Call for Members – EUROPARC Commissions

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The EUROPARC Federation is a membership organisation and exists to serve the needs of our members, as stated in our recently approved strategy. Further, as a result of the new priorities in the strategy, we needed to reform what were our previous working groups.

We have therefore decided to create new commissions, to distinguish them from the old working groups, and to which members are invited to participate. If there is sufficient interest, these commissions can operate at two levels – as a core group who will form the commission, and drive the agreed agenda and an advisory e-forum, who input with ideas and information.

In this way, with members involvement, EUROPARC can develop activities that are close to the needs of the membership.

Open call for Members

Do you have expertise in any of these fields? Do you enjoy working at a European level exchanging with colleagues from across Europe? Do you want to drive new areas of work for protected areas? Do you like to be at the cutting edge of new developments? Then check out our new commissions below:

  • Natura 2000 Management – for this, we aim to run an expert and communication platform especially for Natura 2000 site managers, including those within existing protected areas,  to share their experiences and good practice examples. We would like to have some interesting new ideas on how the implementation of the directives can be achieved at a site level.
  • Health and Protected Areas – having made the case and the need for Protected areas and agencies to take a role in this area, and continuing EUROPARC’s lead on this agenda, we are looking for some practical measures to be developed to help managers develop programmes.
  • Periurban/Fedenatur – following the integration of Fedenatur into EUROPARC, we want to maintain and develop the excellent work undertaken and build a new strategy and programme of work for periurban parks, identifying the priorities and seeking to share solutions across the network. We really want this commission bringing together the EUROPARC and Fedenatur experiences.
  • Sustainable Agriculture – Parks and Protected Areas can represent ideal territories where to promote sustainable agricultural practices and products favouring regional rural development, biodiversity, and preservation of the landscape. With this commission, working with the agricultural community,  we want to explore the feasibility of a Charter for Sustainable Agriculture.

The terms of reference of each of the new commissions, having been agreed by the EUROPARC Council and Directorate and which are being open now,  can be found below. More commissions will be announced later.

Who can join EUROPARC Commissions?

The Commissions are open to ALL EUROPARC members and staff working for member organisations.

Applications should be sent to office @ before October 28th 

If you are interested, send us a letter of interest stating your background and experience and what you can offer us for the commission you want to join.

We Are Marine

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We Are Marine Tutorial

Great news from the EUROPARC Conference 2016.

This year, we are pleased to include in the program a specific Tutorial through which we could exchange experiences and learn more about Marine Protected Areas in Europe. Under the name “We Are Marine”, in this event we will explore how local communities and marine park managers can work together towards marine conservation. Likewise, we will discuss how we can integrate different users with different interests in managing a protected area on the sea, and specific examples about projects being implemented together with the local population. And, for this special occasion, we are happy to present two special case studies…

Seahorses in Mar Menor Costal Lagoon, Spain

On one hand we will get to know the strategy that Hippocampus Association follows to preserve one of the hidden treasures of the Mar Menor Coastal Lagoon: the long-snouted seahorse (Hippocampus guttulatus). The lagoon is separated from the Mediterranean see by a twenty meter wide sandbar, it is a designated Natura 2000 site, and is a key habitat for this species.

The Hippocampus Association, within their efforts to conserve the long-snouted seahorse populations, has identified education and citizenship involvement as key factors on their way to success. Therefore, within their program, they carry out a big array of activities involving local communities, like seahorse monitoring programs with the participation of local volunteers, and the development of educational campaigns and communication initiatives.

So far, their achievements are outstanding. Among them, they have managed to get the support and collaboration of local fishermen and local residents, and reach agreements with national and international associations alike. Find out more about how this association is working to protect sahorses through this eciting program.

“Dolphins – connecting people!” in Kornati National Park, Croatia

Likewise, we will have the opportunity to learn about another exciting program been undertaken at Kornati National Park in Croatia. This place is also designated as a Natura 2000 site, and a Site of Community Importance (SCI) within the Habitats Directive for Bottlenose dolphin conservation.

Currently, a significant number of bottlenose dolphins are known to visit or reside in this area, However, the lack of financial and human resources has limited their study and the potential use of this species as a touristic resource so far. Likewise, the insufficient dialogue with local tour operators has deter the development of interpretation programs to be offered to the Park visitors. And taking into account the possible benefits that dolphin could bring to the local economy and to the park itself, this was a matter that needed to be addressed somehow.

In this regard, the Kornati National Park managers have recently found a solution through which, cooperating with local residents, they can offer benefits for Bottlenose dolphin conservation, local stakeholders and park visitors. A win-win situation that we will be only able to discover at the presentation “dolphins – connecting people!” at We Are Marine Tutorial.

You can have more information on this and other Tutorials and Workshop at the Conference website.
Don’t miss out! EUROPARC Conference 2016 is about to start. Join us.

Planet at the Crossroads – IUCN World Conservation Congress

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article issued by Ignace Schops, EUROPARC President

Planet at the crossroads

10.000 participants out of 192 countries were present at IUCN’s World Conservation Congress in Hawai’i. If numbers count, this edition was a real success. But even besides the numbers, this edition was remarkably positive!

The prologue came from President Barak Obama, who agreed to create the largest marine protected area in the world, Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. As if he could foresee one of the outcomes to designate and implement at least 30% marine habitats in the world.

Ignace schops, iucn world conservation congress

Ignace Schops at the IUCN World Conservation Congress

It was striking and even breathtaking to see and to feel the cohesion the environmental community – or may I say family – across the world. Strong in their commitment to protect all life on earth, powerful to show their responsibility and leadership. Convinced that a systemic and sustainable change is urgent and possible.

In a staggering amount of Workshops, Knowledge Cafés, Forums, etc. we exchanged, discussed, convinced and agreed. We were energized by the words of hope. We became convinced of the power of international and intercontinental cooperation.

Members of EUROPARC Federation were frequently in the spotlights of the conference on several topics.

Surely we can conclude there was the positive interaction at the crossroads. So yes, we bring a strong message back home in Europe! A message of belief, commitment and responsibility to safeguard our precious planet, called home!  

As world leaders call for integration for some time now, it has certainly occurred during this conference. Food & agriculture,  indigenous peoples, the protection of primary forests and industrial no-go zones came up front of the debates. But we have to stay awake!

Biodiversity is essential, climate change is existential!

As they are both sides of the same coin, we need to act now!


Michael Hosek, Councilor of IUCN and Vice-President of EUROPARC Federation

Last but not least I would like to congratulate our vice-president, Michael Hosek, for his re-election as Councilor of IUCN. His involvement and expertise in both IUCN and EUROPARC Federation shows we are convinced of a strong movement of organizations who give voice to biodiversity, protected areas … and all live on earth!


More information about the IUCN World Conservation Congress

Kids Climate Conference 2016

kids climate conference, ignace schops

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EUROPARC President Ignace Schops was at the “Kids Climate Conference 2016” that took place at Center Parks Het Heijderbos, Netherlands, between 23-25th September.

Article issued by Ignace Schops

kids climate conference, ignace schops, Red de Dieren

Ignace Schops with Lian Kandelaar, author of the book “Missie: Red de Dieren”

150 young children were debating with Princes Laurentien Van Oranje, how to solve the problems we currently have due to climate change. It was a powerful conference with so much renewable energy of the youngster! I am impressed.

In the framework of the conference I was surprised of Lian Kandelaar who wrote a book on biodiversity, called: “Red de dieren” – Save the animals! Well done Lian and well done to the young participants! You will be the leaders of the future! Yes you can!

To learn more about the Kids Climate Conference visit the page