Cooperation of SRA
Cooperation of the Slovak Rangers Association is composed of three components:
collaboration with the third sector (NGOs)
In regard to international cooperation there are two main objectives in the long-run: full membership of SRA in the International Ranger Federation and a bilateral cooperation agreement with the Association of Protected Area Rangers of the Czech Republic. The membership in IRF is supplemented by presenting national activities of SRA internationally and by active participation in the world congresses.
Despite significant financial expenses, representatives of Slovak rangers were able to take part at the 1st World Ranger Congress (1995, Poland) - V. Vančura and Z. Pochop, at the 2nd (1997, Costa Rica) - Z. Pochop, at the 3rd (2000, SAR) - K. korvánková and at the 5th (2006, Scotland) - J. vajda and J. Popovics.
The long-term Cooperation Agreement signed in 2000 between the representatives of the Slovak and the Czech associations is implemented through mutual participation at each other's annual assemblies and through exchange programme of rangers between Slovakia and the Czech Republic (e.g. in the Krkonose National Park). The national executive committees consult each other in regard how to improve the legal and working status of rangers. Thanks to outstanding bilateral relations and independent contacts, it was possible to invite to several meetings and seminars participants from abroad. Alongside the representatives from the Czech Republic, colleagues from Hungary are also regular guests. Because of them, the 7th meeting was held in the Landscape Protected Area (now a national park) Slovenský kras with an excursion to Aggtelek National Park across the border. Good cooperation also materialized in the form of an excursion for experts in the Aggtelek National Park and Hortobágy National Park in June 2002.
Thanks to the colleagues in the Polish Tatra Mountains another international meeting was organized in 2001 in the Tatra National Park in Poland
The 10th meeting of rangers in Požana was special regarding the range of foreign participants. Alongside five colleagues from the Czech Republic there were three participant rangers from Romania, two from Hungary, and one from England and Austria. The Romanian colleagues included the heads of ranger service of the Retezat National Park - A. Hebel, of the National Park Piatra Craiului - L. Dumbrava and the Nature Park Vanatori-Neamt - S. Hogas. They not only presented their local experience, but also showed strong interest to learn from the Slovak association about the training and seminars organized for rangers.
Individual members of the association took part in various international events, for instance two members attended the event organized in the French city of Chambery in 2002 to celebrate the International Years of Mountains, one member went to a EUROPARC workshop in the Berchtesgaden National Park (Germany) and one member participated at a ranger training in Petronell (Austria). Thanks to the employees of the Tatra National Park Administration, SRA is integrated into the Junior Ranger Programme. Two camps for young rangers were organized in the High Tatra Mountains in 2005 and 2006.
The meetings and seminars of the association play a crucial role to facilitate the exchange of experience among individual rangers from different protected areas. The State Nature Conservancy supports the activities of the Slovak Ranger Association through allowing individual members to attend the events (general assemblies, workshops, etc.) as part of their work duty. This form of support is also declared in the Cooperation Agreement between the State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic and the Slovak Ranger Association sign in February 2001.
However, the association was not successful to implement all its plans and to facilitate the experience exchange as outlined in the Catalogue of exchange programmes in national parks and landscape protected areas of Slovakia (2000). Therefore, in 2006 the executive committee of the aasociation resolved to appoint Ing. Juraj vajda to revise and revive the exchange programmes.
Regarding the collaboration with the third sector the association is willing to cooperate with any NGO or association, especially those involved in nature conservation and environmental protection. Despite several contacts made with the Ranger Club (KSP) no common meetings took place. In 2002 SRA members J. Popovics and J. Babic participated at the meetings of the regional assemblies of the third sector in Koice and in Banská Bystrica.