In September 2017, FEDENATUR and EUROPARC Federation reached a friendly agreement to integrate and strengthen Europe’s leading protected area network.
In an exciting development, the board of FEDENATUR and the council of EUROPARC have created Europe’s largest organisation, representing parks from the city to the sea and from the metropolitan to the mountain tops.
Combining our respective memberships creates a Protected Area network that will cover 40% of Natura 2000 sites (marine and terrestrial).
The periurban parks joining the new body are extremely important greenspaces where peak daily visitation can reach 34.000, more than attend most major European league football matches. In and around towns and cities, FEDENATUR member parks provide services for a total population of almost 24 million people. Added to the 73 million people who visit, the 56 million who live beside and 4 million who reside in parks awarded with EUROPARC’s charter for Sustainable Tourism, the members of the combined organisation serve a constituency of at least 25% of the European population.
“We are very satisfied today. Union means strength. Strength to advocate for nature in a very much urbanized continent. Strength to defend the quality of life of city dwellers. This union symbolises the fact that nature is important for everyone and must be present everywhere: in cities, outside them and in more remote areas,” said Mr Agostino Agostinelli, FEDENATUR President, following the historic decision to integrate was passed at the FEDENATUR general assembly on 5th May.
Ignace Schops, President of EUROPARC, welcomed the addition of FEDENATUR’s expertise in the management of periurban greenspaces to EUROPARC’s extensive experience in national and regional parks. He indicated that the extended network would add new stakeholders, together seeking nature conservation and sustainable development solutions to the challenges that face us all. He welcomed FEDENATUR saying ”I am so proud! Nature has no boundaries. For EUROPARC Federation a new exciting time starts today, become the strongest and most unique nature network across Europe.
As a result, the EUROPARC network will grow by 10% – this is green growth for real!
Empowered by this new strengthened network I believe we take a strong strategic position in Europe. As biodiversity is still declining rapidly, we need to join forces and give a strong voice to the local, national and European leaders! Nature deserves more resources and attention on the political agendas. Together with FEDENATUR, we can reach out to decision-makers and show that we do provide solutions for the social-economic challenges we currently face in Europe“.
EUROPARC has built considerable proficiency in the support of protected area management and looks forward to working too with stakeholders responsible for periurban parks, to share experience, which will help all of Europe’s greenspaces and landscapes be places that are good for biodiversity and good for people.
The integration of both organisation will strengthen the EUROPARC Federation’s network. In addition, and following this merge, a new periurban commission was launched and significant presence and workshop during the EUROPARC Conference in the Parc Jura Vaudois, Switzerland, 18th-22nd October.
FEDENATUR – European Federation of Metropolitan and Periurban Natural and Rural Areas, was created in 1995 in Barcelona, following the 2nd Symposium on natural areas in metropolitan and periurban zones and inspired by the Rio Summit Meeting of 1992. The former headquarters of FEDENATUR were placed at the Technical office of the Collserola Natural Park, a natural space located at the heart of the metropolitan area of Barcelona.
This federation managed the network of Periurban Natural and Rural areas with high environmental quality, which are protected by urban or environmental regulations corresponding to the legislation of different European States. Their main goal was to enable experience exchanges between site managers on a European scale. In 2017, FEDENATUR joined forces and integrated EUROPARC Federation.
FEDENATUR former members, with their specific characteristics, are examples of the desire to establish balanced relations between city and nature. They create solutions to make residents’ leisure activities compatible with preserving natural environments.
Protected areas near cities can help guarantee better relations between the city-dwelling population and nature, and maintain transitional balance between urban and rural areas.
- Promoting protection and enhancement of metropolitan or periurban natural areas through management and preservation policies
- Co-ordinating, debating, and sharing regional development experiences among Federation members
- Defending the diversity of ecosystems and landscapes thanks to improved management of resources found in these areas.
- Giving special attention to citizens’ recreational and entertainment needs, based on the use of an area compatible with environmental preservation.
- Developing tools for environmental awareness, information transmission, and education with this goal in mind.
FEDENATUR organised worskhops, conferences, and study visits to Periruban natural parks in order to favour the exchange of experiences according to planning models, management, protection, awareness, and financing models, and promoted joint projects between members of its association; it therefore represented the interests of protected areas in metropolitan zones on an international level.
FEDENATUR promoted and participated in the INTERREG projects next:
Browse among the FEDENATUR Publications to get the proceedings of the technical meetings, reports and policy recommendations.