Rangers are in the first line safeguarding our Nature and wildlife.
All over the World, Rangers dare their lives to protect our biodiversity. Unfortunately, in the last 12 months, 108 rangers lost their lives in the hands of poachers (42%), in work related accidents (41%) and 17% by the same animals rangers protect.
On the World Ranger Day, this Sunday, 31st July, pause for a moment and reflect on these rangers and their sacrifice. The celebration of the World Ranger Day 2016 aims to honour them and their colleagues that are still bravely undertaking their role in the field.
Stand with the rangers
Print the poster “Stand with the Rangers”, and show you stand with Park Rangers of the world in their fight to protect wildlife! Take a picture of you holding the poster and share it on your facebook, twitter and instagram with the #tags:
Five European Parks (in Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy and Greece) showcased how protected areas can play a leading role in finding solutions for bioenergy production at local-scale, that simultaneously ensure biodiversity conservation. The BioEUParks project, co-funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme of the European Union, introduces a wealth of possibilities for Parks to boost circular bioeconomy within their regions. During 3 years, parks developed and implemented 7 models of small-scale supply chains for solid biomass, harvested from sustainably managed forests within the Parks’ area and working with the local authorities, entrepreneurs and forest owners.
Bioenergy in Europe
The success of the European Union’s renewable energy policies during the past decade is unquestionable, with an increase of over 50% share on renewable energy. Bioenergy makes up to 60% of EU’s current renewable energy use and more than 90% of the renewables in the transport sector, as biofuels.
it is crucial to consider that bioenergy is also a source of carbon emissions and can cause a number of other undesirable environmental and social impacts, such as biodiversity loss.
María Gafo Gómez Zamalloa, from the EU DG Environment and Rural Development, referred during the BioEUParks International Conference that “it is important to remember two important numbers: 50% of Natura 2000 is forest (so it’s the most important land use in Natura 2000) and over 50% of the total renewable energy sources is bioenergy. So, how is it possible to combine these two numbers? I think that the BioEUParks project is a good example of winwin situations that could lead to fulfil these two objectives”.
Bioenergy in Protected Areas
Protected Areas overlap most of the Natura 2000 network. They are the main guardians of Europe’s nature and have already implemented (in some cases) forestry management actions, especially in areas where there was an active land use in the past. According to Petter Loffler, from the DG Environment, Unit Agriculture, Forest and Soil, “1/5 of European forests are Natura 2000 sites, and half of Natura 2000 is forests”. During the BioEUParks International Conference, Mr. Loffler referred the need to “not undertake activities that deteriorate the protection purposes or work against them (…) and yes, you can manage forests and you can extract biomass to some degree from many Natura 2000 areas forests.”
BioEUParks project borns to answer to a crucial question: how to match nature and biodiversity conservation with sustainable exploitation of woody biomass for energy purpose?
The starting point is to change perspective when looking at the bioenergy policy: nature conservation and the preservation of ecosystems and biodiversity must come first. At the same time, this choice implies a new way to see the Parks’ role, not only as the body in charge of managing natural areas, but also as a key actor in trigger new ways of local development, that can match nature conservation with social and economic growth.
The development of supply chain models were based in 4 clear characteristics:
1) Short Range from the place where the biomass is harvested to the final user, in order both to minimise the carbon emissions and ensure the quality of the biomass used for energy production;
2) Small-scale and domestic plants
Promote local investment in local plants under 1 MW of power for thermal energy production, or the investment in biomass boilers installed in public buildings (parks and municipalities’ premises, schools, gyms or other leisure time facilities) or private houses. This represents a key element for protecting both ecosystem and landscape.
3) Local engagement
The building of a biomass plant, in particular in areas of high natural value, represents a critical element. It concerns local inhabitant for the impact of the plant in terms of air and soil pollution and landscape degradation. The engagement of local inhabitants, economic actors and policy makers in the process represents the only way to build consensus. Local actors must be the first priority of the process: raising their awareness on the opportunity deriving from the sustainable exploitation of the solid biomass and agreeing with them sustainability criteria and social-economic commitment of the supply chain.
4) Sustainable Forest Management
Sustainable Forest Management and sustainable biomass exploitation criteria should be mandatory assets for the establishment of supply chains. Forest management for biomass production can also reduce fire risks, as the amount of waste being landfilled will decrease, and it opens a possibility to use subproducts of conservation activities, such as the removal of invasive species.
Learn more about BioEuParks mainstreaming International Conference, that took place in Brussels on the 3rd March 2016. The Conference gathered representatives of the EU Institutions, Environment NGOs and Business sector and further contributed to the debate on Bioenergy policy. Presentations and a final report can be found there.
Monviso Park is one of the 19 Protected Areas that applied for the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas. Those who receive a positive evaluation will be awarded in Brussels, at the Charter Award Ceremony! Get o know the 19 applicants below and read about the evaluation process at Monviso Park, Italy.
Europarc verifier Jacques Decuignieres concluded the verification visit of the candidacy of the Monviso Park.
During the two days verification visit, the French verifier, assisted by the representative of Federparchi – EUROPARC Italy, Corrado Teofili, and the officers and directors of the Park, met many stakeholders involved in the Charter process in Saluzzo, Dronero, Brossasco, Ostana, Staffarda Racconigi. A broad representation of stakeholders and agencies, who have joined this candidacy promoted in 2015 by the then Cuneo Po Park, participated in the meetings, which had a very positive conclusions.
I think that the verification that just ended can be considered positive, a confirmation of the good work done and the relationships established with the territor. It will be a satisfaction for all, that pushes us to move forward on this journey of sustainable tourism.
Federparchi stressed that at this stage, as throughout the life of the ECST, the only real protagonists are the Park Authority and actively involved local actors. The phase of field testing is indeed a time of great importance, allowing parks to demonstrate the value of work carried out together with local partners, is to draw on the experience and recommendations of the evaluators valuable insights and useful suggestions for the continuation of the Charter territory.
Subsequently, the Charter Evaluation Committee, consisting of experts from ECST, protected areas and sustainable tourism, will acquire the verifier reports for discussion at its next meeting scheduled in August 2016, and then give its technical opinion on the application, judgment It will be reported to the board, which will have the final decision.
This year, the 19 areas (9 of which are re-evaluating) successfully evaluated will be invited to the Charter Award Ceremony 2016, which will take place in Brussels, at the EU Parliament.
Get to know the 19 candidates!
Monviso (Po Cuneese)
Prealpi Giulie / Triglav
Montgri, illes Medes and Baix Ter
Sant LLORENÇ del Munt i L’Obac
Parks play a vital role in safeguarding the Europe’s nature, its wildlife and landscapes.“Sculpted by nature, shaped by people”, they protect our most special places: relatively untouched landscapes, as well as those which have been shaped by centuries of man’s interaction with the land.
In Europe, there is a wide spectrum of protected areas: national, nature, regional or periurban parks, protected landscapes, Natura 2000 sites, marine protected areas and biosphere reserves, they all work to ensure the conservation of our natural and cultural heritage. They are on the first line mitigating the effects of climate change, providing healthier landscapes and a wealth of ecosystem services.
Undeniably, Parks are also about people and has never been so important to strengthen this link.How can locals have an active role in the governance of Parks?How does nature benefit from the communities’ support?And how many of you, protected area’s professionals, have been asking yourself the same?
“We are Parks” will be the theme of the EUROPARC Conference 2016, thebiggest gathering of European protected areas professionals and nature conservationists! Every year, the EUROPARC Federation gathers hundreds of like-minded professionals to share ideas and best practices, discuss solutions and learn new tools for the effective management of Europe’s Parks.
Looking for inspiration?
On the Plenary session, high-level keynote speakers like Inger Anderson,IUCN’s Director-General, and Carlos Romao, from the European Environmental Agency, will share their views about biodiversity, protected areas and people. Hans Romag, from the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, and Olivier Feller, Member of the Swiss National Council, will introduce the democratic bottom-up approach of Swiss Parks and the Professor Dominique Bourg will share his thoughts on Park’s governance and rurality.
Management of Marine Protected Areas and wetlands restoration
The role of Periurban parks
Governance and management of Nature, Regional, Landscape Parks and Biosphere Reserves
Funding of Protected Areas
Communication, branding and cultural identity
The role of Youth and Friends of Parks’s organisations
Sustainable Agriculture in Parks
Climate Change and Healthy Parks
Networking and sharing best practices
There will be a lot of opportunities to network, within the EUROPARC’s Marketplace. Every delegate can choose to have a stand to display information about his organisation and/or recent project developments. Delegates will also discover the beautiful region of the Valley de Joux, with the field trips that the Parc Jura Vaudois is organising.
Early bird fee until the end of July!
The EUROPARC Conference takes place in Parc Jura Vaudois, Switzerlandbetween 18th-22nd October. All information about the conference can be found at: www.parcjuravaudois.ch/europarc/.Registrations until the 31st of July can benefit from the special early bird fee!
The EUROPARC Federation is the representative body of Europe’s Protected Areas and the collective voice for all nature and landscape areas. Learn more about EUROPARC at www.europarc.org