The EUROPARC Council is elected every three years by the EUROPARC Federation’s General Assembly composed of our membership. Apart from the 6 members of Council and President directly elected by members, the Council invites up to 5 co-opted members who have an advisory role within the Council.
The current EUROPARC Council and President were elected during the online General Assembly on the 5th of October 2021.
Our work is overseen by the EUROPARC Council and President. They bring a wealth of experience and expertise to bear on the work of the Federation and also represent EUROPARC across Europe. They monitor that EUROPARC is functioning well and focus on the strategic direction of EUROPARC.
Get to know our Council members here:
EUROPARC Council Members 2021-2024:
Michael Hošek (CZ)
Michael Hošek has worked in the field of nature conservation for more than 20 years (for the Czech Nature Conservation Agency, Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic, private consultancy in natural resources use), and in the period 2014-2021 fulfilled the role of EUROPARC vice president. Currently, he is working as a project manager at the Krkonoše Mountains National Park. He also has a wealth of experience working for international nature conservation organizations. He was a member of the IUCN Council representing East Europe, North and Central Asia during the 2012 – 2016 and 2016-2021 periods. Additionally, he is a member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas.
Elected members of the Council
Marta Múgica (ES) – Vice president
For many, Marta will not be a stranger: she has been involved with the Federation since 1995. During this time, she has had different roles: from involving EUROPARC’s Spanish members in the beginnings of the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism, participating actively in EUROPARC Conferences workshops and representing the EUROPARC Sections as a co-opted member of the EUROPARC Council. Marta has a PhD in Ecology and is the director of Fungobe. She has a strong interest in the connections between Nature and Humans and has experience in working with public administrations, networking, design, coordination and development of projects related to climate change adaption, ecological connections, social perception and environmental education.
Pete Rawcliffe (UK) – Vice President
Pete was already on the previous EUROPARC Council and also chairs our Healthy Parks Healthy People Commission. Additionally, he is a member of the IUCN specialist group on health and part of the current working group on COVID19 and Protected Areas. He has over 25 years of working experience and comes from a background of academic qualifications in the environmental and political sciences (BSc and PhD), consultancy work on planning, transport and conservation policy, and environmental education. Currently, he is the Head of People and Places for NatureScot – the national nature agency for Scotland (formerly known as Scottish Natural Heritage).
Leelo Kukk (EE)
Leelo is the Deputy Director General of the Estonian Environmental Board (Keskkonnaamet). She is a biologist with long-time experience in nature conservation on governmental, national and international level. She started her career in the field of fisheries and restoration of rivers and after that worked at an organisation responsible for governance and management of Protected Areas and species all over Estonia. Over all, she has over 25 years of working-experience. In her long career, she has been in contact with EUROPARC on many occasions, for example through the Europarc Nordic-Baltic Section, and the EUROPARC Junior Ranger Programme.
Dominique Lévêque (FR)
Dominique has served on the EUROPARC Council before, from 2011 to 2017. Currently, he is a board member of the Comité Syndical at Parc Naturel Regional de la Montagne de Reims and Mayor of Ay-Champagne, which is located in the Regional Nature Park. Apart from his function as president, he is also currently the Treasurer of the French Federation of Nature Regional Parks. Here he served as Vice-President until 2020 and was in charge of European and International Affairs. Dominique was also a alternative member of the Committee of the Regions and is currently an alternative member to the Council of Europe.
Stefano Santi (IT)
Apart from being a newly elected council member, Stefano is also the current co-chair of the EUROPARC Transboundary Cooperation Task force. He was actively involved in this programme during his time as coordinator and director of the Prealpi Giulie / Julian Prealps Nature Park. He was dedicated to improving the cooperation between the the Park in Italy and the Triglav National Park in Slovenia, which resulted in them becoming a EUROPARC Transboundary Park in 2009. The Parks were also the first Transboundary area to become part of the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism. Apart from his cross-bordering work, Stefano is also a strong supporter of youth involvement and helped create the Youth Advisory Board at the Julian Prealps. He also actively worked on establishing sustainable agricultural practices in the park. Currently, Stefano represents the Association “Italian Network of the European Green Belt”.
Hendrik Oosterveld (NL)
Hendrik has a wealth of experience with Parks and Protected Areas, both in his professional career, and as a volunteer. He has chaired different organisations, like the Dutch National Park Foundation, EUROPARC’s Low Countries Section & the EUROPARC Conference Netherlands 2021 Foundation (postponed to 2023). He worked for 38 years at the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Fisheries/Food Quality in the Netherlands. Here he achieved a breakthrough in establishing the urban-landscapes vision of the ministry and integrating it better within the wider society. Hendrik was active in a number of Protected Areas during his career. For his work in the Waddensea area he was awarded a Silver Medal of Honour, in particularly for the special efforts in acquiring the UNESCO World Heritage status for the area. Additionally, he was a driving force behind the designation of the Drentsche Aa National Park. Currently, he is the Chairman of the Area Charity Fund at National Park Drentsche Aa.
Coopted members of council
There are in five places in total reserved for coopted members in the council. The following have already been identified:
Nikos Pangas of the Philodassiki Society in Athens will take on the role of Periurban representative. Nikos is a Forester-Environmentalist and has a Doctors degree in urban forest planning. He specializes in protection and management of peri-urban green spaces. Since 1989 he has been employed by non-profit NGO Philodassiki Enossi Athinon as technical director of Mt. Hymettus Aesthetic forest in Athens, Greece. He is also a consultant specialist on projects related to forest management mostly in peri-urban areas, has been involved in several research projects related to analysis and planning of peri-urban space and for a period of 10 years he has collaborated with the Hellenic Open University as a consultant tutor. Since 2017 he is a member of EUROPARC/Fedenatur Periurban Commission.
Sonja Miller will take on the role of Section Representative in the EUROPARC Council. She works for the German section “Nationale Naturlandschaften e. V.” since 2015, where she gained experiences in different fields such as tourism and international cooperation. Currently she is in charge of the department of Business Corporation and Fundraising and as such, she can pursue her passion for bringing people and nature closer together. Sonja has a Master’s degree in “Sustainable Tourism Management”. Moreover, she has several years of working experience in the fields of social innovation and community building.
Paulo Castro will continue for one year as treasurer of the EUROPARC Federation. Paulo is an agronomy engineer who dedicated the last 30 years to rural development especially in the North West of Portugal. Between 1996 and 2000 he was manager of the National Park Peneda-Gerês. Since then he has had a strong connection with the Federation in particular with the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism. Since 2006 he manages a consulting company of sustainable development specialized in nature tourism.
Leonardo Cerno – Youth Representative
Leonardo Cerno is the Youth Representative at the EUROPARC Council. He’s been active as a member and mentor at the Junior Rangers in Italian Julian Prealps Nature Park since 2007. He also supported the implementation of the EUROPARC Youth Manifesto through the creation of the Youth Advisory Board at the Park. His many years of experience have allowed him to develop a big network of young people around Europe, both in and outside of Protected Areas. Apart from being active in the youth groups of Prealpi Giulie, Leonardo has managed to turn his passion for nature into his job. Currently, he works as a self-employed nature guide and as a park guide in the Julian Prealps. Through his role, he hopes to help provide young people around Europe with the same experiences in nature that helped shape him.
João Cardoso de Melo
With a post graduation in executive management, at Lisbon Business School, and a degree in landscape architecture by Évora University, João dedicates his career to nature conservation and biodiversity and worked in the private sector as consultant for 10 years. Since 2010 he is responsible for the ecological infrastructure management at Cascais Municipality, with experience in the planning and execution of conservation and ecological restoration projects, engaging volunteers, promoting nature tourism, involving the management of multidisciplinary teams. His actual research focus being landscape planning and fire risk, nature conservation and visitor’s impact, Nature-based solutions, invasive species and habitat management. Since 2016 he is engaged with EUROPARC, in 2018 as member of the sustainable agriculture commission, being currently the chairman.
A new internal auditor was also elected: Michael Jungmeier will take over from Roger de Freitas. Michael is an ecologist and human geographer. He has been focusing on biodiversity research, concepts and tools in nature conservation, on human-
nature-relationship and environmental history. Michael is also the professor for nature conservation and sustainability at Carinthia University of Applied Sciences (Austria). He is appointed UNESCO chair on Sustainable Management of Conservation Areas. Additionally, Michael is the scientific director of the international postgraduate Master programm „Management of Conservation Areas“.
Updates on the Youth and Section representatives will soon come.