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Brown bear – King of forest conquering his habitat again in Europe

The International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC) and in particular its Coordination Forum for Central and Eastern Europe has kicked off today in close collaboration with the Bulgarian Union of Hunters and Fishers its 11th Session, this time on the theme of the management of the brown bear (Ursus arctos) in its range states of Central and Eastern Europe.

During the opening of the session, CIC President Mr. Bernard Lozé emphasized the platform function of the CIC, which allowed the exchange of experiences, information and views among stakeholders with a passion for game and wildlife on a regional and on a global level. He extended his appreciation to the Bulgarian hosts for the unprecedented hospitality rendered.

Toni Vrščaj, President of the CIC Coordination Forum for Central and Eastern Europe quoted a statement of Tamás Marghescu (formerly IUCN and today Director General of the CIC) made at the occasion of the 54th CIC General Assembly in 2007 in Belgrade, Serbia: ”Everybody wants the increase of large carnivores in Europe, but nobody wants them in their own courtyard.”

This statement is spot on in describing a major problem related to the increase of brown bear populations, namely the increase of human–bear conflicts.

It is the declared objective of the Coordination Forum session to collect and analyze fresh data on brown bear populations, to exchange experiences on the rising conflict between bears and humans and to finally develop action under the umbrella of CIC to better manage the conflict potential between bear and man through targeted communication and capacity building at all levels.

In the coming two days, renowned experts from Slovenia, Slovakia, Russia, Romania, Serbia and of course Bulgaria are working hard to achieve this objective to then consequently implement the resolutions passed.

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