In LIFE DINALP BEAR and LIFE SloWolf projects we established a good cooperation with numerous livestock breeders, beekeepers, municipalities and local communities, that now successfully adopt effective protection measures against damage on human property caused by large carnivores. We expect this to have effect on gradual decrease of number of conflicts between human and bear and on increase in tolerance toward co-existence with this species.
Several other projects and initiatives (e.g., Interreg Carnivora Dinarica, LIFE WOLFALPS EU, cohesion projects) are now adopting similar process of searching for ideas and technological solutions for conflict decrease between stakeholders and large carnivores in the process of conservation of these species, of communication activities and participatory processes. Likewise, based on positive experience local communities now organize their own initiatives for promoting and establishing good practice examples. For instance, local institutions transfer part of touristic offer (responsible and regulated bear-watching) income to implementing measures for reduction of conflicts with large carnivores in the settlements. Moreover, some of the measures (e.g., for protection of pastures and beehives) outgrew the individual cooperation with farmers and were transferred to national financing schemes.
We put our efforts into trustful cooperation with the users: we practice regular and direct telephone communication, field visits, advice on use of protection equipment, counselling by expert livestock guarding dog breeders, informing about administrative procedures and most of all constant availability on the phone. An added value of this practice is the fact, that numerous of these collaborators perform their role as ambassadors of good practice, which in the long-term contributes to more successful dialogue in the process of large carnivore conservation, improvement of communication activities and local eco-touristic offer, and promotes a tolerant dialogue among stakeholders.