Natalia Burianova represented the ERF at the annual meeting of the Slovak Ranger Association, which took place in the Cerova Vrchovina PLA (Protected Landscape Area)
The meeting was attended by 65 rangers from 6 NPs and 11 PLAs, representing 74% of the protected areas in Slovakia, as well as by representatives of the Czech Ranger Association and the ERF.
The delegates attended several lectures by the Director for Environmental Criminalistics from the Police Presidium, who gave an overview of some of the major environmental crimes, such as illegal logging, wood theft, waste dumps and the recent mass poisoning of birds of prey. The rangers were advised how to proceed in potentially threatening situations and topics such as validity of proof, use of a gun and the legal connotations of self-defense were addressed.
A success story was mentioned where after a recent modification of the law, the first juridical person in Slovakia was convicted of environmental crime. Further topics such as motorized vehicle driving in protected areas, plastic burning and difficulties in cooperation with forestry and the local police were discussed.
Elections to the SRA board took place and although two new members were nominated, the board was re-elected in the same formation as before.
Those attending also undertook a field trip to the Somoska NNR where they learnt about the area management.
The EUROPARC Junior Ranger project was presented to the rangers and arrangements were made for the first Junior Ranger group in Slovakia to be established in the Muranska Planina NP.