Networking for Nature: European networks make conservation history
Europe's nature needs a new network, say protected area professionals gathered at the annual EUROPARC conference in Genk, Belgium, hosted by the Regional Landscape Kempen & Maasland.
In a landmark decision, two of Europe's biggest nature conservation NGO's, the EUROPARC Federation and Eurosite, agreed to come together and form a new united network purpose-built to meet nature’s needs in the years ahead. Together, the new network will represent a membership responsible for managing and protecting Europe's natural and cultural heritage.
Both NGOs will invest in the development of a new strategy, “Networking for Nature”, to be implemented across Europe. A core focus will be to ensure the protection goals central to Natura 2000 and the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy are integrated and strengthened within practical work for Europe’s nature and rich natural heritage.
Thomas Hansson, president of the EUROPARC Federation expressed his satisfaction and joy about this decision: “In these times, Europe needs a strong organization that builds upon expertise and experience in crucial fields of re-connecting society with biodiversity. The EUROPARC Federation and Eurosite complement each others’ skills and will bring nature conservation onto a next step in Europe.”
For Eurosite, Teo Wams strongly agrees: “I am thrilled that we have now decided to go forward with all our efforts and spirit to build this new “network for nature”. We will focus on nature protection from a social, economic and ecological perspective, building on the momentum achieved, and demonstrating that we are ready to move on with inspiration”.
The current economic crisis in Europe is seen as an opportunity to build on the strong expertise of both organizations and combine their experiences into one network in the future.
EUROPARC Federation´s Annual Conference, in partnership with Eurosite took place during EUROPARC 2012 in Genk, Limburg, Belgium. More than 600 conservation experts gathered for 4 days to exchange their experience of sustainable management of protected areas.