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The opening conference of the Life 13 NAT/PL/000038 Project

On 8th September 2015 in the headquarters of the Local Cultural Institution “Kasztelania” in Kije the opening conference of the LIFE13 NAT/PL/000038 Project titled „The protection of valuable natural habitats in Ponidzie” took place. It was attended by 85 people, among whom were representatives of all the communities and institutions interested in the project: local government officials, scientists, sheep graziers, and representatives of the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, the State Forests, the National Research Institute of Animal Production, Polish Union of Sheep-Farmers as well as the media and environmental non-governmental organisations.

At the conference, the head of the Complex of Ponidzie and Świętokrzyskie Region Landscape Parks Tomasz Hałatkiewicz presented the aims and objectives of the project while professor dr hab. Małgorzata Jankowska – Błaszczak (Jan Kochanowski University) and professor dr hab. Tomasz Gruszecki (University of Life Sciences in Lublin) delivered scientific lectures on the subject of the unique flora of Ponidzie region and the impact of sheep and goat grazing on biodiversity of xerothermic grassland environment.

In the outdoor part of the conference the attendees visited Ostoja Stawiany where they were given a chance to familiarise themselves with the infrastructure built under the project and listen to a lecture on birds of prey that inhabit both Ostoja Stawiany and the landscape parks.

An additional attraction prepared by the LIFE team was a sheep shearing demonstration and the tasting of wild plants commonly found in Ponidzie.

Not only did the conference allow for a presentation of the LIFE project but it also served as an opportunity to establish contact between people from various backgrounds working in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development.