Toolkit :  Supporting establishment of regional & local platforms on large carnivores

A collection of resources linked to the toolkit


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From the EU site: “The EU Platform, the regional platforms and the EUROLARGECARNIVORE LIFE project have worked together to exchange upon their extensive experience with regional dialogue platforms on large carnivores in different European countries and draw out lessons learned. This toolkit is a result of the exchange process. The Toolkit supports anyone interested in establishing national and regional/local platforms on large carnivores, providing guidance based on lessons learned and good practice. It is primarily aimed at national, regional and local authorities responsible for the management of large carnivores, but also at interested donor institutions, NGOs or local initiatives.”

Here you can download the PDF version of the Toolkit.

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Examples of different platform types

Examples gathered by E-M. Cattoen (2021) for LIFE EUROLARGECARNIVORES

View examples

Examples of different platform types


Topics/ examples

Dialogue platform for pasture management and large carnivores in Switzerland

Grosseto platform on wolves, Italy

Potimo platform on bears, Ticino – Switzerland

Campo Grande Group (CCG) on wolves, Spain

Background and start

After the rejection of the revised hunting act in the referendum on September 27, 2020, a broad-based dialogue and exchange of experiences on how to deal with large carnivores in Switzerland was seen as very urgent by several actors. Several farmers reported feeling powerlessness and overtaxed regarding the presence of large carnivores. Three Swiss associations:  Swiss Working Group for Mountain Regions (SAB), Swiss Farmers Association (SBV), Swiss Alpine Association (SAV) therefore jointly installed in 2021 a dialogue platform for pasture management and large carnivores in Switzerland to bring together mainly agricultural and touristic actors as well as representatives of the national and regional administration.

The EU-wide platform on Coexistence between People & Large Carnivores has been installed in 2014 by the EU commission. Its work helped to identify the need to move the discussion closer to the areas where conflicts are being experienced (Marsden, 2018). Therefore, the Istituto di Ecologia Applicata (IEA), supported by a team including facilitators, social scientists and communicators, were charged with developing regional pilot platforms in different regions in Europe such as in the Grosseto province in Italy.

In the last years some bears have been spotted in Switzerland, especially in the area of Canton Grigioni, probably coming from Austria and Slovenia and passing through the Suisse region.  Positive experiences from the LIFE Ursus and Ursina project and platform work stimulated WWF CH to proactively install together with other stakeholders a regional platform in the Swiss Italian region with partners from Ticino and Mesolcina (Canton of Grigioni).

This dialogue group was created by Fundación Entretantos in 2016 as part of a social mediation initiative to respond to the hardening confrontation concerning the coexistence of Iberian wolves and extensive stock-raising. The foundation initiated this process because they observed a conflict escalation.





Overall objective:

To preserve mountain and alpine farming and their benefits for the economy and biodiversity in the mountain areas and to (proactively) prevent conflicts with tourism in the presence of large carnivores

Main aim of the platform:

To establish an exchange of experiences on the subjects of herd protection, shepherd training, pasture management, tourism and visitor management as well as the regulation of large carnivores and to identify actions that could be implemented or initiated by the members of the platform to improve the situation for the stakeholders.

Overall objective:

To help the stakeholders to clarify their own stance on any given issue, to have an opportunity to understand the point of view of the other stakeholders and to take it into account in their own position.

Main aim of the platform:

To increase the level of mutual understanding of values and positions and reach consensus on particular actions for large carnivore management with the aim of improving the conditions of local small-scale extensive livestock husbandry.

Overall objective:

To face the return of the bear in a pragmatic way without formulating a priori any kind of ideological discourse for or against the presence of these animals.

Main aim of the platform:

To respond to the needs of the interested parties, whether by information or actions like the protection of bees and flocks as well as waste management.




Overall objective:

To create an adequate climate for facilitating the development of alternatives aimed at the long-term coexistence between extensive stock-raising and wild populations of wolves.

Main aim of the platform:

To reach agreements that allow compatibility between extensive stock raising and wild wolf populations, with a goal of usefulness and accuracy.




SAB, SAV, SBV, agricultural offices of particularly affected cantons, hunting and fishing administrators’ conference of the cantons (JFK), national and cantonal agricultural organizations (including Swiss Sheep Breeding Association, Sheep Switzerland, Swiss Goat Breeding Association, Suckler cow Switzerland), agricultural advice (Agridea and cantonal advisory services), tourism organizations (Swiss Tourism Association STV, Seilbahnen Schweiz SBS, Swiss hiking trails, Walliser Tourismuskammer, Graubünden Ferien), Forest Switzerland.

Livestock breeders and their representative associations (individual farmers, DifesAttiva, CIA, COLDIRETTI, CONFAGRICOLTURA Grosseto), Regional government administration (Local office of Region of Tuscany), hunters, nature protection NGOs (WWF, Circolo Festambiente), tourism, outdoor organizations (Terramare UISP), animal welfare (Iriducibili Liberazione Animale, Lega Anti Vivisezione), environmental guides, other institutions (State Forestry Corp), research and science (biologists, Università di Roma), cheese factory (Caseificio Sociale di Manciano).

Core group members:

Agriculture Office Ticino, Canton Police Ticino, WWF CH, Office for Hunting and Fishing, foresters, protected area managers, farmers and beekeepers

Extended group: core group members plus Ticino hunter’s association, veterinarians, Italian colleagues / homologues, School of Agriculture in Mezzana, environmental associations, Association of municipalities, Tourism Office.


Conservationists, farmers, researchers (e.g. University Complutense de Madrid), hunters, members of other organisations but representing only themselves like Foundation Entretantos, Union of Ranchers and Mountain Farmers (COAG), Ecologists in Action (Group of environmental NGO´s), environmental mediators, EHNE Bizkaia (agricultural association), UNITEGA (Union of Hunters of Galicia), Foundation Oso Pardo, Galician Association of Land Stewardship, Foundation Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente, United Iberian Cattlemen (GIU), Sustainable Asturias Forum for the foundation and development of the rural environment (FAS), Galician Peasants’ Union.



Meetings: at least two times a year (live or online), other groups/ people can be invited occasionally, people participate mainly in their work time

Methods: set-up of workplan, clarification on sharing of responsibility and tasks for the organisation by the three initiators, regular review of experiences after summer seasons, evaluation process in the end before decision of follow-up

Identified actions: common databases and information material, deriving recommendations and assistance for the practice

Moderation: by the partners themselves

Status: informal nation-wide platform

Period: from 2021 till 2023

Budget: at the moment no external budget except for special publications; The initiators provide work force and costs for meeting rooms/snacks, travel costs are covered by the members of the platform. A dedicated budget might be foreseen for the further professionalization of the platform.

Meetings: Up to six meetings held within six months

Methods: stakeholder map, participatory process establishment, implementation phase, joint action plan for four thematic areas (incentives, damage prevention, monitoring, promotion/ communication), evaluation

Identified actions: e.g. targeted and continuous monitoring involving different trained stakeholders, improving the knowledge base and accessibility of information related to wolf research and management, production of a field manual with best practices for the use of damage prevention measures

Moderation: accompanied by external professional facilitator

Status: informal regional pilot platform

Period: from 2018 till 2021, some initiatives are ongoing and will be maintained at no costs by IEA (e. g. online informative events), other activities will be promoted by platform participants (mainly those related to promotion and communication)

Budget: set-up and expert work from the IEA is funded by the European Parliament and is supported by the EU Platform on Coexistence between People and Large Carnivores, travel costs are reimbursed using project funds for participants coming from outside the province

Meetings: about two times a year, different settings (with more or less stakeholders, also in form of excursions)

Methods: baseline assessment, list of topics and joint actions (e. g. excursions, mapping tool)

Identified actions:  preparing the information flow among the members in case of bear presence, sharing specific and technical information, providing communication material for the public, installing an educational trail, establishing bear proof waste management and apiary protection

Moderation: first moderation and organisation by one stakeholder (WWF CH), since 2020 by an external service contractor

Status: informal regional platform

Period: 2016 – ongoing

Budget: set-up and expert work is funded by WWF CH, meeting rooms are proposed by partners (e. g. School of Agriculture in Mezzana), all stakeholders carry travel costs on their own

Meetings: at least three/four times a year (live, online during corona pandemic)

Methods: baseline assessment, stakeholder map, conflict analysis (identify topics, red lines…), official launching of the group, declaration

Identified actions: analysing proposals and good practices already existent in different territories, further reflections and proposals in form of a declaration, delivering declaration for interested regions to work in a similar process or on similar actions

Moderation: facilitation by foundation Entretantos

Status: informal nation-wide think-tank and platform

Period: 2016 – still ongoing as an observatory for livestock and wolf coexistence

Budget: facilitation and organisation of the foundation Entretantos, stakeholders travel costs are supported by funds from the Ministry of Environment and other foundations, meeting room is offered by Valladolid Council

Challenges/ lessons learned and achievements

●       To deal with feelings like insecurity (e.g. like unknown influence of large carnivore presence on the behaviour of milk cows), powerlessness (e.g. the impression that platform members can only influence small things) and overtaxing (e.g. due to workload) is very challenging.

●       Working efficiently and transparently in a large platform to ensure that all members receive all information (e.g. because of changing addresses and responsibilities).

●       Both – emotional and factual – content must have space in a platform, but it always needs to come back to a constructive dialogue.

●       The major achievement of the platform has been the common recognition of the important role of livestock breeders and all the difficulties they are facing.

●       The dialogue established between animal rights activists, breeders, hunters, environmentalists and the administrations has brought fruit, expressed in the sincere respect and support for the role of extensive farming. Small scale initiatives were undertaken in partnership (e.g. environmental associations providing funds for covering expenses for the maintenance of livestock guarding dogs, forestry corps assisted in investigations linked to retrieved wolf carcasses, livestock breeders invited to share their experience in events organised by environmental association and local administrators)

●       Poor recognition by the Regional government.

●       One group of livestock breeders never agreed in joining the process and continued feeding the conflict over wolf presence through opposition to the use of livestock damage prevention measures. The dialogue with them is still a challenge.

●       Installing proactively a dialogue platform, although bears are so far only passing by, helps to establish trust and relationship before incidents increase the risk for conflict escalation.

●       To goal of officialization in 2019 slowed down the activities as the platform was waiting for a decision whether it would be granted official status as a stakeholder platform and provided with resources from the canton of Ticino. Nevertheless, the platform managed to keep on working also without officialization.

●       The platform works on different levels (regionally and transboundary) with varying group size and participants (core and enlarged group) following the main issues.

●       Dialogue platforms provide the opportunity to give space to feelings and create time for working on issues and finding common solutions.

●       To keep out stakeholders from administration, lowers the challenge to deal with power issues.

●       Online meetings help to avoid travel costs, but cannot be used in the beginning where direct contact is crucial for building up trust.

●       Representing oneself and not one´s organisation or a stakeholder group helps to find a safe space for expressing thoughts and feelings or another frame for new ideas.

●       Dialogue is work, which needs time, and it is crucial to respect the rhythm of the group.

●       A dialogue platform being promoted by an NGO connected to both main parties of the conflict and not by the administration gives advantage on partners’ trust.



Download examples as Word document

Here you can download the template as Word document

Download examples as PDF

Here you can download the PDF version of the template.

Potential Funding Sources

Funding to support participatory processes on the topic of large carnivores could come from agricultural or environmental funds but equally from national or territorial funding streams devoted to improving dialogue and public participation.

A model for a stakeholder questionnaire

The model below provides some pointers for a potential questionnaire. Model developed by Y von Korff (2018)

Potential Funding Sources

Funding to support participatory processes on large carnivores

The EU has established a wide range of financing instruments many of which can be used for a range of very different purposes. Since engagement of stakeholders is a part of many projects there is potential from many different areas. A non-exhaustive list of potential funding sources (gathered from existing platforms) is listed below.

Type of funding


Application process

Example where available

European LIFE Programme

The EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. LIFE has a number of different sub-programmes. Nature and Biodiversity is especially relevant


LIFE proposals are grant applications sent to meet particular calls which may have varying priorities. The applicants therefore need to develop an appropriate project idea themselves and find match funding.

A number of projects which include stakeholder platforms have been carried out in the past such as LIFE EUROLARGECARNIVORES, LIFE WOLF ALPS EU and LIFE LYNX. An overview of LIFE projects relevant to large carnivores is available on the EU website.


Interreg, financed through the European Cohesion Fund finances cooperation across borders through project funding. Its aim is to jointly tackle common challenges and find shared solutions in fields such as health, environment, research, education, transport, sustainable energy and more. There are a number of sub-programmes with different regional focuses.

As with LIFE, Interreg projects are co-financed as grants. An appropriate partnership in the region and match funding are required. More general information is included in the Programme Manual

Carnivora Dinarica aims to improve conservation status of large carnivores between Slovenia and Croatia.

3 lynx aims to coordinate approaches to engagement of stakeholders in the Bohemian-Bavarian-Austrian, Dinaric and South-East Alpine lynx populations.

The EU Common Agricultural Policy



The CAP is made up of two funds, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund. The EAFRD in particular, can fund a wide range of different actions including collaboration actions in rural areas.

Each member state is responsible for implementing the CAP in their country. They choose from a menu of measures they want to promote – described in their CAP strategic plans. There are a number of measures relevant for cooperation including cooperation between farmers, LEADER and the EIP-network. Each measure has its different funding requirements. It may be 100% financed or only partially.

See the EU Platform’s Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) page for more information on support for coexistence.

European Parliament Pilot project

Pilot tools introduced in the European Union (EU) budget that aim at testing new policy initiatives

Parliament choses priority topics as pilots for potential further role-out across the EU.

The EU financed regional and local large carnivore platform project. This project was funded as a pilot and is not funding source for ongoing activities.

Model for a stakeholder questionnaire

The model below provides some pointers for a potential questionnaire.

Download questionnaire as Word document

Here you can download the template as Word document

Download questionnaire as PDF

Here you can download the PDF version of the template.

Template for evaluation

Background information

The EU Platform on Coexistence between People and Large Carnivores is made up of representatives of different interest groups (hunters, land owners, conservationists) who work together to “promote ways and means to minimize, and wherever possible find solutions to, conflicts between human interests and the presence of large carnivore species” (see the website[1] for more information on the Platform’s work).

Conflict on large carnivores in the EU varies significantly between regions. For this reason, the EU Platform aims to work together with regional large carnivore platforms in different locations and in particular, the regional platforms pilot project contracted by the European Commission and Parliament[2]. As part of this work, this questionnaire has been designed with the dual purpose:

  • To help the regional or local platforms to evaluate their work
  • To allow different regional groupings and the EU Platform to learn from one another’s experiences.




Template for evaluation.

Template developed by T Hovardas and K Marsden (2017)

Regional Platform Agenda Template: Example of Harghita. Template developed byAndrea Sólyom, Valeria Salvatori, Yorck von Korff (2019)

Download template in MS Word

Here you can download the template as Word document

Download template as PDF

Here you can download the PDF version of the template.

Regional Platform Agenda Template: Example of Harghita

View the agenda template by clicking on the field below or download it via the download button.

Download the agenda template in MS Word

Here you can download the template as Word document

Download template as PDF

Here you can download the PDF version of the template.

Stakeholder Analysis Template

This template consists of a list of categories that may be helpful in providing a more comprehensive view of the stakeholders in a particular region or surrounding a particular issue. The information can be used to draw both actor and perspective maps (link opens in a new tab). 

View the stakeholder analysis template

Template for stakeholder analysis

Below you will find a list containing possible categories by which stakeholders can be described. Choose those categories that you consider to be important. The information can be incorporated into a stakeholder map or simply be contained in a document.


The information is best gathered by speaking to potential stakeholders rather than accepting a third person to provide the information for you. You may also find that some information is not apparent at first and can be added once you have established a relationship with the stakeholder (for example information regarding their position and motivation)


It is important to keep privacy legislation (GDPR) in mind when saving personal information such as names, affiliations, positions and contact details.


Name: [Stakeholder’s full name]

Role: [e.g. governmental body, hunters etc.]

Stakeholders represent both organisations and perspectives. For example, somebody who is not affiliated with an organisation may be considered an influential person by a group of people. Or somebody may represent an informal network. Of course, representatives for key organisations need to be included.


Position: [Stakeholder’s position on the large carnivores in question]

You can include either more or fewer details here. In addition to a simple, “for or against” you may add more nuanced information.


What motivates them? This question has many levels. It may be as simple as wanting to protect their livestock or ensuring that large carnivores are protected. The question could also include their motivation for participating in the platform activities: why would they bother to take time to attend meetings? What do they want to achieve?


Impacted by platform: [high, medium or low impact]

How big is the impact of the platform’s work on this stakeholder? Will decisions made in this forum directly or indirectly affect the stakeholder? If so, is the impact significant?

Influence: [Strong, medium, weak influence]

How strong is their influence on the platform process? This might involve decisions, proposals or agreements reached by the platform. Here you may want to distinguish the power of the individual stakeholder to influence others and the power to influence decisions in other decision-making forums.

Support: [Yes, no, neutral]

There are two variables you may want to consider here:

  • supporting the platform by participating actively
  • supporting the work and decisions of the platform, but not being active on it.

The reason for the distinction is that some stakeholders might not have the time to be involved or suggest that their position or perspective be represented by someone other than themselves. Such stakeholders will need to receive feedback from the platform organiser or via the person or people representing them.

Matching: [Yes, no, partially]

Does the platform aim for what they want? To answer this question the stakeholder needs to understand the aims of the platform. It is important, therefore, to be clear on the aim or purpose (to the extent that you can define it) in advance.

Contact details: [address, email address and telephone number]

You may want to know the geographic location of the stakeholder and substitute “location” for “address”. The other contact details will help you to communicate effectively with groups of stakeholders either when invitations are sent, information needs to be shared or feedback is required. During interviews with potential stakeholders, you may want to ask about their preferred way of being contacted.



Download template in MS Word

Here you can download the template as Word document

Download template as PDF

Here you can download the PDF version of the template.