Mini-job opportunity: Communications & Membership assistant

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Are you an innovative and creative thinker who is adaptable and responsive to change?

We are looking for a Communications & Membership Assistant, with an interest in nature and a passion for parks, that understands the needs of an NGO and is willing to work in a multicultural context. This position is particularly suitable for a student, or graduated, in the field of Communications, PR, Languages, International Relations and Marketing (but don’t feel yourself excluded if you have studied something different…!)

The Communications & Membership Assistant will work closely with the Communications & Marketing Manager and support the finance and administration team. At EUROPARC, you will have to work under pressure and be able to juggle several projects at once, but no worries – an amazing team is here to support you. Consider also you might be asked to travel to other places in Europe for short periods of time. Due to the nature of the work, our team members are normally outgoing and comfortable meeting new people. We value people who is accurate with the work delivered, but above all, we value flexibility, enthusiasm, and responsibility.

Got your interest?

Well, just download the full description and requirements below and send us your CV with a letter of interest in English, detailing how your qualifications and relevant experience meet the required criteria for this position.  

Mini-job_EUROPARC Communications & Membership Assistant

Deadline for applications: 17th February 2020

Please send your application to: Ms Barbara Pais at barbara.pais @

Beyond Brexit

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Beyond Brexit

A personal statement on Brexit from Carol Ritchie. Executive Director, EUROPARC Federation

So it is finally happening. Brexit. Legally the UK leave at 11pm tonight 31st Jan 2020. But in reality, nothing really changes for another 11 months until end of 2020… then who knows…More limbo.

Over the last months and years, many have asked me of the implications and consequences for EUROPARC of Brexit. EUROPARC makes no assertions on the political choices of any country, but of course, politics is life, so we lobby and emphasise the need to value and support the protected areas therein, with any or all political groups.

So with respect to Brexit. EUROPARC remains, undimmed, the voice of ALL Europe’s Protected Areas.

By end of 2020, the ability for me personally, to represent you, may become a bit more complicated, but that is out of my hands, but will adjust and adapt as always to changing circumstances.

When I came to EUROPARC almost 12 years ago one of the very first things I was asked to do, was to rephrase and rewrite our aims and key messages. I wrote then;

Nature knows no boundaries. EUROPARC is founded on the principle that the future protection and conservation of nature is achieved through INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION.  International cooperation works best through PERSONAL CONTACT.  Through personal contact comes MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING, SHARED EXPERIENCES, KNOWLEDGE AND INNOVATION.  This delivers better support and management of protected areas which ensures the FUTURE PROTECTION AND CONSERVATION OF NATURE because Nature knows no boundaries.

That phrase has been replicated and used many times over.

But I would not stray from one word 12 years later. And that phrase remains my undiminished belief and passion for our EUROPARC. Brexit may test that, but will not break it.

The departure of the UK from the political European Union, despite my own personal feelings of dismay, should IN NO WAY alter, affect or influence these common values and principles.  The need to learn from each other, the need to raise standards in the management of protected areas, the need to conserve and protect our shared resources, the need to realise we are more interdependent and interconnected than ever, and the need to highlight the value and benefit of protected areas collectively, is something we do better as a common endeavour.

Many in the protected areas of UK share that belief, they may not be able to be as obvious in their support, due to current difficult politics, but they are there.

In my opinion, much about Brexit is unnecessary and disastrous and I do believe the UK will lose far more than it will gain. But as a family of protected areas, the constituent parts of the UK will continue to be essential to us. And we, in EUROPARC are a vital bridge between the islands and the continent.  I will make every effort to ensure our UK colleagues have every opportunity to remain a part of our shared future.

Bear in mind. 1/3rd of our membership are outside the EU.The UK will join their colleagues in the Council of Europe, where with our international observer status, I look forward to meeting them, representing them and working with them, there, under the auspices of the Bern Convention.

I abhor the idea of Brexit.  I hope for a different future for the European country I call home, but my belief in our EUROPARC to embrace the changes and continue to share “a cup o kindness .. for Auld Lang Syne“, will never diminish.

Carol Ritchie

31st Jan 2020

[EVENT in Brussels] Outdoor sports and nature conservation, drivers of a healthy, inclusive and sustainable society

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After the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by EUROPARC Federation and the European Network of Outdoor Sports (ENOS), the first step of the collaboration was the creation of the 10 Good Principles for Outdoor Sports in Protected Areas. Now, in line with this initiative, we present the first joint event, which will take place in Brussels early March, to share and exchange views with representatives of European Institutions, private sector and NGOs.

Join us in Brussels for the event:

Outdoor sports and nature conservation – drivers of a healthy, inclusive and sustainable society

  • 3r March 2020, 15h00 – 17h30
  • Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels, Chaussée d’Etterbeek 180, 1040 Brussels, Belgium
  • Participation is free but registration is mandatory
  • >>>Register here<<<

Why we want you at this meeting:

The aim of this meeting is to increase mutual knowledge and analyse how EU institutions, EUROPARC, ENOS and other organisations can work together on European Policies to promote the value of outdoor sports and nature conservation for health, well-being and environmental sustainability.

We invite Protected Area and nature professionals, but also representatives of NGOs, sports Federations, members of the European Parliament and the European Commission, to join us in the meeting and sit around the same table.

By working together, we can significantly support the principles and outcomes expected with the new European Green Deal. During this networking event, will look at the core challenges for EU Sport policies to achieve a more healthy and inclusive society and draw on the benefits provided by protected areas, as our “natural health centres”.

The discussion will help us to:

  • Showcase the benefits of Outdoor Sports in Protected Areas including health and well-being, social inclusion, sustainable tourism, education and environmental engagement.
  • Showcase good examples of how people are managing outdoor sports in Protected Areas to minimise their impact on wildlife and ecology.
  • Discuss how policymakers and European Institutions can work more effectively on this issue, setting environment (Protected Areas) as a key topic for the new EU Work Plan for Sport (2020-2023).
  • Nature health centres as a cornerstone. The Jurmala Communiqué 2019: healthy parks, healthy people.
  • Enlarge the possibilities of outdoor activities that may take place in Protected Areas, so that they are seen as valuable outdoor grounds.
  • Sustainability as a guideline: importance of economically viable projects.

Outdoor Sports in Protected Areas: challenges and opportunities ahead

In the last decade, there has been a considerable increase in participation in outdoor sports and activities (see the Special Eurobarometer 472 on Sport and Physical Activity) often attributed to the very positive benefits for physical health and mental well-being that being active in nature brings…

However, if not well managed by authorities and responsible organisations, healthy activity for people could turn into an unhealthy activity for nature!

Source: Toolbox Outdoor Activities for Inclusion

Protected Areas have their own capacity issues and can be damaged by an excess of people or harmful activities. This is why the EUROPARC Federation and the European Network of Outdoor Sports have joined forces to develop and promote the 10 principles of responsible and respectful outdoor sports. Our ultimate aim is to support more “Green Exercise & Outdoor Sports in Protected Areas” but done so in responsible and sustainable ways.

The European Green Deal provides a great opportunity and appropriate framework for increasing both the number and range of natural spaces – including those adjacent to urban areas. Support a carbon-neutral Europe with a healthy environment and provide access for responsible outdoor activities, will contribute to a healthier society.

Simultaneously, ensuring that society and communities value our Protected Areas in Europe is essential for maintaining the wonderful biodiversity they contain, their ability to absorb carbon, their production of oxygen and regulation of our climate. Engaging people with these special places and promoting their value can be done very effectively through outdoor sports.

The 10 Good Principles for Outdoor Sports in Protected Areas are available in 8 languages


As places are limited, please proceed to registration at the following link:

>>>>>REGISTER HERE <<<<<

Download the latest version of the programme:

Provisional Programme

ATTENTION: we have new email addresses

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If you tried to reach out to the EUROPARC Federation or any of our co-workers, please bear in mind we have changed our email addresses in the beginning of 2020! 

The new general email of the Federation is europarc @ 

member-related issues:  members.europarc @

Sustainable tourism and ECSTPA: sustainable.tourism @


Meanwhile, our co-workers’ email addresses will all follow the same template You can find the right person to write to in our Directorate page.

Please update our email address in your mailing lists. Thank you!