A year in review: Annual Report 2019

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Every year, the EUROPARC Federation publishes its Annual Report in English, French and German to showcase the work we have been doing in accordance to our strategy.

In 2019 EUROPARC continued working towards its vision “Sustainable Nature, Valued by People“. Even though 2019 is already many months behind us and indeed, it might even feel like we are currently living in a different world, have a look at our Annual Report to see all that was achieved!

By EUROPARC’ s President, Ignace Schops

It was only 3 years ago, when Fedenatur took the courageous decision to close their organisation and join efforts with EUROPARC. Some may recall that joyful moment at the General Assembly in Portugal! In that short time our Periurban friends have complimented the work of EUROPARC bringing new perspectives from the natural parks closest to cities.  The creation of the Periurban commission held the legacy of Fedenatur, but have move forward culminating in an excellent production of a policy paper on the role of Periurban parks. This was well referenced at the “Seminar-Dialogue on EU policies 2019”. Here parks, Natura2000 managers and EC officers met to discuss common topics from the perspective of management in the Protected Areas and that of  policy makers in Brussels, thereby:

increasing mutual knowledge and contributing to bringing the EU institutions closer to citizens.

It was especially heartening to have representatives from 2 additional DG’s present, ie. DG region and DG Growth showing the cross cutting and integrated nature of work in Europe’s Protected Areas which is a particularly present in our Periurban parks.

In addition to Periurban, our other 3 thematic commissions, in Sustainable Agriculture, Health and Protected Areas and N2000 continued in 2019. They have been working over the year, bringing forward extensive work and ensuring members’ participation. Position papers produced through the work of the commissions include, a call to highlight the importance of N2000 and Protected Areas in the European election, the role of Periurban parks across a range of EU policies and the Jūrmala communique on health and Protected Areas

The Jurmala communique and launch of a new Healthy Parks, Healthy People Europe programme was just one of the highlights of the excellent conference,  hosted by the Latvian  Environment Agency near Kemeri National Park . We all left with a healthier outlook with our Green Prescription for Protected Areas in Europe.  You can remind yourself here.

We progressed with our capacity building and knowledge sharing, which have been among our core activities over 2019. Trainings, workshops, webinars, videos, events and campaigns have been organised and very well received. A big effort in particular, has been made to ensure and support the active involvement of young people in Protected Areas, to build their capacity in becoming future leaders and advocates of nature conservation.

EUROPARC continued to be active in sustainable tourism with the European Charter for Sustainable tourism in Protected Areas, bringing a wider representation and participation by members in the work of the federation. For the first time, a special award for businesses and tour operators working in the framework of the Charter, were recognised. The “EUROPARC Star Awards” recognised the contribution of businesses in 4 areas; contributing to conservation, community development, communication and innovation, and were awarded at the Charter Award Ceremony 2019.

These were just some of the highlight for me for 2019, there is much more to be found in the remaining pages of this year’s Annual Report, for which I thank the contribution of my fellow council members, commissioners, sections and our ever valiant team in the Directorate.

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and visit this page to download EUROPARC previous Annual Reports!