The cross-border National Park Neusiedler See-Seewinkel / Fertő-Hanság has existed as a joint national park since 1994. Many projects have been successfully implemented since then. In order to improve and ensure the ecological stability and resilience of one natural area in the Austro-Hungarian border region in the long term, cross-border awareness-raising measures with direct participation of the local population are necessary. The schools in the border region do not use the environmental education infrastructure of the other part of the national park. There is a need for cross-border network cooperation between the two directorates and their educational institutions, which can function in a sustainable manner in the future. In the Information Center in Illmitz, the information must be made available in several languages and prepared in a coherent and up-to-date manner. This makes the information center attractive for visitors who speak Hungarian or other languages. There is no environmental education infrastructure of the National Park Directorate Fertő-Hanság on the west bank of Lake Neusiedl. It was previously impossible to actively experience Lake Neusiedl as a cross-border body of water. The National Park Directorate have worked together since they were founded, but carried out the operational tasks independently of one another. There is no coordination of the legal primary conditions for activities in natural areas for rangers of the reservation. In addition, a central basis for the exchange of experience and networking in the area of protected area management is required. Only in this way can the necessary measures for the preservation of the common natural area be agreed and their implementation coordinated. Some small habitats in the natural area are not suitable for machine maintenance. These have to be farmed by hand. There is currently a lack of volunteers.
The development of joint area management in a cross-border national park is a new concept, also on a European level. For this the project partners clarify the relevant legal provisions in both countries. On the basis of these provisions, the guidelines for cross-border joint area management and other documents to determine the implementation will be prepared. As part of the project, the 8 Austrian and 13 Hungarian area rangers get to know each other and the areas of the other country in joint workshops and field inspections. A joint ranger and environmental education center is being built on the western shore of Lake Neusiedl in the Balf area. This is the starting point for joint area management. In order to ensure sustainable networking in the field of environmental education, cooperation at various levels is being considered: workshops for teachers and students, training programs for junior rangers, networking of national park eco-educators. The network is also complemented by simple research programs and citizen science activities. Existing tools and resources (e.g. bicycles, binoculars, etc.) will be provided by the project partners for the implementation of these programs. In the Information Center in Illmitz and in the new base in Balf, interactive, multilingual exhibitions are created. This also completes the educational offer of the joint national park and is available to Hungarian and Austrian schools. For the preservation of small special protection areas, a network of young volunteers is being set up and appropriate work equipment is being purchased.