The European Parks Academy 2018 is open for registration!

European Parks Academy

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The European Parks Academy 2018 (EPA) is a new international training format that addresses the increasing capacity needs for planning and effectively managing protected areas. The unique cooperation between IUCN´s World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), the research institution E.C.O. and the Alpen-Adria University Klagenfurt resulted in well-designed and targeted training modules hold by renown experts.

The summer academy takes place from 16th to 28th July 2018 in Klagenfurt/Austria next to the attractive lakeside of the Wörthersee. The first week is dedicated to the topic Communication & Participation, while the second week hosts two modules in parallel – Ecological Monitoring and Management of World Heritage Sites (see dates & structure below).

Tue, 17.7. Wed, 18.7. Thu, 19.7 Fri -Sat
Tue, 24.7. Wed, 25.7. Thu, 26.7. Fri – Sat
Module A Module B & C (selective, in parallel)

Panel & Posters


Seminar A:
Branding & Communication


NP Gesäuse





Panel & Posters
WH Conference


Seminar B:
Ecological Monitoring

Seminar C: Management of World Heritage Sites



Kalkalpen, Škocjan Caves

One highlight of this year´s Academy is the World Heritage Conference on the 23rd July. Representatives of UNESCO and IUCN will join the Academy for one day to discuss the coordination & management of Natural World Heritage Sites by the example of the serial property “The Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe”.

Learn, exchange, enjoy!

In the seminars, you will get inputs and coaching from high-profile lecturers, work in a personalized environment and reflect on international protected area standards & procedures. There will be lots of space for exchange & intercultural learning, for reflection and coaching on your working context & challenges

The first week (Module A) is dedicated to strategic approaches for communication and visibility of parks. Participants will work on the communication of visions & values, on the development of a recognizable image (“brand”), on attractive participatory approaches and on options for reaching a broader audience

Module B, in the second week, provides guidance and training on the design of resource-saving and goal-oriented monitoring systems. Insights into modern technologies for data collection and management will be embedded into a step-by-step approach for developing effective ecological monitoring systems.

With the module on Natural World Heritage Sites (Module C), the European Parks Academy responds to the high amount of recent World Heritage designations and the need of developing an understanding for the UNESCO World Heritage standards and procedures along the 3 phases – nomination, management and evaluation of WH sites.

Modul A and B respectively start with a panel & poster session, where you will share your own experiences and working background, meet your colleagues of the seminar and get inspired by the stories of local scientists, experts and practitioners.

Join this unique event and carry home impulses and concrete guidance for your engagement in conservation and protected area management!

Further information and registration:

See also: IUCN News on the European Parks Academy 2017


Andrej Sovinc, IUCN´s WCPA: [email protected]

Alexandra Joseph, E.C.O. Institute of Ecology: [email protected]

Webinar: Large Carnivores – Strategies for a better coexistence

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Large Carnivores: strategies for a better coexistence

While wildlife return in Europe is seen by many as a great conservation success, it brings some new challenges too.

For centuries, the wolf, the bear, the lynx and wolverine, were chased and expelled from their natural habitats – and almost extinct in many European places. However, the current land use in Europe, habitat improvement and increase of prey species, backed by the legal protection large carnivores have in some countries, brought a new opportunity for them to come back – raising potential conflicts between farmers and livestock producers, hunters, local authorities, protected areas, and NGOs.

The ”us or them” argument seems no longer valid. It is time to find joint solutions andwork together for a better coexistence between people and large carnivores.

EUROPARC believes Protected Areas have an important role to play, not only in safeguarding these species and their habitats but also in mediating dialogue with local authorities, supporting farmers and livestock producers and working with local communities.

There are many successful examples that demonstrate how conflicts can be minimised through prevention, education, training and awareness raising. In this webinar, we bring you successful strategies that were implemented by Protected Areas and NGOs in Estonia, Italy and Portugal.

The webinar will be moderated by Valeria Salvatori, co-author of the European Commission guidance document “Guidelines for population-level management plans for large carnivores”. Since 1998, Valeria has been working with large carnivores in many European projects in different regions, and she is a member of the Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe (IUCN Task force of the SSC).

The webinar is co-organised by the EU Platform on Coexistence between People and Large Carnivores – an assembly of organisations representing different interests groups brought together to promote and find solutions to minimise conflict, and to share knowledge and best practice. EUROPARC Federation is an active member of the Platform, representing the perspective of European Protected Areas.

Case Study 1: Management of conflicts between large carnivores and farmers in Estonia

By Tõnu Talvi, Environmental Board of Estonia

Large carnivores (wolf, brown bear and lynx) are common throughout Estonia. Damage caused to livestock (mainly on sheep, occasionally on dogs, goats, cattle and horses) and apiaries are the primary reason for the human-large predator conflict. To reduce the conflict and build tolerance, we developed a depredation and damage prevention measures compensation programme since 2009. Main priorities are to improve husbandry practices, to (re)introduce different prevention measures, to improve farmers responsibility and training, to inform and educate the general community. In the programme, different effective measures (substantially improved electric fences, night enclosures, livestock guarding dogs etc) are compensated by the state.

Tõnu Talvi is Chief Specialist of Nature Conservation in the Environmental Board of Estonia and among other topics, he is responsible for the management of Large Carnivores, regarding human conflicts and damage compensation.

Case Study 2: Active collaboration with livestock owners to mitigate wolf impact in Central Italy

By Luisa Vielmi, NGO DifesAttiva, Italy

Mitigating the impacts of wolf on livestock production was the main objective of the MedWolf LIFE project, whose actions took place in the province of Grosseto in Italy, and in the districts of Guarda and Castelo Branco in Portugal. Despite different regions, similar damage prevention measures have been implemented, with the focus on training and giving guarding dogs to livestock producers. The NGO DifesAttiva itself was created within the project – its members are the local farmers who received guarding dogs – and it works to ensure the welfare of puppies (so that producers in other Italian regions can also receive a guarding dog). To establish a stronger network of local producers, and create a quality brand for local production are the main objectives of the NGO.

Luisa Vielmi is a biologist and professional dog handler with experience on wolf ecology. She is technician at DifesAttiva and at the Farmer’s Union Coldiretti Grosseto.

How to join?

Webinars are open not only to EUROPARC members – but to everyone with an interest in Protected Areas. Participation is free but registration is necessary. Keep in mind places are limited to 100 participants, and once these number is reached, you will be directed to a virtual “waiting room”.

You can join in from anywhere: you will just need a device with internet connection.

This EUROPARC webinar will be held in English and participants have the chance to join the discussion with the invited speakers, at the final part of the webinar.

Previous Webinars

Visit this page to learn about the previous Webinars and download the presentations and webinar recordings.

Ocean Mirror: Update on MPA Policy & Practise

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Conservation Standards, Good Environmental Status and Coastal Reef Funding

The ocean covers 71% of the earth’s surface and is home to ecosystems that are both, of high intrinsic value and of high external value: Our oceans deliver services, vital to the health of societies and economies. The UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 and Aichi Target 11 (CBD) therefore state the need for Marine Protected Areas. To perform they must be effectively governed, managed and networked across borders – but what resources are there to support MPA practitioners in tackling these challenges?

Global Conservation Standards: Synthesis of Global MPA Conservation Standards (IUCN)

Information on effective MPA governance and management has expanded quickly throughout the recent years. Various similar methods, tools, standards are floating through the web and are exchanged in networking events. However favorable a development, a pooling of information remains a major challenge and practitioners agree they want to avoid “open-ended sharing and create real change” – effectively implementing the measures adequate to their MPA.

IUCN Green List Standards

A recent draft publication by IUCN seeks to address this challenge of scattered information:  “Applying IUCN’s Global Conservation Standards to Marine Protected Areas (MPA)” offers a first synthesis of all IUCN standards and policies relevant to Marine Protected Areas, by integrating the IUCN Green List standards with all other IUCN Resolutions and Guidance documents of MPA concern.

By now, the document is still a draft and will be soon available for download here  – also in Spanish and French.

Mediterranean Sea: Achieving Good Environmental Status tapping MPAs’ added value (MedPAN / UNEP-MAP)

MedPAN (Mediterranean Protected Area Network – working to promote the establishment, the operation and the sustainability of a Mediterranean network of MPAs) follows the notion that effective networks and exchange are vital. In a recent “Science for for MPA Management” issue MedPan states: For MPAs to perform beyond their essential role in nature protection, conservation and restoration, more fluent connections between MPA practitioners, scientists and regional as well as national authorities are critical. (See also: MedPAN’s engagement within the Transatlantic MPA Partnership project.)

Transatlantic MPA Network©Bernal Revert, BR&U

MedPAN outlines in particular the crucial role of Marine Protected Areas in achieving and assessing progress made towards Good Environmental Status (GES) of the Mediterranean Sea, by pointing to the MPA ability to provide scientific data enriching the existing knowledge base through monitoring and supporting the establishment of reference conditions.

Good Environmental Status (EU): The environmental status of marine waters where these provide ecologically diverse and dynamic oceans and seas which are clean, healthy and productive.

Further, MedPAN’s newsletter issue offers a compact overview of GES descriptors, the relevant related policies and programs, the role of EU Member States in implementation and finally derives implications for MPA practitioners.

Achieving GES via integrated management strategies is the shared objective defined at both EU and UN levels – defined within the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and integrated in the Ecosystem Approach (EcAp) within the UN Environment Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP).

The first Mediterranean Quality Status Report

UNEP / MAP has recently provided its first comprehensive contribution towards “assessing the status of the Mediterranean ecosystem and the progress towards the achievement of its Good Environmental Status (GES)”: In December 2017 the first Mediterranean Quality Status Report has been launched as a key step implementing the “Ecosystem Approach (EcAp) Roadmap” adopted in 2008, and the “Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Programme (IMAP)” adopted in 2016.

Mediterranean quality status report, update on MPA policy

Mediterranean quality status report 2017

International: Funding for Sustainable Management of Coral Reefs & Associated Coastal Ecosystems – UNEP, UNEP WCMC, ICRI

UN Environment, International Coral Reef Initiative and UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre have just published a preliminary analysis, exploring how funding for implementing, monitoring and enforcing sustainable management of coral reefs and related coastal ecosystem has been allocated internationally throughout the recent years.

Where does the funding come from? How is the support distributed? How well-aligned are spending and policy objectives? What are implications for future investment?

Quite evident is, the overall spending dedicated (around 1.9 billion USD between 2010 and 2016) is relatively little when considering that:

coral reef ecosystems alone provide society with living resources and services equating about 375 billion USD annually.

Put in perspective, funding for coral reefs and its related ecosystems is still far from sufficient to achieve international objectives. However, the analysis resumes giving a positive outlook for the allocation of future funding – referring to promising developments in regional and international policy related to marine conservation and pointing to the increased number of international commitments and campaigns related to “ocean matters”.

Read the full analysis results here.

Keep in touch –  there is more news waiting beneath the surface.

After all – it is the International Year of the Reef

Peace keeping in the mountains of Snowdonia: The Snowdon Partnership

© Snowdonia National Park, Wales,UK

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Snowdon is the most popular mountain in the UK, and the effect this has on people who work and live in the area is significant. Helen Pye, National Park Partnerships Manager at Snowdonia National Park shares with us how The Snowdon Partnership is working together for the future of the mountain, and gives you a step-by-step guidance on how you can also do it in your Park! An article from our EUROPARC journal Protected Areas In-Sight 2017.

Peace-keeping in the Mountains of Snowdonia

Article issued by Helen Pye

Snowdon, Yr Wyddfa in Welsh (pronounced uhr-with-va), is a globally renowned, iconic mountain. It is home to vibrant, energetic communities and a mosaic of upland hill farms. It is a national asset, the most visited mountain in the UK, attracting over half a million people from across Wales, the UK and around the world every year. Caring for Yr Wyddfa is a complex business, requiring close collaboration in the work that we do.

In 2015 the issues affecting the area as a result of its immense popularity with visitors where reaching a crunch point. Parking problems were significantly affecting the local communities of the area, paths were being heavily eroded, litter was a major problem on the mountain and there was a general feeling amongst the public that things just weren’t working. Snowdon regularly made the news in local and national press, and not in a good way!

There was of course a huge amount of effort and great work going on to look after the mountain from all sorts of different organisations – both public, private and third sector, but there was no joined up, co-ordinated approach.

The Snowdonia National Park Authority decided to take a leading role in a more joined up approach to the management of the area, by developing a partnership management plan, which would set out the opportunities and threats we all wanted to tackle over the coming years.

From this very beginning point, to the point we are at now – with an agreed Plan in place – there were some fundamental ingredients that were key to the success of the process:

1) Identify the key players. Who are the key influencers in the area?

It was really important to design a plan that all our stakeholders supported and agreed on. Over the years, different types of groups in the area had become quite disparate in their views. In order to successfully influence and get people on board, we identified and established communications with key players in the area.

As well as a core group of officers (see point 3 below) we also identified all the – that is anyone who had some stake, role or interest in the way we as partners cared for the mountain, and then from these identified the key influencers and a clear communication strategy.

2) Find the one outcome that everyone agrees on (and cares about):

There will be an outcome that nearly everyone has in common. Sometimes it can be difficult to identify when moods are heightened! For Snowdon, it was that everyone wanted to care for the mountain and look after it for future generations. Once we’d identified this common outcome it was much easier to move things forward.

By creating and implementing a plan together, we could all be working towards the same goals.

3) Create a core partnership to drive the process forward

The group comprised of officers that represented all the organisations and landowners that are responsible for on-the-ground management of the mountain – ranging from conservation work and path management to tourism, farming and mountain rescue teams. We wanted to make sure that this core group where delivering on the ground and avoid it becoming a “talking shop”.

4) Develop the core partnership into a cohesive strong group

Point 2 above was the first and most important step in starting to bring the group together, along with other vital elements such as size of the group, meeting arrangements, dynamics and tone. Even the way you set out the room for a meeting is important!

5) Agree on – and then deliver – a genuinely open, transparent consultation process

This was about getting from where we were (no plan) to a point of delivery (an agreed partnership plan in place) in the most effective and efficient way. The diagram below sets out the process we took.

6)     Demonstrate positive progress

During the process, we identified some ‘quick wins’ that could demonstrate positive progress. One of these was a pilot visitor giving scheme. It helped show stakeholders that physical progress was being made, whilst we were still discussing and creating the Plan.

7) Build clear responsibilities and ownership

Perhaps one of the most important steps we took was a ‘responsibility assigning’ workshop run for us by a fantastic consultancy company. This meant that responsibilities for action within the plan were very very clear. Fundamental for being able to successfully deliver the plan.

Watch also the Snowdonia Giving, a project to engage volunteers, young people and business for the common  care of the Snowdon mountains.

And so here we are now with an agreed plan in place. The end of the beginning!

It took two years to get to this point but has been hugely worth the effort. The turn-around in attitude and opinions of stakeholders has been quite incredible, and the momentum is really with us now. This makes everything so much easier and more efficient when it comes to delivering, when everyone is happy with the way forward.

Helen Pye is happy to share information, knowledge, and advice in more detail. If you’d like to discuss anything further you can get in touch via e-mail: helen.pye @

The Snowdon Partnership is funded by Snowdonia National Park with the support of Welsh Government, the National Trust and Snowdonia Society.