Webinar: Urban forestry as a Nature Based Solution to mitigate climate change and reduce pollution

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On the occasion of the EU Green Week 2021, EUROPARC, in collaboration with Parco Nord Milano (Italy), will organize a webinar focused on urban forestry as a Nature Based Solution (NBS) to mitigate climate change and reduce pollution. The webinar is a partner event for the EU Green Week which focuses on “ ZERO POLLUTION for healthier people and planet”.

Nature Based Solutions are solutions to environmental, social and economic challenges inspired, and/or supported by nature. In this webinar we will explore the innovative NBS called urban forestry. Urban forestry focuses on the care and management of trees in the urban environment. As such, it answers to the European goal of improving the restoration of degraded ecosystems, which then strengthens their resilience. Additionally, it supports the delivery of vital ecosystem services and contributes to cities green growth, which fosters citizen well-being.

During this webinar, we will

  • hear what is scientifically true about the role of forestry on climate change mitigation and in pollution removal;
  • discover the ambitious forestry plan set up by the City of Milano: 1 Million Trees by 2030. How is this working in practice?
Additionally, the webinar opens the second edition of KlimatFest 2021, the climate event organized by the local associations in collaboration with Parco Nord Milano. It is part of the Italian Environmental Ministry program “All4climate” which is in preparation to the “Pre-COP26” that will be held next September in Milano.

Webinar programme

Welcome, Introduction to the webinar and opening of Klimatfest
By Riccardo Gini – Director Parco Nord Milano

Urban forests as a Nature-Based Solution to mitigate climate change and to reduce pollution: what is the scientific evidence?
By Francesc Baró – (Urban) environmental scientist currently appointed as Assistant Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium

Forestami: the Italian urban forestry project to mitigate Climate Change
By Maria Chiara Pastore – Scientific Director Forestami

Let’s talk about it…
All participants will have the opportunity to exchange on the topics discussed and/or ask questions.

Introduction to the new LIFE UrbanGreeningPlans project and closing of the webinar
By Teresa Pastor, EUROPARC Federation

Get to know the speakers!

Riccardo Gini – Director Parco Nord Milano

Riccardo Giniis the director of Parco Nord Milano. As such he is in charge of a Protected Area of 40 employees and as many collaborators. Part of his function is dealing with the planning and coordination of the Parco Nord construction operations. Riccardo is an agronomist and apart from agricultural projects, he has worked in the redevelopment of natural spaces and Urban Rehabilitation Programs.

Maria Chiara Pastore – Scientific Director Forestami
Maria Chiara Pastore (1980) is an Assistant Professor at the Politecnico di Milano, where she obtained a PhD in Spatial Planning and urban Development. Her research interests are mainly focused on water and sanitation in relation to city’s development, urban planning in Africa, adaptive planning in relation to rapid growing cities, and Urban Forestry. Her recent work includes an improved green system in the Greater Milan 2030, Forestami (Milano 2030) and the Urban Forestry plan in Prato, Italy.

Francesc Baró(Urban) environmental scientist, Assistant Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium
Francesc Baró is an (urban) environmental scientist currently appointed as Assistant Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium; he is also an affiliated senior researcher at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA-UAB), Spain. His research is motivated by making cities inclusive, healthy, livable, resilient and sustainable for all

Teresa Pastor – Project Manager at EUROPARC
Teresa is the former Coordinator of Fedenatur and, after its integration with EUROPARC, is currently in charge of the Periurban dossier. Additionally, Teresa will be EUROPARC’s project manager for the LIFE PeriurbanGreeningPlans that is to start this year. She is based in EUROPARC’s Barcelona office and brings a huge knowledge on nature conservation and marine issues to the EUROPARC directorate

This webinar is powered by:

This webinar has received funding from the LIFE programme of the European Union.

Let’s celebrate the European Day of Parks 2021!

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Every year on the 24th of May we celebrate the European Day of Parks. This year we will look at “Parks: The Next Generation”. Get a taste of what’s being organised:

Whilst the restrictions due to the corona pandemic are slowly lifted across the EU, it is clear that this year’s European Day of Parks is still be a bit different from other years. However, does this stop us from championing the amazing work of Protected Areas in Europe? Definitely not! That is why we were happy to see that so many of our members send us video messages from their Parks. We’ve learned about different educational programmes, new ways of managing visitors and saw how youth across Europe is active in their Parks. Additionally, we found out how Parks across Europe responded to the corona crisis, what lessons they have learned and how they are getting ready for The Next Generation.

You can find all video messages here!

We want to thank all our members for sending us their video messages!


With restrictions still in place across Europe, events were fewer throughout Europe. However, leave it to Parks and Protected Areas to find ways to celebrate nonetheless!

Tiny Tales in The Netherlands

How can we make sure The Next Generation finds their way to National Parks? Well, by taking them on an adventure of course! That is why EUROPARC’s member IVN organised the “Tiny Tales” competition in The Netherlands. The competition is aimed at elementary schools across the country. Teachers can sign their class up and they will receive a special educational package with fun and interesting facts about the National Parks in The Netherlands. School children can then pick their “adventure animal”, write a story about the adventures it has in a National Park and draw a picture. Their teacher will submit on of these stories to IVN and the winning school class will win a visit to the “Nature School” in either National Park Hollandse Duinen or National Park Lauwersmeer.

Webinar by EUROPARC Spain

There is no denying that many of The Next Generation of Parks will need to be prepared for the challenges and opportunities Climate Change brings. This is why EUROPARC Spain is organising the webinar “Protected Areas for Climate Change adaptation, health and environmental education”. The webinar looks at the “new generation” of Parks, that are called upon to face new global challenges that need local responses, with new approaches that enrich the progress made, by incorporating new generations of active, creative and committed people.

Poster Competition in Austria

National Park Hohe Tauern is organising a poster competition for schools cooperating with the National Park. Through the poster the National Park gives children and young people the opportunity to show what they want from a National Park in the future. Their partner schools in Salzburg, Tyrol and Carinthia are invited to participate. On the European Day of Parks NP Hohe Tauern will award the winner of the competition. Additionally, the posters will be presented in one of their visitor centers.

Online competition on Biodiversity in Poland

Roztocze National Park (RNP) in Poland also got creative and adapted to the current situation. To still allow young people (and adults!) to learn more about biodiversity, they National Park set up an online competition on biological diversity of the RNP. The introduction to the competition is a poem entitled “Spring of Roztocze” which describes the biodiversity of Roztocze in an amusing way. The aim of the competition is to stimulate the imagination of the young generation and raise the knowledge of the biological diversity of the RNP by participating in the application on the colors and sounds of the RNP amphibians.

Wildlife in the garden in Hungary

Balaton-felvidéki National Park is organising a free guided walk aimed specifically at schools and families! This interactive and playful walk will present the Park’s environment and fauna, even those we don’t notice it at all.

Working outside in Finland

Finland is looking not just at the Next Generation of Parks, but also the next generation of work! Working outside, having a virtual meeting by the camp fire in the outdoor/hiking area with colleagues is a good way to combine outdoor life, work and safe social life with workmates. In Kurjenrahka National Park Outdoor Leaders will get together partners. The meeting is open for every one, who likes to work outside and have a working day some where middle of the nature.

Discover what Latvian Protected Area suits you best

Youth+ in Latvia have created an online quiz that allows you to find out which Protected Area in Latvia suits you best! What is your favorite activity? Do you prefer water, woods, or meadows? What food are you craving? Answering these questions will help you find out where to go for the European Day of Parks. You can take it here.

Transatlantic cooperation in Slovenia

To create The Next Generation of Parks, we will need to learn from each other! Sister Parks Triglav National Park in Slovenia and Crater Lake National Park will organize a virtual event about their cooperation with educational institutions and youth. Everyone can follow on Facebook live on May 26th2021 at 10:00 Pacific time (GMT-7) / at 19:00 Central European Time (GMT + 2)

Many events organised in Spain

Spain is the absolute front runner in organised events this European Day of Parks! Junta de Andalucia, the Network of Natural Parks in Catalonia (Xarxa de Parcs Naturals de Catalunya) and the Nature Parks Service of Barcelona Provincial Council (Diputació de Barcelona) and Natural Parks of Valencia have organised many events. From presentations on ecotourism in Parks, workshops, exhibitions, awareness-raising activities around nature, to the studying of owls, there is loads to see and discover.

This is just a small overview of all the events organised in Europe! There are many more events to discover in Romania, Hungary, Estonia, Czech Republic and other countries in and outside of Europe. You can find them all here.

Can’t go to your favorite Park?

Then celebrate with us online! You can tag @europarc on Facebook and Twitter and @europarc_federation on Instagram or use #EuropeanDayOfParks to see what is happening around Europe.

International Biodiversity Day: Be part of the solution!

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The International Day for Biological Diversity is celebrated every year on May 22nd to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. This year, the celebrations take place under the slogan “We’re part of the solution #ForNature!”

Happy Biodiversity Day!

Biodiversity is the living fabric of our planet and it is much more then plants, animals, micro organisms and their ecosystems. Biodiversity provides the whole world with food, medicine, fresh air and water, shelter, and a clean and healthy environment.

The International Day of Biodiversity has been adopted by the United Nation to commemorate the adoption of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the biggest international legal instrument for biodiversity conservation and its sustainable use.

This year, the celebration focuses on the future global biodiversity framework and the slogan for this edition is “We’re part of the solution”. As the Biodiversity Day has to be celebrated once again virtually, you can let your creativity run wild to express online what the slogan means to you and how YOU are being part of the solution #ForNature.

To show your support and participation, you can also customize the logo and display it as a banner on your website or social media – just as we did at the top of this news article!

EUROPARC and biodiversity conservation

Biodiversity conservation is one of the main goals of the EUROPARC Network. We celebrate and promote efficient conservation policies, knowledge-sharing and good management practices that respect or enhance biodiversity. Last year, EUROPARC took an active part in the discussions on the EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy. Read the Position Paper on the EU targets for Protected Areas, developed with 17 other members of the European Habitat Forum.

Beyond our geographical scope of action, we are aware that the global biodiversity loss requires a global action. That’s why EUROPARC supports and tries to play an active role in initiatives such as the Global coalition for biodiversity to raise awareness about the need to protect and restore biological diversity all around the world.

Make your voice heard before the #COP15

The world is counting the days before the adoption of a new global Post-2020 biodiversity framework. The long-awaited framework will be based on negotiations leading up to the UN Biodiversity Conference of the Parties, known as COP15. After being postponed already twice due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the meeting is now scheduled to take place in October 2021 in Kunming, China.

Every remaining day before the Conference counts to make your voice heard loud and clear and the International Day for Biodiversity is a great opportunity to remind of that.

Don’t wait any longer and let the world know that you wish for a strong global biodiversity framework that will reverse biodiversity loss. Let the world know you care about the future!

On this page, you can find inspirational messages from world leaders, organisations and individuals in support of the Biodiversity Day. To voice your concerns, ideas and support online, tag your message with #COP15, #ForNature and #BiodiversityDay.

Join the Global Biodiversity Festival

Each year, the International Day for Biodiversity hosts a number of exciting events. This year, despite the ongoing Covid situation, is no exception. Launched last year, the Global Biodiversity Festival is airing its second edition from the 20 to 23rd May 2021. You can look forward to a 72 hours live broadcast, with over 150 inspiring speakers from around the globe – including scientists, explorers, conservationists and others.

The event is open and free to join for anyone from anywhere, but registration is required to to join the talks and events. Find more information and register here!

Celebrate the European Natura 2000 Day!

Lemmenjoki National Park (FI) © Harri Tarvainen

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On the 21st of May, let’s celebrate the Natura 2000 Day and remind ourselves the achievements, efforts and benefits brought by the Natura 2000 Network!

Happy Natura 2000 Day!

The Natura 2000 Day on May 21st aims to make European citizens more aware of the natural riches the Natura 2000 network holds, of the conservation work they carry out and of the benefits brought by the protected nature to people and to our planet. It has been celebrated since the 21st May 1992, when both EU Habitats Directive and LIFE programme were approved.

Together with the Birds Directive, which was adopted in 1979, the EU Habitats Directive became a base of EU Natura 2000 Network of Protected Areas. It is a network of sites designated by the individual countries, based on scientific criteria, to provide a network for effective nature protection across Europe.

The Natura 2000 network consists of Special Areas of Conservation, Special Protection Areas and Marine Protected Areas around Europe.

Today, Natura 2000 counts over 27 800 sites across EU‘s land and seas, and EUROPARC is proud to represent managers of about 40% of the current network. N2000 undoubtedly underpins EUROPARC’s strategy and is the focus of most of our activities, from the European strategies and policies to the ground and field management. Read about the joint efforts of EUROPARC and Natura 2000 here.

The European Natura 2000 Day was declared by the EU institutions to celebrate the network – one of the EU’s most outstanding achievements – and to honor the efforts of everyone involved in making it a success.

How to celebrate this Natura 2000 Day?

Are you wondering how you could possibly join the celebration? With N2000 vast coverage, that brings nature literally at our doorstep, it’s easy. If possible with respect to the current Covid restrictions, what about visiting a close by Natura 2000 site? You can also learn and discover the species and habitats it protects and share your experience online with #Natura2000Day and #Natura2000!

This year, the spotlight is on the proximity of Natura 2000 sites to people and on the benefits that nature brings to people and the planet, including those related to health. This is also a very important topic for EUROPARC and its programme Healthy Parks Healthy People Europe. To know more about the initiative connecting Protected Areas with the health sector, have a look at EUROPARC’s HPHPe Toolkit!

Download the eNatura2000 App!

If you cannot join the celebration in person this year, don’t worry. Learning about Natura 2000 and connecting with the sites managers and other nature professionals has never been so easy! With the eNatura2000 mobile app, all that is just a click away.

Get timely updates from the Natura 2000 world, read inspiring case studies, network and discuss with land managers across Europe. You can download the app on Google Play and App Store

Read all about the app and the LIFEedu project that developed it!