Meeting with the DG Environment

Natura 2000 Logo

Published on:

EUROPARC working for a better recognition of the role of Parks in Europe

Parks, with their long history, integrated governance systems, wide expertise, passion and dedication are fundamental to ensure the effective management of Natura 2000 sites. EUROPARC Federation has been working in Brussels to enhance the recognition of Parks among the EU Institutions, and highlight their fundamental role for safeguarding Europe’s habitats and biodiversity. Indeed, conservation objectives will be hardly achieved without proper management and the involvement of stakeholders.

Yesterday, Federico Minozzi, EUROPARC Managing Director along with Giampiero Sammuri, President of Federparchi-EUROPARC Italy, and Enzo Lavarra, President of the Dune Costiere Regional park and former MEP, had a productive meeting in Brussels with the DG Environment – Cabinet of the EC Commissioner Vella.  EUROPARC and Federparchi-EUROPARC Italy will work to collect some evidence and case studies and introduce the European Commission concrete results from our member network, on the management of Natura 2000.

For more information about our policy work check our section “European Policy”.

Job Vacancy – Communications and IT Officer

Person connecting and sharing using social media networks - With speech bubbles featuring Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, Skype, Tumblr, Twitter and Youtube

Published on:

EUROPARC is looking for a Communications Officer with a strong IT background, an interest in nature and a passion for parks. The Communications Officer will have opportunity to contribute directly to the work of a wide European environmental organisation, working along with an international team, so needs an understanding and willingness to work in a NGO culture.

The Communications officer will support in delivering the general aims of EUROPARC communications strategy and contribute to the implementation of other communication tasks, mainly regarding digital communications. He/she will also assist in communication for project development and implementation.


Candidates should have experience in:

  • management of databases
  • creation and management of websites
  • management and monitoring online campaigns
  • website analytics
  • developing online content – written, animation or video form
  • knowledge of video and image edition software is an advantage

We are looking for an innovative and creative thinker who is adaptable and responsive to change. Proficient written skills in English are essential and other European languages an advantage.

For the complete description and conditions download the document below.

  • Applications should be submitted before the 10th June to the email, with the subject “Application – Communications and IT Officer”
  • Interviews will be held via gotomeeting during the days 21th – 22th June

Training opportunities for Protected Areas’ staff

Published on:

Capacity building is at the core of our work in the Federation. EUROPARC members can benefit from several opportunities developed by the Directorate and the Federation sections: join an annual training seminar organised in Siggen, participate in the several workshops organised during our Annual Conference, or even benefit from the numerous tools we provide to our members, like the Communications Toolkit, specially designed to improve communication skills of Natura 2000 managers.

Despite the opportunities within the Federation and EUROPARC sections, there are some interesting opportunities for improving your skills in different fields. EUROPARC Federation curated for you 5 interesting trainings, from governance of protected areas, to management tools, geospatial software and certified training for guides. And there is even a discount for EUROPARC members in a special training in Spain!

The European Parks Academy

Klagenfurt, Austria, 11-16 July 2016

European Parks Academy, iucn, wcpa, europarc

European Parks Academy

This summer, protected areas professionals will have a unique chance to develop their skills and learn about the emerging trends, new approaches and technologies in protected areas.

The European Parks’ Academy (EPA) is a summer school with seminars, which will take place in July, in Klagenfurt, Austria. The programme has been elaborated in collaboration with IUCN WCPA, together with partners in Austria and with support of the Austrian Ministry of Environment. The first two modules will be on “Governance of protected areas” and “Financial management of protected areas”.

The seminars of EPA focus on new international and European standards, policies and guidelines and their implementation in protected areas, such as policies of IUCN, Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, UNESCO or Convention on Biodiversity.

Registration is open now as well as the application for scholarships!

More information is available here and in the flyer. For any questions, contact Michael Huber (

II International Course on Protected Area Management

Sierra de Guadarrama National Park, Spain, 1-9 August

The II International Course on Protected Area Management (held in English) is an intensive training course that analyses the specific problems of protected areas close to urban centers. The course is offered by the Polytechnic University of Madrid in collaboration with the Directorate General for Environment of the Madrid Government and EDNYA, a company that manages different services in the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park. The programme will strengthen the skills of participants with regard to planning and managing areas that are open for public use and outdoor recreation programmes in protected areas in order to build support for conservation, contribute to public welfare and provide economic benefits to local

Members of the EUROPARC Federation benefit from a 20% discount in their registration!

For more information and registrations visit EDNYA website, or download the flyer and full description of the course.

International Guides and Guide Trainers Course

Brno, Czech Republic, 12-20 August 2016

Interpret Europe is launching a range of professional training courses to help guides from all over Europe improve the quality of their performance. This is also a highly valuable tool for heritage site and facility managers to meet their capacity building and professional development needs. The first summer courses take place in Brno (Czech Republic) and you can choose among Certified Interpretive Guides(CIG) and  Certified Interpretive Guide Trainers (CIGT).

More information can be found here.

Geospatial technologies in ecosystem management

Évora, Portugal, 5-11 September 2016

“Geospatial technologies in ecosystem management — An introductory course to GIS, GPS and Remote Sensing”, is organised by Science Retreats LDA on behalf of the Évora branch of InBIO- CIBIO. This course offers an integrated overview of these three technologies and is designed for professionals of different backgrounds, which are faced with the possibility of using these technologies for their own needs, especially in the ecosystem management context. The course will be held in English and is balanced between theory and application. Participants are encouraged to bring spatial data related to their current work or interest.

More information can be found here or you can read the full description of the course.

Adaptive Management workshop – CMP Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation

Nature Park Medvednica, Croatia, 7-11 November 2016

The CMP Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation (Open Standards or OS) are a set of adaptive management standards to designing, managing, monitoring and learning from conservation projects. Created by the Conservation Measures Partnership (CMP), an international partnership of many of the world’s leading conservation organisations, the Open Standards are putting in place the building blocks to improve the practice of conservation. Its goal is to enable conservation organisations to tackle projects efficiently and achieve effective impacts.

More information can be found here.

Sustainable Tourism in Monte Rufeno Nature Reserve

Broom in Rufeno Nature Reserve (IT) © Filippo Belisario

Published on:

Sustainable Tourism is a priority for Monte Rufeno Nature Reserve, who has been awarded in 2012  with the Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas (ECST) . Along with the Charter Monitoring Forum, the Reserve is “looking at the past to build together the future for sustainable tourism”. 

article issued by Filippo Belisario (versione in italiano qui sotto)

In Monte Rufeno (Acquapendente – Lazio region – Italy) there is an effort to imagine a future for local sustainable tourism in an innovative and unconventional way. An embryonic “ideas factory” activity has been led with old and new local stakeholders, thus producing a first list of possible actions and initiatives for the next five years. Many areas of interest have been involved, such as:

  • Biodiversity conservation – shepherd dog breeding to protect herds against wolf in order to indirectly safeguard this important predator
  • Citizen science – webcam installation for sharing pictures and the monitoring effort of a local bat colony, which has been declared “of national interest”
  • Sustainable tourists mobility within Nature Reserve and the territory – purchase of a methane-fuelled minibus
  • Environmental interpretation projects and activities – sensory hikes in the monumental century-old Sasseto wood.
sustainable tourism, monte rufeno, ecst, charter, sustainable destinations, cets, charter forum, europarc, protected areas

ECST Forum Meeting – Monte Rufeno Nature Reserve (IT) © Filippo Belisario

Nature Reserve’s 2015 ECST monitoring forum held in March 30th 2016, in Acquapendente, focused on these and many other aspects. This meeting with the local stakeholders, regarded the first five years of the Charter’s validity (2012 – 2016); we summarized the results reached but found ourselves already projecting the possible initiatives for the forthcoming renewal of the certification (2017 – 2021).

Among the 28 participants, 19 local stakeholders who came on behalf of 16 private, public and associative realities, 7 students of the local High School (College of Science) involved by Acquapendente’s Cabinet member for the Environment, and 2 extremely qualified external observers: a young woman who just graduated in Tourism Economics at the University of Rome (with an analytical thesis on some of the Reserve’s ECST actions) and Stefania Petrosillo, ECST consultant and expert in both a national and international context.

Thanks to the recent broadening of the ECST application area to the neighbouring municipalities of Allerona and Proceno (an important target reached by the current action plan), for the first time 6 non-strictly local stakeholders attended the forum. At the same time, a meaningful interest for the participated process that will soon lead to the making of Nature Reserve’s new ECST strategic plan stimulated the attendance of 7 new potential stakeholders: a local association, the neighbouring municipalities, a school, a small transportation enterprise, farm holidays (agriturismi).

Some time has been spent to describe the results of Nature Reserve’s participation to the experimental phase of the MEET project (Mediterranean Experience of Eco Tourism), funded by the European Union, whose main aim is the building of eco-tourist packages and their promotion and sale on Anglo-Saxon markets. The figures, in terms of visibility and economic impact on the territory, are quite gratifying: 250 overnight stays in the period May 2014 – November 2015 with 50,000 euros of income which have totally been spent in the area, a package that has been successfully assessed and appreciated by important worldwide Tour Operators, 12 local stakeholders involved (a local TO, a transportation enterprise, a museum, 3 agritourism, a hotel, 2 restaurants, 2 nature guides, an astronomic association).

Forum di monitoraggio CETS della Riserva Naturale Monte Rufeno (Acquapendente – Lazio – Italia): uno sguardo al passato per costruire insieme il futuro del turismo sostenibile nel territorio

A Monte Rufeno si cerca di immaginare il futuro del turismo nel tempo a venire in maniera innovativa e non convenzionale. Un’embrionale attività di “fabbrica delle idee” condotta con vecchi e nuovi attori CETS della Riserva ha prodotto un primo elenco di possibili azioni e iniziative per i prossimi cinque anni. Molteplici gli ambiti interessati, solo per fare qualche esempio:

  • Conservazione della biodiversità – allevamento di cani da pastore per proteggere le greggi dal lupo, rafforzando indirettamente la tutela di questo importante predatore
  • Divulgazione scientifica – installazione di una webcam per monitorare e diffondere in diretta momenti di vita di una locale colonia di pipistrelli dichiarata di interesse nazionale
  • Mobilità turistica sostenibile in Riserva e nel territorio – acquisto di un pulmino alimentato a metano
  • Realizzazione di progetti e attività di interpretazione ambientale – passeggiate sensoriali nel magico bosco monumentale del Sasseto.

Di questo e tanto altro si è parlato al forum di monitoraggio CETS 2015 della Riserva, svoltosi il 30 marzo 2016 ad Acquapendente. Quest’ultimo incontro con gli attori territoriali per il primo quinquennio di validità della “Carta” (2012 – 2016) ha sintetizzato i risultati fin qui raggiunti,  con un animo già proiettato alle iniziative per l’imminente rinnovo (2017 – 2021).

Tra i 28 partecipanti, 19 attori locali, in rappresentanza di 16 entità fra private, pubbliche e associative, oltre a 7 ragazzi del locale Liceo Scientifico coinvolti per l’occasione dall’Assessore cittadino all’Ambiente, e 2 qualificate osservatrici esterne: una neo laureata in Economia del Turismo all’Università di Roma (con tesi analitica su alcune azioni CETS della Riserva) e Stefania Petrosillo, consulente ed esperta CETS in ambito nazionale ed europeo.

Grazie al recente allargamento dell’ambito di applicazione CETS della Riserva ai comuni limitrofi di Allerona e Proceno (importante obiettivo raggiunto dal piano d’azione vigente), per la prima volta il forum ha visto la partecipazione di ben 6 attori non strettamente locali. Parallelamente,  un significativo interesse per il processo che a breve porterà alla costruzione del nuovo piano strategico CETS della Riserva ha stimolato la presenza di 7 nuovi potenziali attori del territorio che si stanno avvicinando con fiducia a questo percorso (associazioni sportive, amministrazioni comunali, istituzioni scolastiche, strutture ricettive, una piccola azienda di trasporti).

sustainable tourism, monte rufeno, ecst, charter, sustainable destinations, cets, charter forum, europarc, protected areas

A trail in the Monte Rufeno Nature Reserve (IT) © Filippo Belisario

Una parte del tempo è stata dedicata ad esaminare i risultati dell’adesione della Riserva alla fase sperimentale del progetto MEET (Mediterranean Experience of Eco Tourism), completamente finanziata dall’Unione Europea e volta alla costruzione partecipata di pacchetti eco-turistici da promuovere sui mercati anglosassoni. Le cifre, in termini di ricadute e visibilità, parlano da sole: 250 presenze nel periodo maggio 2014 – novembre 2015 con un’economia di 50.000 euro interamente spesi nel territorio, un prodotto finale apprezzato da importanti Tour Operator mondiali e ormai pronto per il mercato estero, 12 attori locali coinvolti nella costruzione e realizzazione della proposta (un tour operator locale, una società di trasporti, un museo, 3 agriturismi, un albergo diffuso, 2 ristoratori, 2 guide ambientali, un’associazione astronomica).

More information about the Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas can be found in the brochure “Good for Parks, Good for People”.