflict cases
Public awareness and the proper level of knowledge about bears are crucial for prevention of human-bears conflicts and ensuring long-term coexistence. Local inhabitants must become aware how to prevent problems, which appear or could appear in the areas where bears are present. To achieve this, local inhabitants must have access to appropriate information. In addition to the information available from the website, info points, brochures and articles in local newspapers (provided in Action E.1), the most important source of information for local communities are officials, who are through their work involved in assessing and preventing human-bear conflicts and who generally receive trust from the local people.
Good understanding of the addressed issues from the officials is of great importance. These people can significantly help to increase awareness among local inhabitants and take appropriate actions in unpredictable situations. The target groups in this action are agricultural advisors, large carnivore damage inspectors and members of the intervention group for large carnivores. They are daily in touch with involved and potentially involved local inhabitants and must be able to advise those people properly, give right information and suggest appropriate solutions. Local inhabitants are regularly in touch with at least one of these officials and they usually trust their opinion and advices. By educating these target groups we can significantly raise the general awareness of local inhabitants. Only well-educated official personnel and local inhabitants will undertake proper actions in conflict cases with bear. Within this action we will improve knowledge of large carnivores and effective prevention of human-bear conflicts among agricultural advisors, damage inspectors and members of the intervention group for large carnivores.