Dates to save in 2022!

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2022 will be another important year for those working in nature conservation, with loads of events to look forward to in Europe and worldwide. Here, we’ve given a small overview on some dates to save in your calendar!

Overarching themes for 2022

Before we dive into specific events, it’s important to highlight some overarching “themes” for the upcoming year. President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen decided last year that 2022 will be the European Year of Youth. Von der Leyen states that it is time to “give back to a generation that has shown so much solidarity, and lost so much, in the pandemic”. At EUROPARC we place special importance on youth involvement. Early this year we will announce our new Youth Representative that will join the EUROPARC Council. We invite our members to actively start involving young people in their work as well! Check out the Junior Ranger and Youth+ programmes, as well as the EUROPARC Youth Manifesto, as they are great ways to start involving young people in your Protected Area. You can find all information here. 

2022 was also declared by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022). The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations is the lead agency for celebrating the year in collaboration with other relevant organizations and bodies of the United Nations system. This is of course particularly interesting for Marine Protected Area focussing on sustainable fishing methods. As such, one of the key messages of the IYAFA is: “Use biodiversity sustainable for the longevity of small-scale artisanal fisheries and aquaculture”. You can find all information, and ways to get involved, here.

15 March – Forum for the Future of Agriculture Annual Conference.

The Forum for the Future of Agriculture provides a place for open dialogue between actors from the agricultural and environmental world. Its annual conference will bring together high-level speakers from the EU and across the globe. The free registration will open mid-January here.

29 March to 1 April – Workshop: Towards Climate Neutrality in European UNESCO Biosphere Reserves

The workshop takes place at the International Academy for Nature Conservation on the isle of Vilm, Germany and deals with successful practices and case studies in the fields of land use, economy, mobility and energy. There will be a focus on approaches that integrate climate adaptation and mitigation with sustainable land use, conservation and sustainable development and the workshop will also look at compatibility with BR objectives and trade-offs. The active engagement of municipalities and citizens, and the role of education and communication will be an important aspect in this regard. The workshop is part of a three-part workshop series on Biosphere Reserve related issues in Europe, managed by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) with financial support of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) and organized by the Michael Succow Foundation. You can find more information here.

We invite you to have a look at other events organised by the Ministry, as they too can be of interest for Protected Area professionals.

25 April to 8 May – COP15 in Kunming, China

The Fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity will see the adoption of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The framework provides a strategic vision and a global roadmap for the conservation, protection, restoration and sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystems for the next decade. The first part of the meeting was already held online in October last year and resulted in the Kunming Declaration, where Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity
(CBD) committed to negotiate an effective
post2020 global biodiversity framework that can bend the curve of biodiversity loss. The concluding meeting in Kunming will hopefully create an effective post2020 global biodiversity framework that will engage the entire world in the task of putting nature on a path to recovery by 2030. Find all info here.

2 to 6 of May – EUROPARC Conference in Austria

Communicating in the 21st Century? Question your mindset! Neusiedler See – Seewinkel National Park in Austria will host the first EUROPARC Conference of 2022. The Conference was originally scheduled for October 2020, but had to be postponed due to the international health crisis. In May 2022 we will make you question your communications... How are we speaking to our audiences? Are we also looking from a human perspective to the many challenges our Protected Areas face? Can we use technology to better reach out people’s understanding and encourage respect for nature?

The programme includes inspiring keynote speakers, practical workshops with cutting-edge examples for Europe’s Protected Areas, a knowledge Market where everyone is invited to join with a stall to share information about its park or projects, and of course, amazing field trips. Registration opens end of February.

18 to 23 of May – ESPARC

ESPARC is the most important event in Spain for Protected Area specialists, organised every two years by EUROPARC-Spain and relevant local partners. This year, the event will take place in Sierra de las Nieves, Andalucía. Our Spanish members can save the date for now – more information will soon follow on EUROPARC Spain’s website here.

Logo European Day of Parks

24 of May- European Day of Parks

WE ARE NATURE – RETHINK, RESTORE, RECONNECT that is the theme of this year’s European Day of Parks. What would humans be without nature? It is part of our very being. We depend on it for our mental and physical health, our food production, the air we breathe… Yet our relationship with nature is out of balance. It’s time we rethink, restore and reconnect with nature! This is what we want to celebrate during the European Day of Parks 2022. Protected Areas are ideal places for restoring nature AND our connection to it. In an ever urbanised Europe, it is in these places that we can truly ground ourselves and feel that we are part of nature too. As such, we must protect it – now and in the future. Communication materials will soon be made available. We invite Parks and Protected Areas around Europe to already think of events to organise!

30 May to 5 June – EU Green Week

EU Green Week helps improve public understanding of EU environmental policies. It is also an annual opportunity to debate and discuss European environmental policy. More information will soon be made available here.

29 June to 1 July – TransParcNet Meeting

EUROPARC members that are certified Transboundary Areas can already save the date for this year’s TransParcNet Meeting! If all goes well, it will take place in the Transboundary Areas of Binntal Nature Parc (CH) and Alpe Veglia Devero Nature Park (IT). More information will follow in the upcoming months.

22 to 26 of August – 6th European Congress of Conservation Biology

The Congress focusing on “Biodiversity crisis in a changing world” will take place on the campus of the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, Czech Republic.  It will highlight the interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary nature of the grand challenge of conserving nature and be an opportunity for scientists and practitioners to learn about and discuss the latest advances in conservation science, policy, and technology, so that they can study and conserve biodiversity better. Some of the topics that will be discussed include: Animal ecology and conservation; Approaches to the global conservation crisis; Citizen science for conservation; Climate change effects and adaptation; Conservation planning; Conservation policies and tools; Economics of biodiversity & ecosystem services; Human-wildlife conflicts; Pollinator conservation; Protected areas: planning, design and management; Sustainable development for conservation and many more. Early Birds registration begins January 1 and lasts until March 31, 2022. More information is available here.

1 to 8 of September – 5th International Marine Protected Areas Congress

IMPAC5 is a global forum that brings together ocean conservation professionals and high-level officials to inform, inspire and act on Marine Protected Areas. This year the forum will take place in Vancouver, Canada. It will be the first major international marine conservation event following the negotiation of post-Aichi targets at the COP15. It provides an opportunity for the global community of marine conservation managers and practitioners to exchange knowledge, experience and best practices to strengthen the conservation of marine biodiversity and to protect the natural and cultural heritage of the ocean. You can find all information here.

7 to 9 of September – 7th Nationalparks Austria Symposium for Research in Protected Areas

The symposium taking place in Vienna will focus on research in and about Protected Areas. Therefore the main focus will be on scientific contributions about valuable natural areas. In addition to lectures, discussions and poster sessions, excursions will also be part of the planned programme. Special attention will be given to the role of Protected Areas in mitigating the biodiversity crisis. It is organised by Nationalpark Austria in cooperation with the University of Vienna. All information can be found here.

20 to 23 of September – World Ecotourism Summit

The summit will take place in Valladolid, Castillay León, Spain and promises to “deepen the foundations that gave rise to the birth of ecotourism” (Alfonso Fernández Manueco, President of Junta de Castilla y León). More specifically, the event will focus on the effects of Covid-19 on Ecotourism, the Agenda 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in Ecotourism, the UN Decade for Ecosystem Restoration, the decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development and Ecotourism and the International Decade of Indigenous Languages. More information can be found here.

4 to 7 October – EUROPARC Conference in France


2022 is quite a special year, as we will have TWO EUROPARC Conferences! The Conference in Argelès-sur-Mer in France will focus on Climate Change Adaptation in Protected Areas and is part of the Natur’Adapt Project. We will discover what resilient Parks need to manage Climate Change. Registrations will open in spring, so watch this space!

And much more…

Of course, this is just a small overview of what will be happening in the field of conservation in 2022 and as we all know by now, all of this is subject to change. Keep following us on social media and check our website to always have the most up to date news! Soon, we will also launch our webinar programme. Especially keep your eyes open for this year’s Siggen Seminar, which we hope to organise face to face from 28th of March till the 2nd of April if COVID-19 restrictions allow for it… So, keep watching this space!