Transboundary Parks Programme: the strategy planning meeting
Going into its 15th year, the EUROPARC’s Transboundary Parks programme counts with many successes for cross-border cooperation in Protected Areas. However, after such period, it is time not only to keep score of benefits and achievements but also to reveal the programme’s potential for the future.
On 12th and 13th January, EUROPARC invited five distinguished members of TransParcNet, the network of EUROPARC’s certified transboundary areas, to a strategy planning meeting at EUROPARC headquarters. Jakub Kašpar from KRNAP (CZ), Leo Reyrink from Grenspark Maas-Swalm-Nette (NL), Arto Ahokumpu from Parks & Wildlife Finland (Metsähallitus) and Stefano Santi from Parco Naturale Prealpi Giulie (IT) made the trip to a cold and snowy Regensburg, whilst Tiia Kalske from Pasvik Inari Trilateral Park (NO) joined the discussion through skype.
Assessing and planning
The two days of meeting were used efficiently to assess the status quo of the programme with its successes and its needs for the future:
the programme is perceived as a knowledge tool that offers peer learning opportunities and provides a European living network of transboundary experts.
The future of the programme will depend on good governance with clear roles and functions, not only inside the EUROPARC directorate. The commitment of many people, including the Transboundary Areas, task groups and individuals will help to bring a new level of activity, prominence and recognition to the Transboundary Parks Programme.
At the end, participants of the meeting identified six main areas of work that build the basis of the new strategy and will be brought to live with actions over the coming 2-4 years:
- quality standards,
- “foreign policy”
Key activities like evaluations and re-evaluations or the cherished annual TransParcNet meeting will continue. They will be complemented by new actions such as creating a communication plan and material, produce training tools like videos and case studies or a campaign to initiate cooperation and participation of cross-border parks and other transboundary initiatives across Europe.
The EUROPARC directorate will remain the main hub of coordination for the activities and will be responsible for the overall implementation of the strategy. However, many actions will be lead directly by the task group formed by the meeting participants with support from ad-hoc task forces, where experts on certain topics, e.g. communication or funding, will be brought in to develop a certain task.
A visual summary of the meeting
Watch the video of the Transboundary strategy planning meeting and learn more about the participants’ opinions.
EUROPARC is very grateful for the voluntary support of its members to take the work forward in planning meetings and the actual implementation of the strategy in order to continuously strengthen the Transboundary Parks Programme and make it fit for the future.
Learn more about the Transboundary Parks Programme. For more information contact p.schultheiss @ europarc.org.