Call for short presentations – measuring the impact of people in periurban parks

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The natural spaces around our major urban places are vital green lungs for city dwellers as well as important features of the landscape.  The pressures these greenspaces are under can be immense with multi-use visitation (trekking, mountain bikes and other sports events) that can damage ecosystems.

In order to make informed decisions on how to better address the issue of visitors’ impacts, the PERIURBAN Commission is organising a workshop during the EUROPARC Annual Conference, which will examine different methodologies to measure the impact of visitors, ranging from the classical concept of carrying capacity to the newest ones as limits of acceptable change and other methodologies, with a special emphasis on key environmental impact areas  such as loss of vegetation cover and soil erosion. In addition, practical prevention recommendations will be provided.

If you are thinking of attending the Annual Conference and you have an experience or good practice on this topic you would like to share with other managers and technicians, please contact Teresa Pastor at before the 31st of May, suggesting a title of your contribution and few lines of what will be it about.

During the Conference, there will be other opportunities for exchanging and networking, such as the Speakers Corner and the Marketplace.  These are great opportunities to disseminate the projects you are involved in.

What do we do with our forests? Life RedBosques – EUROPARC Spain

Montsant Nature Park, Spain © Park Archive

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What do we do with our forests?

Forests are key ecosystems in the Mediterranean region. They provide many services to society, but at the same time they are subject to serious threats. In Spain, over 50% of Natura 2000 area is covered by forests. Their environmental value is still very high, but the changes they have suffered in recent times, due to the abandonment of traditional activities and climate change effects, demand the development of new management models focused on the maintenance of ecosystem services.  To achieve this goal, scientific knowledge on forest conservation and forest adaptation to climate change —available in a large body of high-quality scientific literature— should be effectively translated into actual management practices.

Knowledge and training networks for the effective management of Natura 2000 Meditarrean forest habitats in Spain

The RedBosques project aims to improve the management of Spanish Mediterranean forests included in Natura 2000, facilitating access of practitioners to state-of-the-art knowledge. The ultimate goal is that forest managers effectively include biodiversity conservation and climate change adaptation objectives in their daily practice.

Specifically, RedBosques seeks to:

  • Outline baseline scenarios for assessing the conservation status of Mediterranean forests.
  • Develop criteria and tools for the design and implementation of forestry management practices in Natura 2000 Mediterranean forests with objectives that regard biodiversity conservation and climate change adaptation.
  • Transfer state-of- the-art knowledge to target audience and stakeholders.

To achieve these goals, during a 3-year period, different actions will be carried out in order to:

  • Identify the project’s target audience and stakeholders.
  • Set up the project’s working group and the manager’s technical discussion forum.
  • Set up an exchange programme among Spanish Natura 2000 forest managers.
  • Identify a national Network of Reference Forests, based on shared criteria and protocols.
  • Identify forest management best practices including conservation and climate change adaptation objectives.
  • Implement several forest management demonstrative actions that include conservation and climate change adaptation objectives in Els Ports Natural Park.
  • Transfer the results: training programme, communication actions, technical publications…

The project is coordinated by EUROPARC Spain and Fundación Fernando González Bernáldez.

First European Summit of Regional Nature Parks

Vue du Causse, Parc Naturel Régional Causses du Quercy

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“Regional Nature Parks – strong partners for nature conservation and sustainable rural development”

Brussels, 21 June 2017, from 18.00 h – 21.00 h

Representation of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia to the European Union 

Rue Montoyer 47, 1000 Brussels


There are almost 900 Regional Nature Parks in Europe covering more than 8 % of the total surface area of the EU-28, Switzerland and Norway. Regional Nature Parks play a vital role in the wide network of European parks and represent outstanding landscapes with a wealth of natural and cultural heritage. They contribute to the conservation of biological diversity, the promotion of sustainable agriculture and tourism, environmental education and the sustainable development of rural areas.

At the First European Summit of Regional Nature Parks, the Association of German Nature Parks and EUROPARC Federation will present the results of an in-depth-study on the work of Regional Nature Parks in Europe. An expert panel discussion with participation of representatives of the European Commission, the Committee of the Regions and Members of the European Parliament will follow, concerning the question of how Regional Nature Parks can be more efficiently used for achieving the objectives of the EU in the field of nature conservation and sustainable development.

Regional Nature Park representatives from 10 to 15 countries will participate in the event and will sign a declaration emphasizing the value of the work of Regional Nature Parks for the building of a sustainable and social Europe, the development of rural areas and the implementation of the birds and habitats directives.

The detailed programme will be announced soon.

The European Summit of Regional Nature Parks Summit is the famed in the project Europe’s Nature-Regional-Landscape Parks

Wilderness in Central and Eastern Europe

Bohemian Switzerland National Park, Czech Republic © Park Archive

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Wilderness represents a fundamental element of Europe’s natural heritage. It is characterised by areas large enough to sustain the ecological functioning of natural processes and the shaping of natural structures. Despite their naturalness, free functioning natural processes, and the absence of developments, they can provide environmental, social, and economic benefits for local communities, landholders and general society.

During the last 15 years, wilderness (and the protection of natural processes) has gained the deserved space in the European nature conservation sector and an important step was the adoption of the “European Parliament Resolution on Wilderness in Europe”, in February 2009. Later, in 2013, the European Commission launches a document to support the Management of terrestrial wilderness and wild areas within the Natura 2000 Network –  Guidelines on Wilderness in Natura 2000. 

However, despite the definition of wilderness released by the European Commission, the approach is visibly not unified in Central and Eastern Europe, with some countries having already their own strategy to define and select suitable areas, while others are still at the beginning of the process.
Therefore, with the aim of bringing together relevant experts in wilderness from this European region Europe, EUROPARC Section Central and Eastern Europe and the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, organised an internal workshop on wilderness.

Workshop: Wilderness in Central and Eastern Europe

wilderness definition and its protection in Central and Eastern Europe countries

In February 2017, 25 representatives from Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia and Poland met in Průhonice (15km from Prague) to discuss the current situation, the challenges and opportunities of Wilderness in Central and Eastern Europe.

The main goal of the Internal Workshop was to have designated experts on wilderness protection from the Central and Eastern Europe to share information about their country experiences and approaches, and thus allow participants to learn lessons from other countries and discuss the future development of the topic in this region. Participants represented protected areas, governmental agencies, NGO’s and scientific/educational institutions.

All presentations are now available for download below, along with the sound recording of each presentation. Click on the links below or check all recordings on youtube

Wilderness in Austria

Wilderness in Czech Republic

Wilderness in Germany

Wilderness in Hungary

Wilderness in Poland

Wilderness in Slovakia

Wilderness in Slovenia and Dinaric Arc

Case Studies