Conference: How can People and the Economy benefit from Nature?

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How can People and the Economy benefit from Nature? Stories from Citizens

Portobello, 29 Rue Jacques de Lalaing, Brussels

June 7th, 2017

The conference is organised by CEEweb for Biodiversity, Eurosite and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and hosted by the Members of the European Parliament from Hungary Mr. Benedek Javor, Czech Republic Mr. Pavel Poc and Finland Ms. Sirpa Pietikäinen.

This event will present real-life examples on how nature can provide answers to many societal and environmental challenges the European Union faces today.

Citizens coming from different sectors will share their personal experiences about living and working in Natura 2000 sites, and we will showcase successful products from this area accompanied by inspiring background stories about the collaborations and the related socio-economic benefits.

“How can People and the Economy benefit from Nature? Stories from Citizens” conference will bring together members of the European Parliament, representatives of the European Commission, the European Council, the scientific community, civil society, the private sector and other relevant stakeholders.

You may find the agenda here:

To register, click here: Please register until 2nd of June.

This event is a part of Green Week of the European Commission. See other events at

European Day of Parks in Albania and the NaturAL project

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Take a break, enjoy your Protected Area!

was the title of the celebration of the European Day of Parks in Albania.

To celebrate the 24th of May, and to mark 50+ years of Protected Areas in Albania, the NaturAL project organised an official ceremony at the Dajti Mountain National Park near Tirana.

Children from “Ymer Lala” 9-grade school welcomed the guests by releasing their kites, built together with officers from Tirana Regional Agency for Protected Areas (RAPA) and participated in games prepared by the park rangers. During the official part of the event, Mr. Zamir Dedej, Director of the Protected Areas welcomed the audience, followed by keynote speakers including Mr. Lefter Koka Minister of EnvironmentAmbassador of the Republic of Italy.

“On these important date, European Day of Parks, for Albania Part are an importat asset not only for the environment and nature, but also for our country’s economy development. Albania counts 15 national parks established more than 50 years ago, like Dajti Park”,

– said Minister Koka.

Dajti, being the closest park of the busy capital of Albania, is characterized by a stunning mountainous environment. The citizens of Tirana can easily reach Dajti in several ways: hiking to the top in 3 hours, cycling, driving, or even by using a cable car which goes to the Visitor Centre in 15 minutes, from where the visitors can enjoy a fabulous view over the busy city.

RAPAs staff from across Albania officially received tools, technical equipment, and means of transport sponsored by the NaturAL project. The event will feature. By supplying the equipment and means of transport to RAPAs, the NaturAL project aims to increase their functional capacity to manage the Protected Areas and contribute concretely to the protection of biodiversity in Albania. The project has so far procured 4 off-road vehicles, 16 motorbikes, 20 binocular, 5 spotting scopes, 10 GPS, 20 camera traps, 20 computers and printers, in the amount of 250,000 EUR. In addition, the project is also undertaking infrastructural intervention to the parks’ offices and huts in order to provide the rangers with optimal condition to work in the field.

NaturAl project and Albanian Agency of Protected Areas, NAPA is celebrating the European Day of Parks as an entry point underlining Natura 2000 overall concept and by so tackling the sustainable use of the natural resources, the reciprocal benefit of the community and the parks, putting in evidence, the ecosystem services of the parks, among which is the recreational service.

The NaturAL project is funded by the European Union, supported and implemented by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Workshop – Management of Natura 2000 sites

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Between 3-5 May 2017, EUROPARC Central and Eastern Europe and the Fertő-Hanság National Park Directorate (Hungary) organised a workshop to review the management of Natura 2000 sites and summarize experiences. Participants came from Czech Republic, Croatia and Hungary,  representing their governmental, non-governmental organisations or public body administrations, managing Natura 2000 sites. Gábor Reischl, Conservation Expert at Fertő-Hanság National Park, highlighted the importance of organising such event:

Managers of Natura 2000 sites in Central and Eastern Europe face similar problems but solutions may differ significantly in each country due to differences in legislation and organisational structure therefore, the exchange of management experiences (e.g. mosaic-like treatment, suppression of invasive plants), is very important today and in the future.

During the workshop, participants discussed:

  • the implementation of Natura 2000 in different countries
  • Preparation of management plans for N2000 and their harmonization with management plans for nationally designated areas, main challenges of the process and current state of the play
  • EU agricultural subsidies vs. Natura 2000 aims

On the second and third day participants, could get an impression of the natural treasures, management and arising problems at Lake Fertő and Hanság. Management of wetlands (flooding, water retention) and mosaic-like treatment in favor of Maculinea species were the priority issues.

All presentations are available for download below.

Management of Natura 2000

Natura 2000 in Czech republic – Krknose National park and CZ Ministry of Environment

Hungarian way of the Natura 2000 implementation – Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture

Natura 2000 in Hungary – the site manager’s perspective – Hungary, Hortobágy National Park

How to handle 90 Natura 2000 sites with 4 people – Croatia, Natura Jadera

Case Studies – Monitoring and Restoration

Natura 2000 monitoringHungary, Fertő-Hanság National Park

Dry grassland SCIs in SW part of PLA České středohoří – planned restoration, management, vegetation monitoring – past and future – Czech Republic

Natura 2000, CAP and Agri-environmental schemes

Relationship between CAP and Natura 2000 – Tools and their implementation to help biodiversity in farmlands – MME/BirdLife Hungary

The case of Orange Eggar (Eriogaster catax) with the agri-environmental schemes – Hungary, Fertő-Hanság National Park

Development of the Great Bustard with agri-environmental schemes – Hungary, Kiskunság National Park Directorate

European Natura 2000 Award – calls open!

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Get the recognition you deserve

Today, on the occasion of the establishment of the European Natura 2000 day the European Commission launched the 2018 edition of the EU Natura 2000 Award. The Award, now in its fourth year, honours leading nature conservation achievements connected to Europe’s Natura 2000 Network of protected areas.

Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs said:

“Following the launch of our Nature Action Plan to improve the protection of nature and biodiversity in the EU, the focus is on engaging EU citizens, stakeholders and communities in promoting, protecting and sustainably managing our natural heritage. We look forward very much to an exciting range of applications, demonstrating how organisations and individuals work together to support our precious protected areas network. I encourage all of you with a positive Natura 2000 story to tell, to apply now!”

europarc, natura 2000, dg environment

In its first three years, the Natura 2000 Award has received 339 applications with 69 finalists and 17 proud winners. Previous winners of the Natura 2000 Award have reported an enthusiastic response from the public and partners that has further energised their work. Naturefriends from Bodanrück and Westlicher Bodensee in Germany, who won an Award in 2015 commented on the increased recognition they received after winning an Award:

“The organisation is asked more frequently for lectures, articles and reports. The number of our members, who are interested in the Natura 2000 has greatly increased. We are given a higher profile by government agencies, other NGO, stakeholders. In general, the recognition our organisation receives has increased greatly.”

About the Natura 2000 Award 2018       

The Award is open to any organisation or person involved in Natura 2000, including public and local authorities, businesses, NGOs, land owners, educational institutions and individuals. The application period runs from May to September 2017 and the Award Ceremony will take place on Natura 2000 Day – May 21 2018. The Award comprises five categories:

  • Conservation;
  • Socio-Economic Benefits;
  • Communication;
  • Reconciling Interests/Perceptions;
  • Cross-Border Cooperation and Networking;

Furthermore, the Award also count with the European Citizens’ Award, which was introduced for the first time in 2015 and provides the general public with an opportunity to vote for their favourite project. The initiative has received an enthusiastic response so far with over 62,000 votes cast in 2015 and 2016.

About Natura 2000

Natura 2000 is the centrepiece of the EU’s nature and biodiversity policy. Established under the EU’s Birds Directive and Habitats Directive, it is an EU-wide network of over 27,000 terrestrial and marine sites, covering more than 18% of land area and 6% of sea in the EU. These areas protected by the network, contribute not only to biodiversity but also between 1.7 and 2.5% to EU GDP through the provision of ecosystem services such as carbon storage, water purification, pollination and tourism.

The European Commission recently adopted a new Action Plan to step up the implementation of the Habitats and Birds Directives. The Action Plan, which consists of 15 actions to be carried out by 2019, is about improving the management of these areas, connecting nature protection and socio-economic activities more broadly, and engaging with national authorities, stakeholders and young people.

For more information on how to apply, please consult the website:

For specific questions/suggestions, please contact the Secretariat of the Natura 2000 Award:

EUROPARC Federation is an active suporter of the Natura 2000 Awards and, in this year’s edition, we are collaborating in their promotion. We would greatly appreciate your support in disseminating the Natura 2000 Awards among your networks!