FIELDS of Expertise
International development of protected areas and recognised regions
We support protected areas, conservation areas and certified regions in their further development, in their compliance with international obligations and in meeting their manifold challenges.
- Research concepts
- Integrated monitoring concepts
- Planning of protected areas
- Management planning
- Strategic planning and vision development
- Development cooperation
- Nature conservation history
- Management effectiveness
- Nomination processes for internationally certified regions (e.g. UNESCO sites)
- Organization manuals and handbooks
Records, assessment and management of eco-systems
We provide precise field data of natural spaces, ecological monitoring and assessments of natural and cultural landscapes for our clients. We work in a scientifically sound way and apply cutting-edge technology and innovative approaches.
- Evaluation of ecosystem services
- High-resolution UAV imagery
- Web-GIS, mobile and open source solutions (e.g. Map & Go)
- Surveying and modelling of natural forest communities
- Ecological construction supervision
- Habitat and vegetation mapping
- Assessment of species and habitats
- Vegetation monitoring
Participative development of regions and institutions
We accompany and facilitate the elaboration of future-oriented solutions for complex questions. For this purpose, we offer impulses, design and expert-based facilitation of participatory and regional development processes based on transdisciplinary research approaches.
- “Future factory for nature parks“
- Community workshop/development plans
- Master plans and concepts for model regions
- Sustainability projects
- Participatory processes
- Seminars and training events
Innovative visitors´ attractions
We translate complex issues and scientific findings into attractive and target-group oriented information and products. We give visitors a tangible experience of outstanding local features and facilitate innovative learning and nature experiences.
- Corporate publishing
- Experiential installations
- Visitor management
- Visitor information concepts
- Info points
- Visitor infrastructures
- Theme trails
- Exhibition design
- Publications, print works and various knowledge transfer products
map&go –Fully digitized habitat mapping as a technological leap forward
Map&go is a specific software for habitat mapping, which is usually installed on a tablet-PC suitable for outdoor work.
The use of specific software allows the combination of all materials and tools required for immediate on-site digitizing of spatial information in the field in one single platform. It comprises a mobile GIS including orthophotos and maps, all data sheets and official forms, a camera, the respective data collection manuals and ecological identification keys.
Our map&go represents a significant support and improvement for our field surveyors. It has increased the accuracy and speed of habitat mapping in the field. For larger habitat mapping projects, matching between several field surveyors is easily possible. Thus, in 2014, it received the Prize for Innovation and Research awarded by the State of Carinthia.
On request, we can provide this technology to interested colleagues. For further information, please contact Tobias Köstl, MSc.
E.C.O.pteryx: High-resolution UAV pictures for new perspectives
UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, so called “drones”) allow for a new and exceptional view on vegetation and landscapes. In the course of several research projects we tested this new technology and customized a drone to meet our specific needs. We have been using E.C.O.pteryx, a hexacopter, since 2015. The convincing new technology provides high-resolution aerial photos, allows for new analysis procedures and repeating standardized data collection whenever needed.
This opens numerous new opportunities, particularly in the fields of vegetation monitoring and long-term observations. We use E.C.O.pteryx mainly for vegetation analysis and monitoring purposes, for success control of ecological measures and for ecological construction supervision.
For further information go to E.C.O.pteryx or get in touch with Dr. Hanns Kirchmeir.
LBI: An index for making biodiversity measurable
Restoration and recultivation of large construction sites, landfill sites, or former industrial sites or quarries is a major challenge for conservation. To meet this challenge, we have developed the LBI (Long-term Biodiversity Index), a new tool for safeguarding evidence and monitoring the success of ecological compensation measures. By using abundance-based statistics, the biodiversity of a quarry becomes measurable and allows for the monitoring changes in biodiversity over long periods of time. Therefore, we collect data on different species groups – depending on the characteristics of the site and related challenges and priorities.
This method is currently used by selected quarries in Austria and France. The oldest data series dates back some 15 years and allows us to draw valid conclusions about biodiversity development.
On request, we can provide this technology to interested colleagues. For further information, please contact DI Tobias Köstl, MSc.
The potential natural forest community (PNFC) is a fundamental basis for sustainable forestry. In a series of research projects, we have addressed the issue of predicting and modelling the PNFC for developing an online-based expert system. This expert system allows for deducting the potential natural forest community. The user can enter data about a specific site into a data entry mask. This includes data such as location parameters, growth district, altitude, exposition, soil type, hydrology.
The computer model subsequently generates a list of the five forest communities, which are most likely to occur at this specific site. Based on this result list, the user can download detailed information about these communities and their characteristic tree species.
The expert system is available online: http://wamo.e-c-o.at/. For further information, get in touch with Dr. Hanns Kirchmeir.
Theme trails are important offers in educational and experience-oriented tourism. However, the quality of individual trails is extremely variable. Based on a scientific analysis of 160 theme trails all over Austria, we have developed a certification system for a standardized quality control of these offers.
Based on a set of more than 100 criteria, our experts evaluate the quality of the content, the design as well as the quality of the maintenance activities of individual trails
A standardized evaluation form enables funding agencies, tourism agencies and travel agencies to gain a clear picture of the quality of their trails.
For further information, please get in touch with DI Anna Kovarovics or have a look at our reference projects:
Regional Future Factory: Participation is fun
The development of communities, nature parks, biosphere reserves or model regions can only be achieved in a joint and coordinated effort of all regional stakeholders. This includes the design of joint reflective processes, the development of shared objectives and agreed strategies.
To meet this challenge, we have developed the workshop format “Regional Future Factory”.
Our future factory for nature parks supports you in elaborating your strategic focus, your objectives and activities in a systematic way.
Together with the musician, former LEADER manager and facilitator Thomas Puch as well as diversity expert Karin Grasenick (con.velop), we facilitate a well-structured, creative and target-oriented discussion process to jointly elaborate local strategies and plans. The future factory is fun and opens new perspectives.
Find information about selected future factories here: References or get in touch with DI Daniel Zollner.
Reliable partner in international development cooperation
With our consultancy services, we support international donors, consultancies and NGOs as international experts with in-depth studies and expert missions and implement development cooperation projects (feasibility studies, evaluations and project implementation). We are specialized in the field of sustainable land use, biodiversity, protected area management and natural resources management.
We have a long history of working in mountain areas and are currently working in the Alps, the Caucasus, the Carpathians, the Himalayas and East Africa.
For further information get in touch with DI Michael Huber or have a look at: References.