CEETO Project: Kick off meeting in Bologna

CEETO Kick-off meeting in Bologna, Italy, June 2017

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EUROPARC is a partner of the CEETO Interreg Central Europe Project (Central Europe Eco-Tourism: tools for nature protection) that aims to make tourism a real driver for nature protection and local socio-economic well-being.

A great start for CEETO project with the celebration of the Kick-off meeting in Bologna, Italy, with the participation of over twenty partner representatives from eleven nationalities.

Not even one month after the official start of CEETO, project partner representatives gathered in the Emilia Romagna Province Administration headquarters from the 26th to the 27th of June to celebrate the Kick-off meeting of the project. The objective of this encounter was to discuss future actions for the successful implementation of CEETO and to clarify those aspects that could present an obstacle in the future.

Over twenty participants representing the eleven project partners were present in the meeting. Together with them, one representative of Interreg Central Europe Joint Technical Secretariat was especially invited for the occasion, and helped with the clarification of some points concerning financial management and project implementation.

Partners presentation and technical revision of the project

The meeting started with a presentation of the different project partners, which included an overview of the different organisations involved, their expertise, role in the project and their expectations of this joint collaboration. After it, a technical session took place, in which different aspects concerning project and financial management, and a review of the different work packages, outputs and responsibilities was approached in depth. This session also included a capacity building workshop in communication, in which partners were introduce to some communication techniques and to some of the tasks they will need to perform to accomplish the main goals of the project.

The meeting finished with the clarification of future actions and the next meeting, which is expected to take place in Budapest during December of the present year. After the event, all partners and Joint Technical Secretariat representatives agreed on the success of this Kick-off meeting, and on the good organisation provided by the Lead Partner.

The project is funded by the European Union Regional Development Fund.

For more information visit the project website.

EUROPARC Spain organises Seminar on Conservation and Land Development

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EUROPARC Spain and the Andalusia Regional Administration organised on the 29th June a Seminar on the topic “Conservation and Land  Development”. The event is host by the Nature Park Sierra de las Nieves, and participants looked at good practices on sustainable local development around protected areas from Asturias, Cataluña y Andalucía.

El Parque Natural Sierra de las Nieves acoge la Jornada Conservación y

Desarrollo del Territorio organizada por la Junta de Andalucía y EUROPARCEspaña

 

En el evento se analizan las luces y sombras de experiencias de desarrollo local en clave de sostenibilidad en torno a áreas protegidas en Asturias, Cataluña y Andalucía 

La localidad malagueña de Ronda, en el Parque Natural Sierra de las Nieves, acoge los días 29 y 30 de junio la Jornada abierta Conservación y desarrollo del territorio, con la que se pretende promover la colaboración entre las administraciones públicas y agentes territoriales para mejorar el papel de las áreas protegidas como activos socioeconómicos. El encuentro, en el que participan 80 técnicos y gestores del mundo de la conservación de la naturaleza y el desarrollo rural, ha sido inaugurado por el Consejero de Medio Ambiente y Ordenación del Territorio de la Junta de Andalucía, José Fiscal López, acompañado por Rafael Mata Olmo, Presidente de EUROPARC-España.

La jornada contribuye a la implementación del Programa Sociedad y Áreas Protegidas que viene impulsando EUROPARC-España, junto con las administraciones ambientales competentes, un llamamiento a la acción colaborativa que tiene entre sus objetivos estratégicos demostrar los múltiples beneficios que estos espacios naturales aportan a la sociedad.

En la ponencia marco, impartida por María Luisa Gómez Moreno, profesora de la Universidad de Málaga, se identificaron los retos y oportunidades de la apuesta por el desarrollo territorial en las áreas protegidas. En la mesa de experiencias para la reflexión se presentaron diferentes iniciativas, poniendo el énfasis en las lecciones aprendidas. Belarmino Fernández, alcalde de Somiedo, Joana Barber, directora del Parque Natural y Reserva de la Biosfera del Montseny, y Felipe Oliveros, Jefe de servicio de espacios naturales de la provincia de Cádiz, pudieron compartir con los participantes las claves de éxito, también los retos aún presentes, en sus correspondientes áreas protegidas. También participó en la mesa Joaquín González, del Grupo de Desarrollo Rural Litoral de la Janda (Cádiz), que pudo aportar la visión del mundo del desarrollo rural.

El debate se centró en las oportunidades de los espacios naturales protegidos como un activo para la economía local y para el desarrollo del territorio. También se pudo debatir sobre los mecanismos con los que pueden contar las áreas protegidas para contribuir al freno de la despoblación y al envejecimiento rural en los territorios mayoritariamente rurales donde se han declarado.

La jornada del 30 de junio los participantes realizarán una visita guiada al Parque Natural de la Sierra de las Nieves. En la excursión se recorrerán algunos de los enclaves más sobresalientes del parque y se visitarán diversas iniciativas locales como el camping municipal de Conejeras e iniciativas privadas en sectores de actividad como el turismo, la restauración y los aprovechamientos agrarios.

EUROPARC-España

EUROPARC-España es la Sección del Estado español de la Federación EUROPARC, organización paneuropea creada en 1973 que reúne a instituciones dedicadas a la gestión de áreas protegidas de 38 países. Desde

1993 es el principal foro profesional de las áreas protegidas en España, en el que participan las administraciones responsables de la planificación y gestión de los espacios naturales protegidos.

La Oficina Técnica de EUROPARC-España está gestionada por la Fundación Fernando González Bernáldez para los espacios naturales.

EUROPARC-España impulsa el Programa Sociedad y Áreas Protegidas 2020: áreas protegidas para el bienestar humano, un programa de alianzas estratégicas con entidades y colectivos públicos y privadas, y un llamamiento a la acción colaborativa para fortalecer el sistema de áreas protegidas en España. Recoge las necesidades presentes y futuras basadas en la experiencia de más de 20 años y en los cambios que se detectan ya y los que se vislumbran.

A partir de un análisis de los logros y desafíos para las áreas protegidas en España se propone el marco general para el desarrollo del programa que se articula en 8 líneas de acción:

  • Integración de las áreas protegidas en el territorio
  • Servicios de los ecosistemas para el bienestar humano
  • Transferencia del conocimiento científico a la gestión
  • Comunicación estratégica para aumentar el apoyo social y político
  • Diversificación de los modelos de gobernanza
  • Diversificación de los modelos de financiación
  • Ambientalización de las políticas sectoriales
  • Responsabilidad global y cooperación internacional

Regional Nature Parks Summit – Europe’s Regional Nature Parks for Biological Diversity and Sustainable Rural Development

First European Summit of Regional Nature Parks. Photo: www.naturparke.de

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Regional Nature Park representatives from 20 European states sign Declaration in Brussels

Brussels/Bonn, 21 Juni 2017. A joint Declaration entitled “Regional Nature Parks – Working for Europe” was signed yesterday at the First European Summit of Regional Nature Parks in Brussels by representatives of Regional Nature Parks from 20 European states. Some 100 people from several countries attended the event, held in the Representation of the State of North-Rhine-Westphalia to the European Union in Brussels.

In the Declaration, representatives from Regional Nature Parks call on the European Union and its Member States to make greater use of Regional Nature Parks in implementing an integrated, far-sighted approach for a sustainable rural Europe. It pays off to strengthen Regional Nature Parks because they are in a position to help ensure an even better on-the-ground implementation of the Nature Directives of the European Union, such as the Habitats Directive, the Birds Directive and the Water Framework Directive. They also support the European Union and its Member States in achieving their political goals, such as the Biodiversity Strategy and the Green Infrastructure Strategy.

Regional Nature Parks

Regional Nature Parks are model regions for the innovative and sustainable development of rural areas. Owing to the nature of their work and their considerable experience, they are important partners in the area of sustainable agriculture, and should therefore be involved more closely in future regional development programmes. They also play a guiding role in Education for Sustainable Development, acting as strong partners for schools and other public educational institutions.

These were just some of the topics discussed in a panel with Margrete Auken, Member of the European Parliament, Nicola Notaro, Head of Unit for Nature Protection at the DG Environment, European Commission, Martin Scheele, Head of Unit for Conception and Consistency of Rural Development at the DG Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission, and Ignace Schops, President of EUROPARC Federation, the umbrella organisation of European protected areas.

From left to right: Nicola Notaro, Monika Hoegen, Martin Scheele, Ignace Schops

“Living Landscapes”

At the event, the Association of German Nature Parks teamed up with EUROPARC Federation to present their book entitled “Living Landscapes”, which provides information about Europe’s Regional Nature Parks and the results of the first comprehensive study on these parks. Europe has almost 900 Regional Nature Parks in 20 Member States of the European Union plus Switzerland and Norway, covering 8% of the total surface area of the EU-28.

The study was supported by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation with funding from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety. In her welcome address, Dr. Christiane Paulus, Deputy Director General for Nature Conservation of the German Environment Ministry, praised the ground-breaking work of the project. She commended the idea of cooperating on the parks’ regional functions at European level because this opens opportunities for transnational exchange. Dr. Paulus remarked, “It also supports the ideal of a united, common Europe, an important symbol in the current times.” The Declaration conveys Regional Nature Parks’ commitment to joint action and, simultaneously, communicates their legitimate desire for support from the European Union and its member countries.

Here you can download an English and German version of this press release, the book “Living Landscapes” and the Declaration.

If you have any questions, please contact the Project Coordinator Katharina Denkinger (+49 176 20533614, [email protected]) or Ulrich Köster, Director of the Association of German Nature Parks (+49 175 5917470, [email protected]).

Seminar-dialogue with DG Environment: Partnerships for biodiversity

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On 14th of June, 21 representatives EUROPARC Memberbs, representing European protected areas from 8 countries and 12 officers of the European Commission – Directorate-General for Environment participated in the Seminar-dialogue Partnerships for Biodiversity: European policies and the role of Protected Areas, jointly organised by EUROPARC and DG ENVI.

A unique dialogue opportunity

The objective of the seminar was to analyse the role that protected areas are playing in the implementation of the European policies, related not only to biodiversity protection and Natura 2000, but also to sustainable agriculture and fisheries, sustainable tourism, health, youth and transboundary cooperation. In the event, a deliberately limited number of participants were involved in order to facilitate the interaction and the debate.

A seminar with a wide perspective

About 12 inspiring case studies on the different topics were presented and discussed. Furthermore, in the presentations and in the debate, special attention was given to the:

  • Partnerships that protected areas are establishing with business sector and local communities.
  • Importance of cooperation and collaboration with stakeholders and public institutions.
  • Connections between Natura 2000 network management and national and regional protected areas.
  • Need to raise awareness among the decision makers about the importance of the protected areas in sustainable development and wellness.
  • Importance to celebrate success and give positive messages.
  • Need of consistency and stability, in terms both of funds and of policies, to maintain the credibility in the partnership and to act at long term.
  • Necessity not only of innovate but also of giving continuity to projects.
  • Importance not only of the big investments but also of the small projects, which can produce very important benefits.
  • Necessity of protected areas to work more in the communication to the public about the Natura 2000 values.
  • Competence of EU (about Natura2000) and of the member states and regions (about national and regional protected areas) and how to combine them and make them coherent.
  • Role of the member states in influencing the European policies and, consequently, the importance for EUROPARC and the protected areas to dialogue at all levels, local, national and European.

New Action Plan for Nature, People and Economy

During the seminar DG ENVI presented the new “Action Plan for nature, people and the economy” adopted by EU following a thorough evaluation of the Birds and Habitats Directives, to improve their implementation and boost their contribution towards reaching the EU’s biodiversity targets for 2020.
The objectives of the Nature Action Plan are: to realise the full potential of the Directives; to achieve healthy ecosystems, whose services benefit people, nature and economy; to boost their contribution towards reaching the EU’s biodiversity targets for 2020; to improve the Directives’ coherence with broader socio-economic objectives.
Likewise, the Nature Action Plan identifies 4 priority areas of Action: improving guidance and knowledge and ensuring better coherence with broader socio-economic objectives; building political ownership and strengthening compliance; strengthening investment in Natura 2000 and improving synergies with EU funding instruments; better communication and outreach, engaging citizens, stakeholders and communities.

The seminar with DG ENVI was anticipated by an internal meeting between EUROPARC and protected area representatives in order to present the federation’s work on lobby and advocacy in Brussels, and to explore the connections between the work of protected areas and the 6 Strategic Targets of the European Strategy  for the Biodiversity:

  • 1.Protect species and habitats;
  • 2.Maintain and restore ecosystems;
  • 3.Achieve more sustainable agriculture and forestry;
  • 4.Make fishing more sustainable and seas healthier;
  • 5.Combat invasive alien species;
  • 6.Help stop the loss of global biodiversity.

This event confirms once again the very good collaboration established for years between EUROPARC and DG ENVI who, considering the success of the seminar, are planning to replicate it in the future.

Presentations

Below, you can have a look on the presentations that were exposed during the seminar: