The first workshop ‘Brown Bear Management in Slovakia’ was held in July 2011. Hunters, foresters, nature conservationists, government representatives, farmers and beekeepers, as well as representatives from the police and the university attended the workshop. Dr. Alistair Bath skilfully led the different parties with conflicting interests towards finding solutions and reaching agreement. Dr. Bath is an expert in the area of Human Dimensions in Wildlife Management. All participants, including the Department for Environment, expressed the wish to participate in a second workshop. This workshop was held in October of the same year and was equally successful. A subsequent workshop was organised in 2012, and a conceptual management plan for the brown bear in Slovakia was drawn.
Several years later the State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic has begun preparing management plan-type documents for the bear / wolf / lynx / wildcat. Undoubtedly, the groundwork for the bear plan was layed down by Dr. Bath and SWS.
Bear Emergency Team (BET)
A ‘BET’ swings into action as soon as a bear is sighted near areas inhabited by humans. Acting swiftly is beneficial to both humans and bears. The members of a BET are appointed by the Department for Environment. Bears in Mind has provided funds in order to organise a Bear Emergency Team training session. The training is provided by Dr. Djuro Huber, a Croatian bear expert who has been collaborating with Bears in Mind for quite some time. The team also strives to help avoid conflict involving bears and assists the government with registration of all bear-related incidents. This also includes traffic accidents involving bears.