EUROPARC Low Countries
Year of creation: Officially established in 2014 but already operational in 2013
Number of members: 20 members in the Netherlands and Belgium
The core areas of work: Ecosystem services
Contact person: Natalie Henseler, Hoge Kempen National Park, Natalie at rlkm.be
President: Hendrik Oosterveld
About their work
In the Netherlands the topic of protected areas in a changing world is certainly an issue. Severe budget cuts have been implemented over the last few years and the Dutch National Park system were recently placed under review. The latter is, however, not a bad thing at all. The results have even revived an interest in national parks and provided new impetus for their protection.
The core activities of the sections members have so far focused on ecosystem services, mainly due to the budget cuts mentioned above and a need to find new financial sources. The section held two seminars this year. The first dealt with the issue of nature and health and looking at ways to encourage the health sector to offer protected areas financial support. The second one (organised in collaboration with EUROPARC Germany, EUROPARC’s working group on economics and ecosystem services and Eurosite) looked at the issue of carbon sequestration and voluntary contributions for protected area management.