TransParcNet 2018 – Registrations are open!

Nový Hrádek

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Once a year, members of EUROPARC Transboundary Parks Programme – the TransParcNet – and specialists interested in cross-border cooperation come together for a 3-day workshop, to share experience, best-practice and learn from each other. This year, the TransParcNet Meeting will focus on river landscapes conservation and it’s kindly hosted by Podyjí and Thayatal National Parks, a Transboundary Region between Czech Republic and Austria, cooperating since 2007. Registrations are now open!

“Bridges over troubled water – Nature protection of river landscapes”

We are very pleased to invite you to the TransParcNet meeting 2018. The meeting will take place in Podyjí and Thayatal area at the Czech – Austrian border. We look forward to welcoming you from Tuesday 5th to Friday 8th June 2018.

This year’s meeting will focus on „Nature protection of river landscapes” in transboundary regions. We will study experiences from Podyjí and Thayatal and other areas and also enjoy views of deep Dyje/Thaya river valley, large forests and vast heathlands.

We also seek your contribution and experiences with river landscape protection and all the aspects. The official opening of the TransParcNet meeting 2018 will take place on Tuesday 5th of June at 17:00 in Retz, Austria.

The Conference language is English.

PROGRAMME TransParcNet Meeting 2018

Tuesday, 5th June
15:00 Arrival / Opening of registration at Hotel Althof in Retz
17:00 Official opening in seminar room of Hotel Althof in Retz
19:00 Dinner

Wednesday, 6th June
8:00 Breakfast
8:30 Shuttle pick-up at Hotel Althof in Retz and transfer to Nationalparkhaus Thayatal
9:00 Presentation session I “Changes and challenges of river ecosystems”
11:00 Coffee break
11:30 Presentation session II “The river basin landscape impact on the state of watercourses“
13:00 Lunch break
14:00 Short excursion in Nationalpark Thayatal – Podyjí
16:00 Workshop session
19:00 Dinner and guided tour in Retz

Thursday, 7th June
8:00 Breakfast
8:30 Shuttle pick-up at Hotel Althof in Retz and transfer to Nationalparkhaus Thayatal
9:00 Presentation session III “Transboundary cooperation in water protection”
11:00 Coffee break
11:30 Excursion to Nationalpark Thayatal – Podyjí
18:00 Gala dinner

Friday, 8th June
8:00 Breakfast & Departure


The online registration, including reservation of accommodation, is available on this Transparcnet 2018 online registration form. (A new window with the registration form will open).

  • Please note that the deadline for registration is April 15th, 2018.
  • The conference fee is set to 130 EUR and includes participation in the conference and accommodation (co-financed by INTERREG Austria – Czech Republic). It should be paid by the deadline of registration.

How to get to Retz

By airplane:

The Vienna International Airport (VIE) is the closest big international airport to the city of Retz. You can use public transport to get to Vienna city. From the stations “Wien Hauptbahnhof” or “Wien Mitte” you can continue non-stop by train to Retz. More information on transportation from the airport…

Václav Havel Airport Prague (PRG) – with Prague Public Transport (bus and metro) to Florenc Bus Station (stop on metro lines C and B) and then continue by bus to Znojmo (Detail timetable for Czech Republic). We will organise a shuttle from Znojmo or you can continue by train from there.

By train

Retz has convenient train connection from Vienna. You can reach Retz from Wien Hauptbahnhof (or several other train stations in Vienna) by train approximately every hour. For detail timetable please visit Retz can be also reached by train from Znojmo. Retz train station is within walking distance to the Hotel Althof. We can organize a shuttle service if needed.

By car

From Czech Republic through D1 highway exit in Jihlava or Brno to direction Znojmo. From Znojmo follow road 413 to Retz.
In Austria from highway S5 to S3 in Stockerau, then continue to Hollabrunn and follow E59 and B30 to Retz.
There is a parking lot at Hotel Althof.


  • Accommodation and venue on Tuesday 5th June events will be in Hotel Althof in Retz.
  • The Thayatal Nationalparkhaus Hardegg will be the conference venue on Wednesday and Thursday and the starting point for excursions. Shuttle from Hotel Althof and back will be organised on both days.


Hotel Althof in Retz will provide accommodation for participants of the conference. The cost of accommodation will be covered by your conference fee.


For logistic issues and other questions, please contact:
David Grossmann (NP Podyjí), grossmann @, +420 734 759 030.
Martha Schober (NP Thayatal), office @, +43 (0) 2949 / 7005

EUROPARC Position Paper – Sustainable Agriculture & Protected Areas

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EUROPARC Policy Office in Brussels and the members of the Agriculture and Protected Areas Commission, launched today the EUROPARC Position Paper on European Protected Areas & Sustainable Agriculture. The document aims to contribute to the current debate on the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Reform for the period after 2020. 

A competitive agriculture needs a healthy environment and nature resources as they are provided by Protected Areas. Likewise, a healthy environment and nature protection need farmers’ engagement.

While agriculture and Protected Areas are often perceived to be in opposition, but are in fact complementary: Agricultural activities play a key role in the management of EU land and the conservation of its biodiversity, as almost half the territory consists of farmland. Protected Areas and agricultural production are part of the same landscape and of a larger, more integrated rural ecosystem from which natural goods and services can be optimised with integrated complimentary systems.

EUROPARC is committed to supports positive dialogue between agricultural and Protected Area communities and has identified a huge number of success stories showcasing the effective partnerships already existing in many European National, Regional and Periurban Parks, conciliating farming interests with biodiversity conservation, contributing to climate change actions and fostering the creation of Europe’s rural areas as living landscapes.

Learn more about the experiences available from the EUROPARC Network in our Toolbox on Sustainable Agriculture.

The role of Protected Areas and Natura 2000 Sites in rural development needs to be valorised by the new CAP.

Protected Areas are committed to improve partnership with farmers for developing common solutions and creating mutual benefits. These efforts have to be awarded by EU and national and regional authorities at financial, legal and political level. Besides, Protected Areas can play a crucial role in increasing consumers’ awareness and public involvement. Specific measures, programmes and funds have to be adopted to support methodologies, projects and collective initiatives on partnership building among Protected Areas, Natura 2000 Sites, farmers and consumers.

The new CAP should pay specific attention to farmers acting within or close to Protected Areas and Natura 2000 Sites, engaged in environment-friendly agriculture and working in partnership with Protected Areas authorities, in order to recognise their work and reward their effort.

postion paper sustainable agriculture, europarc, sustainable agriculture

Download EUROPARC Position Paper

The EUROPARC position paper “European Protected Areas & Sustainable Agriculture: Working in Partnership for Biodiversity and Rural Development” introduces the role of Protected Areas, illustrated by many successful examples of collaboration with farmers from the EUROPARC network, and reinforces the need for new, better-integrated approaches and more innovative funding mechanisms at regional, national and European level. It builds on 5 key-strategic points outlining concrete ways how Protected Areas’ potential to integrate EU agricultural interests with environmental concerns can be tapped within a reformed CAP framework.

Read here the full EUROPARC Position Paper and follow up our Sustainable Agriculture Policy Section, constantly updated with the latest developments on the EU Common Agricultural Policy Reform discussion.

An ideal for change by Marina Silva

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Marina Silva is one of the invited contributors of the Protected Areas In-Sight 2017. Marina was Minister of Environment in Brazil between 2003-2008 and is currently running for President. During her mandate, 25 million hectares of new National Parks were created and over 12 million young people were involved in environmental actions all over the country. Follow Marina Silva on Facebook.

An ideal for change

article issued by Marina Silva

Marina Silva

Marina Silva, environmental activist and member of the Brazilian Parliament was a keynote speaker at EUROPARC Conference 2017, Arouca, Magic Mountains, Portugal © Eduardo Realinho

A political crisis is visible around the world .The “owners of the world”, including authoritarian and/or populist leaders, seem more dedicated to profit from the crisis, instead of solving it. Big countries’ societies look for ways out but they seem to be stuck on how to change, remaining vulnerable to conscience numbness. Disorientation dominates.

This is just the most visible and noticed aspect of the situation, the tip of the iceberg. In reality, the crisis is much bigger and not restricted to conflicts of political and social nature, nor to the financial breakage that sweeps national economies in all continents, throwing billions of people into unemployment. The fast evolution of global warming and its terrible effects on the planet is extremely serious.

On the background of the political and social conflicts, there is a value crisis– a loss of meaning and a weakening of human solidarity.

Those crisis (political, social, economic, environmental and of values) are simultaneous because they are systemic. They form what I call civilization crisis. It is the human civilization who is at stake. For the first time in history, we need to face the possibility of an imminent interruption of conditions that allow life in this planet.

When success means failure

How did we come to this extreme condition? Paradoxically, it was not by failure, scarcity or weakness, but rather by our successes, by the excess and by the strength we impose on this planet.  We obtained success with our technologies – on food production, disease treatment, recycling and waste management and, above all, in generating and using energy efficiently.

With these technologies, we grew abruptly: currently 7 billion with perspective of reaching 9 billion in 2050. We repeated the success formula and obtained more excess. We broadened the system that we started about 450 years with the arising of mercantilism, with its production and consumption model that does not account for the support capacity of ecosystems. Meanwhile, we are contaminating the atmosphere with gases causing temperature rise, destroying forests, landscapes, biodiversity, fertile soil and hydric resources at an unimaginable scale.

Yet more, the ultimate consequences is the change on human mentality and on the identity ideals that used to reference human endeavours.

In four centuries, the ideal of being was replaced by the ideal of having. Consumption started to be a symbol of success and achievement.

To have, or not to have?

We do not want to be immortal, as the Egyptian desired, nor wise and free, as the Greek wanted, or neither great and strong, as the Romans praised. We do not want to be saints or knights, as the medieval Europeans wanted. Now, we want to have, and to own things.

The meaning has inverted: before, being virtuous opened the possibility of earning valuable things; now, having valuable things may give us the means to be respectable, admirable and virtuous people.

We can “be” infinite things without exhausting the planet. However, in order to “have” more, we collide with natural boundaries. In four centuries, we crossed those boundaries and won our struggle against nature restrictions… And by doing that, we destroyed the source of life. We walk towards collapse.

How to overcome the civilization crisis?

Illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt or

I believe this is only possible if, within the crisis system, a significant amount of people unleash an identity-breaking pressure from the current system. World change will not come by a prolonged and reasonable planned transition, nor by a quick, abrupt and violent rupture. The old dilemma “reform vs. revolution” has expired.

Change can come from a type of alternative enabling mutation. It shall change mentalities, values, meanings, and ideals. And then, it will also change the way we produce, consume, and relate to each other and to other forms of life.

There will be no place in the world for excessive consumption. The planet cannot supply our infinite desire of having things, but our planet is the best environment there is for us to exercise our infinite wish for being.  Of being the best artists, poets, writers, cooks, educators, physicians, people.

It is necessary to add to the great ideals of the French Revolution of equality, freedom and fraternity, the ethical imperative of sustainability.

LIFE Programme: simplified process and 2018 deadlines

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One week ago, the European Commission announced a simplification to the LIFE Environment programme applications. The first of a two-stage application is to submit a concise concept note, with approximately 10 pages long. Applicants that make it through to the second stage of LIFE’s Environment sub-programme will then submit their full proposal based on feedback from the LIFE programme.

However, for the LIFE Climate Action sub-programme, the submission procedure remains unchanged. Applicants will submit full proposals from the start.14 February 2018.

Two-stage application for LIFE Environment sub-programme

for more information visit the EU Commission website

Stage 1: Concept Note

Applicants will be requested to submit a concept note in English that is approximately 10 pages long. The information that will be requested will notably include:

  • Basic information about the coordinating beneficiary
  • The environmental problem targeted (for environment and information & governance strands) / description of species, habitats, biodiversity issues targeted by the project (for nature and biodiversity strands)
  • Project objectives
  • The project partners (information on the coordinating and associated beneficiaries, and co-financers of the project)
  • Actions and means
  • Expected results and impacts of the project
  • The sustainability of project results
  • Project risks and constraints
  • The EU added value of the project (understood at this stage as the contribution to LIFE priorities and objectives)
  • The pilot or demonstration character of the project (and/or best practice for nature and biodiversity strand)
  • An indicative budget for the project

All concept notes will be evaluated against two criteria:

  • Overall quality of the proposal
  • Overall EU added value

They will then be ranked by merit. Applicants with the best ranked concept notes will be invited to stage 2: submission of their full proposal.
For more information on the evaluation criteria please refer to the Multiannual Work Programme. Please note that the evaluation and application guides will be published on the day the call opens.

Stage 2:  Full proposal

While there will be small adjustments to the full proposal forms, the information requested will not differ substantially from what has been requested in past calls for LIFE funding. You may wish to consult previous call documents for further guidance on the kind of information to provide. However, please bear in mind that only information published in the Guidelines for Applicants 2018 will be binding. As in past years, it will be possible to submit a full (stage 2) proposal in any official EU language, except Irish or Maltese. We nonetheless encourage applicants to submit their proposal in English.

Advantages for applicants

  • The submission of a concept note that is approximately 10 pages long requires less time and fewer resources than a full proposal (in case of the application is unsuccessful)
  • Applicants will receive feedback sooner on whether their proposal has a chance to be financed (has been admitted to stage 2)
  • Applicants invited to participate in stage 2 will have a higher chance of seeing their projects financed, as the competition will be open only to high ranking concept notes

Indicative timetable

Indicative timetable
Date or period Activity
mid-April 2018 Call publication
12 June 2018 (tbc) Deadline for applicants to submit concept notes to the Contracting Authority
October 2018 (tbc) Applicant notification, invitation of shortlisted applicants to submit their full proposal
January 2019 (tbc) Deadline to submit full proposals
January 2018 to June 2019 (tbc) Evaluation and revision of proposals
July 2019 (tbc) Signature of individual grant agreements
1 July 2019 (tbc) Earliest possible starting date