LIFE – Project Kick-off & 1st Technical meeting

Life Project Kick-off & 1st Technical meeting - Brussels, 25 to 26 June 2018

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LIFE – Project Kick-off meeting

At the end of June, EUROPARC hosted the first meetings for our new LIFE Preparatory project, Supporting e-learning and capacity building for Natura 2000 Managers. Over four days, 14 representatives from the project partners plus four external experts gathered in Brussels for back-to-back project kick-off and technical meetings.

This innovative three-year project explores potential new approaches and learning methods to improve knowledge and build capacity amongst Natura 2000 Managers in both public and private land, across the EU. Taking a competence-based approach, the project enables peers to connect and learn about what Natura 2000 managers need to know and be able to do.

Building Competence

Working with the IUCN Global Register of Competencies for Protected Area Practitioners, a range of functions were identified requiring specific competencies for Natura 2000 management – these include,

  • management planning,
  • conservation team coordination,
  • biodiversity monitoring and reporting,
  • community engagement,
  • stakeholder communication,
  • implementing conservation measures,
  • site and visitor protection methods.

Indicatively, the competence topics that will receive specific attention within the project include: awareness and education; communication and collaboration; and, communities and cultures. Attention will also be given to development of personal competencies as a grounding for partnership building, as well as communication outreach/ public relations as common competences required for effective Natura 2000 management.

Tools will be developed to provide practical learning about effective ways to engage and work with local communities, working models to build partnerships and disseminate information about and for Natura 2000.

Analysing Training needs

The project will analyse a core group of 60 individuals‘ training needs in such competence areas and make available new ways to access information about the multiple skills required for Natura 2000 management and policy implementation. We will be inviting applications before the end of the year from a range of individuals keen to improve their Natura 2000 management knowledge and practical skills.

Additionally, though, we will look to engage a wider group of 500 people as active project participants. This group will be able to try and test the project’s capacity building tools and flexible learning methods. All participants will provide feedback, which will help us to evaluate what works and what doesn’t, whilst they also gain insights useful for their work in relation to Natura 2000. As such, there will be ample opportunities for EUROPARC members to get involved with the project!

In particular, at this early stage of the project, we are keen to know about your e-learning preferences. Over the coming months, we will be asking for your ideas and insights – for example: Have you participated in a webinar? Did you find it useful or not – why? What types of digital tools are you familiar with using? How do you think these be can be used to provide training and learning? Most importantly, would you use them!?

We look forward to e-learning together! Please regularly visit the LIFE section of the EUROPARC website for more information.

The project is led by The EUROPARC Federation with the support of six partners: ProPark Foundation for Protected Areas, Fundación interuniversitaria Fernando González Bernáldez para los espacios naturales (FUNGOBE), University of Padova, Dept Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry (TESAF), the European Landowners Organization, Rangers Campus and the Kullaberg Nature Reserve.