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:

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