Preparatory actions

Bruno D'Amicis

Preparatory actions

Preparatory actions are aimed at understanding the current situation in the landscape in Italy and Greece and help assess where intervention is most needed. In addition, these preparations pave the way for subsequent conservation efforts and ensure these are executed in the most effective way possible.

A1. Preparation of administrative basis of the project and obtaining the permits

This action aims to prepare all the necessary administrative and legal documentation needed to carry out other actions under LIFE Bear-Smart Corridors. It includes processes such as selection of staff, purchase of equipment and consumable materials, subcontracting and other administrative and legal procedures, including agreements and permits from authorities for interventions carried out in the field.

A2. Preparation of the guidelines for the development of Bear Smart Communities

This action is designed to prepare the ground for the establishment of Bear Smart Communities (BSC) following the example of existing BSCs in North America and adapt them to the local conditions in Italy and Greece. A Bear Smart Community is defined as a community of stakeholders that collectively develop and practice specific management actions to improve coexistence with bears. A visit to an already existing BSC in British Columbia  is planned for LIFE Bear-Smart Corridors partners to get acquainted with the “bear-smart” principles.


A3. Assessment and identification of specific factors affecting bear conservation

This action is designed to survey potential and actual threats to bear conservation status and local range expansion. This preparatory action will help address threats in the landscapes and identify targeted solutions. Specifically, the following problems will be assessed in order to prepare the ground for concrete conservation actions:

– Assess risk of human-bear conflicts in communities
– Identify locations of the water wells presenting high risk of drowning for bears and other wildlife species
– Identify unused orchards or natural fruit resources available for bears to prevent them from shrub encroachment
– Assess livestock farms, apiaries and unprotected fruit orchards close to human settlements that need to be protected from bears with the deployment of specific preventive measures
– Analysis of effective locations of bear-proof garbage cans and other food attractors inside or around human settlements, to prevent food-conditioning of bears

A4. Preliminary survey of public attitudes and stakeholder opinions

The aim of this action is to collect baseline data on the attitudes and tolerance of the general public and stakeholder groups towards bear presence and conservation. Results will be used to ensure that other on-the-ground actions are tailored to local community needs and sensitive to local culture and expectation.


A5. Identification of existing and potential nature-based and “bear-smart” businesses and development of business plans

The Landscape Business Plan will map out all existing and potential enterprises across ecological corridors which promote bears and wildlife as a positive asset for their community, actively linking economic activity with ecosystems preservation/valorisation and contributing to rewilding. A business survey will be carried out to better understand the existing businesses’ needs for support and assistance to help improve and scale their business (or make them more sustainable).


A6. Evaluation of the functionality of the existing corridors

Understanding local dispersal patterns of bears is important for identifying priority conservation areas (i.e., such as important movement corridors) and for designing and implementing effective management measures that will promote the co-existence and recovery of brown bears. This action aims at evaluating corridor functionality for the dispersal of bears in Greece, which is essential for the proper planning, as well as for monitoring the effectiveness of the Concrete Conservation Actions carried out.