We Manage Nature-Regional-Landscape Parks

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Different parks, different continents

Last week, the United States of America were celebrating the 100 anniversary of the creation of their National Parks Service. This public institution was founded in 1916 and currently manages a network of 412 parks around the country, covering an extension of 340.000 square kilometres.

At the moment of its foundation, the National Parks Service aimed to provide US citizens with free access to their natural areas and to involve North America’s industrial based society in the conservation of their natural and cultural values.

At that time in Europe, things worked a bit differently, and in many cases the access to natural areas was only allowed to aristocrats and high society members. However, since last century, things have changed in our continent, and the use of natural areas is not a privilege restricted to a minority anymore.

Nowadays, Nature, Regional and Landscape Parks constitute one of the main recreational places for European citizens and play an important role in safeguarding our cultural heritage and natural values. For this reason, the integration of society in parks management is paramount.

The European diversity

However, and contrary to the US, European territories are marked by a great cultural and political diversity, and the management of Parks is not carried out in the same manner across them. Park governance may determine how nature and society interact.

Hence, is not surprising that knowing and sharing good governance practices among different European regions is something that every park manager should care about.

Learning from our neighbours

In 2014, EUROPARC Federation together with other European partners and lead by the Association of German Nature Parks, joined efforts and formed the project “Europe’s Nature-Regional-Landscape Parks”. The objective of this initiative was to strengthen cooperation and to foster experience exchange among Nature, Regional and Landscape Parks across Europe in order to improve their governance and promote their value.

We Manage Nature-Regional-Landscape Parks Workshop

After two years, this ongoing project has allowed us to better understand the importance that involving people into park management has and to identify which governance systems are yielding best results around Europe. Thus, In order to share this knowledge and allow other European park managers and specialist to join the discussion, we will be presenting the workshop We Manage Nature-Regional-Landscape Parks at EUROPARC Conference 2016.

At this workshop you will have the opportunity to learn about specific practices that are considered as best examples of governance among European parks, discuss how we can improve the involvement of people in the decision making process and other matters concerning governance of Nature, Regional and Landscape Parks.

You can find further information about this and other workshops at the Conference Program. Don’t miss the opportunity and join us at EUROPARC Conference 2016!