EUROPARC stands firm with all in Ukraine
The EUROPARC Federation was founded on the principle of international cooperation, not just to look after our shared European nature, but also to support those who live and work in and for our Protected Areas.
As such, we denounce and condemn the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation and stand firm with all in Ukraine, thinking especially of our colleagues in the Parks system.
We strongly declare our commitment to peace, dialogue and shared values that enable us all to not only protect our nature and support our communities, but to act collectively to address climate change and biodiversity loss.
Acts of war destroy the fundamentals of society: therefore, it is imperative that EUROPARC as a Pan – European organisation raise our voice when national aggression threatens democratic values, our freedoms, human rights and the rule of law. These are the building blocks upon which we build our common future, where nature and Protected Areas are safe places and the life support system of our planet.
EUROPARC expresses our support to our parks colleagues in Ukraine who are striving to live in an open democratic society – we embrace and invite them into the EUROPARC family. We seek the solidarity and support of EUROPARC members to enable us to bring Ukrainian Parks into our network. We are actively working on a mechanism to achieve this.
We acknowledge too our members in Russia who especially, declare their common tenets working for nature and people, aligned to our shared values in EUROPARC.
The history of many of our Protected Areas in Europe is complex and often underpinned by delicate historical tensions. This is particularly evident given that most of our Protected Areas are located on the former Iron Curtain – now European Green Belt. But we must learn the lessons of history to build a new, peaceful and cooperative society for our nature and our peoples. EUROPARC did so almost 50 years ago when the Iron Curtain was then in place.
We reaffirm again now that the only way to build our nature and society is through international cooperation, mutual understanding, shared experience, knowledge and innovation. Not with tanks.
EUROPARC members have always led by example and we encourage EUROPARC members to show their support for Ukraine, through donations in humanitarian collections or even more practically by offering park accommodation to house those fleeing the conflict. Any park willing to make such an offer, please contact us and we can seek through our colleagues in Nationale Naturlandschaften e.V. (EUROPARC Germany) to coordinate such assistance.
President Michael Hošek
Chief Executive Carol Ritchie
EUROPARC Council, Staff and Sections