Coastal Dunes and Sandy Beaches Workshop ’18- Save the Date!

Thy National Park, Denmark - Hanstholm

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Save the Date – Coastal Dunes and Sandy Beaches International Workshop

12 to 14 June 2018 – Dunkirk (France)

Within the framework of the LIFE+FLANDRE project, the Agency of Nature and Forest (Flemish Authority) and the Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale will organise an international workshop on coastal dunes and sandy beaches management and restoration. You will be able to experience dune restoration in real life, network with colleagues, and discuss opportunities for further collaboration.

About the LIFE+ FLANDRE international workshop

LIFE+ FLANDRE – Flemish And North French Dunes Restoration (LIFE+12 NAT/BE/000631/FLANDRE) is a joint nature project of the Agency for Nature and Forests of the Flemish Authority, the Conservatoire de l’Espace littoral et des Rivages lacustres and the Département du Nord that aims at protecting and managing the coastal dunes between Dunkerque (France) and Westende (Belgium) as a cross-border nature park. The project is co-financed by the European Union through the LIFE+-programme.

Within the framework of this project, the Agency of Nature and Forests and the Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale organise an international workshop “Management of coastal dunes and sandy beaches” in Dunkirk (France) from the 12th until the 14th June 2018 (add to your agenda, ics-file).

The language of the workshop is English, but in the parallel discussions French is also allowed. During the parallel discussion groups and the excursions translation from English to French and from French to English will be provided.

Who should attend?

  • Nature managers active in coastal dune and sandy beach management (public agencies as well as non-governmental nature conservancies)
  • Managers of coastal defence systems (against marine floods)
  • Civil servants, decision-makers and elected politicians from local authorities (dealing with environment, nature, urban planning, …)
  • Researchers interested in coastal dunes, sandy beaches, coastal defence systems, nature-based solutions, transnational cooperation, …
  • Decision-makers and politicians interested in restoration and management of sandy beaches, coastal dunes, nature-based coastal defence systems, transnational cooperation, …
  • European civil servants active in nature conservation, nature-based solutions, coastal defence, …
  • European umbrella organisations active in nature conservation, …
  • Staff involved in LIFE, Interreg, and other projects on restoration and management of coastal dunes and sandy beaches
  • Students in ecology, geomorphology, hydrology, management of coastal dunes and coastal defence

Aims of the workshop

The workshop will focus on:

  • the implementation of the recommendations of the Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process Seminars for Coastal Dunes in the Atlantic Region, including the Coastal Dunes Roadmap, and the meaning of the LIFE instrument for this purpose

We consider the following process objectives of this workshop:

  • Networking and sharing knowledge between administrators, policy makers and scientists in a convenient way
  • Networking and sharing of knowledge between past and ongoing nature restoration projects (LIFE, LIFE+, Interreg) with an extra-focus on cross-border or transregional projects;
  • Stimulating the emergence of new cross-border nature partnerships


  • The impact of climate change and atmospheric nitrogen deposition on the dynamics of beaches and coastal dunes, especially on sedimentation, sand drift and the phreatic groundwater regime
  • The impact of climate change on the conservation status and the geographical distribution of coastal habitats and plant and animal species, including bird species as well as on the appearance and spread of invasive alien species in coastal dunes and on beaches
  • Sea-level rise: consequences for coastal defense and conservation and opportunities for the integration of coastal defense and nature development (synergy between coastal defense and conservation)
  • Current and finalized LIFE Nature projects in relation to the implementation of the recommendations concerning “coastal and dunes” and the “cross border issues” of the Atlantic Natura 2000 biogeographic seminars of 3-5 December 2012 at Bergen (Netherlands) and of 25-27 October 2016 at Ennistymon (Ireland), and more specifically on the Coastal Dunes Roadmap. Examples of transnational cooperation in function of cross border Natura 2000 – sites
  • Significance of spatial fragmentation and (restoration of) connectivity for habitats and species
  • Ecosystem services of beaches and coastal dunes: coastal defense, fresh water reserve, quality of life, reservoir of genes, asset for recreation and tourism …


The workshop is situated in Dunkirk (Dunkerque, northwest France). This proximity to the project area and the maritime character of Dunkirk, make this city the ideal location for the workshop.

  • Workshop location
    The workshop takes place in the buildings of the Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale: bâtiment des Darses, 189 B avenue Maurice Schumann, 59140 Dunkerque (France) (map).
  • Accessibility 
    Dunkirk is located at 15 km west of the French-Belgian border. Dunkirk is easily accessible by train or car. Each hour busline 2(B) of DK’Bus Marine connects Dunkirk with the Belgian railway station of De Panne in 45 minutes (price: 2,40 Euro, ticket can be purchased on the coach), from where there is a train to Brussels and Brussels airport. IC-, Thalys-, Eurostar- and TGV-trains connect Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Paris, London and Brussels with Lille (or Calais), where there is connection to Dunkirk with local trains. Highways connect Dunkirk with Brussels (E40, 160 km, 1h45 drive) and Paris (A1&A25, 300 km, 2 hours’ drive). A ferry connects Dunkirk with Dover. Detailed information on how to reach Dunkirk will be provided to the registered participants.
  • Hotels
    There are several hotels (in different price ranges) available within walking distance of the conference venue. A list will be made available to the participants.

Important dates

  • January 2018: preliminary programme online
  • March 2018: selected abstracts announced
  • 5 May 2018: deadline for registration

Registration fee

The registration fee for the workshop is 75 EUR (excl. 21% VAT). This includes include access to all sessions, coffee breaks, a day excursion, 3 lunches and 2 diners.

For more information, visit

Contact Dunes-2018-LIFE @