In the middle of September in Ljubljana, project steering group received a visit from Desk officers from European Commission in Brussels. Beside project steering group members also the Director of project coordinating beneficiary, Slovenia Forest Service, received the Desk officers and expressed his welcome. A representative from the project co-financer, Slovenian Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, and independent project monitor were present, too.
Desk officers and project monitor were curious to know, how the project actions are being implemented and which the achievements of the project are. Steering group members and coordinators of project actions introduced them an overall progress of the actions in the frame of planned deadlines, milestones and deliverables. Potential doubts, additional clarifications, and recommendations for future work and project reporting were discussed in detail, too. Contemporarily, the financial and administration control took place by the Desk officers, who checked the eligibility of project finances, among other things.
The next day was dedicated to field trips, where Desk officers, Ministry representatives and project monitor were acquainted with the measures implemented in the field. Measures to reduce human-bear conflicts, implemented in the project, aim at increasing tolerance towards human-bear co-existence through mitigating damages, caused by sharing our space with bears. Desk officers thus visited locations with high electric fences for protecting livestock and beehives, livestock guarding dogs, dynamic traffic signs and acoustic deterrents in traffic, bear friendly ambassadors, bear-proof garbage- and compost bins, info-points, electric fence along the highway and other.
National media also joined us on the field check-ups, thus taking opportunity to interview Desk officers from Brussels, Ministry representatives and project coordinator.