Research in Transit
by Christina Pichler-Koban
The Nockberge National Park as well as the Biosphere Reserves Großes Walsertal and Wienerwald participated in a research project of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, dealing with the topic of participation processes.
The involvement of all residents in the region into the development of the protected area has been an important matter of concern to the administration of the Nockberge National Park. For this purpose, they came up with a very special idea: all readers of “Panorama Nockberge” were invited to take part in a large travel raffle. The eighteen winners, among them members of all age groups and professions – spent one weekend in the Vienna Biosphere Park, accompanied by a group of scientists. The trip to the location by train was used for a workshop in a separate research wagon. In relaxing atmosphere, the participants were able to talk about their wishes, expectations and fears about the change of the Nockberge from being a national park to becoming a biosphere park. The researchers on their part formed an image of how the biosphere park idea was perceived in the region. The ensuing joint excursion into the Wienerwald, a wine tasting event and a visit at a local wine tavern formed the unconventional and relaxed set for continued, lively discussions between researchers and “research subjects” They showed that research can be fun, and that eventually all participants can benefit from it.