EUROPARC Spain

Parque Natural Cadí-Moixeró, Spain © Javier Puertas

Rede Europarc www.redeuroparc.org/

Year of creation: 1993

Number of members: 26 (national, regional and provincial public administrations)

The core areas of work: Natura 2000 planning and management, sustainable tourism, capacity building and transboundary cooperation through communication and experience sharing

Website: www.redeuroparc.org

Contact person: Marta Múgica

President: Rafael Mata Olmo

About their work in Spain

Known as a nature tourism destination, Spain has more than 28% of its territory classified as Natura 2000 (over 11 million hectares), from which seven million hectares are also under national and regional legal protection as nature protected areas. EUROPARC Spain has been supporting protected areas in becoming sustainable destinations, and Spain is the leading country of Parks awarded with the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas.

Watch  the message of the EUROPARC Spain Coordinator, Marta Mugica:

Besides sustainable tourism, the programme “Society and Protected Areas” is the major strategic document of the Spanish section for the next years. It is the result of years of discussion within the section aimed at improving protected areas in Spain through a call for action from governmental and societal partners. The programme is developed from an analysis that was shared between protected area managers and researchers regarding the achievements and challenges that have arisen in protected area management in Spain over the last 20 years. The challenges in this document arise from global change (climate change, changes in land use, etc.) and require urgent action. As such “Society and Protected Areas” is a call for action to:

  • Demonstrate the benefits of protected areas to society;
  • Engage with society to enable them to enjoy all the tangible and intangible values of protected areas;
  • Improve the management of protected areas in the context of global change;
  • Increase professional skills with regards to new challenges;
  • Inspire new ways towards a more sustainable, equitable and supportive protected area management;
  • Strengthen the system of protected areas in Spain as an asset to society.

Developed with the managers of Spain’s Natura 2000 sites and coordinated by EUROPARC Spain, the “Society and Protected Areas” has eight strategic goals:  1 Improve the integration of protected areas into landscape planning 2. Ecosystem services 3. Research management 4. Strategic communication 5. Governance and social participation 6. Economic valuation and financing 7. The greening of sectoral policies 8. Overall responsibility and cooperation.

These areas of work will be developed through working groups, training courses, exchange programmes, pilot projects, participation in sectoral forums and the collection of case studies. All public administrations from each of the 17 Spanish states and also the Ministry of the Environment have been asked to promote and support the programme.