LIFE ENABLE Project at ESPARC Conference in Ronda, Spain
From May 18 to 22, 2022, the XXI Congress of the members of EUROPARC Spain, was held in the Sierra de las Nieves National Park and Biosphere Reserve, Andalusia, under the theme “ESPARC 2022: towards living Protected Areas”.
Organised jointly with the Regional Government of Andalusia and Fundación Fernando González Bernáldez – EUROPARC Spain, the official venue was set in the Congress Palace of the city of Ronda, with workshop venues scattered in the surrounding villages of Yunquera, Istán, Alozaina, Parauta and Tolox.
Similarly to other EUROPARC conferences, the congress included a dedicated day to explore, through different field trips, the natural and cultural heritage of the Sierra de las Nieves, a National Park designated barely one year ago and the 16th Protected Area within this category in Spain.
The event brought together 150 participants, technicians, and professionals from Protected Areas all over the country, with a high representation of participants from the host region. Along with them, several representatives for the planning and management of Natura 2000 sites, conservation organizations, municipal environmental technicians, environmental and nature tourism companies and researchers were present at the congress.
Main topics and objectives
The main objective of this biannual congress is to exchange knowledge on key conservation issues. This year, the workshops focused on discussing new scenarios for biodiversity conservation in relation to rural abandonment, management and prevention of fires, adaptation and mitigation measures to climate change, tools for visitor management and the necessary alliances to involve the local population in the benefits of Protected Areas.
Together with the workshop and plenary sessions, the congress included the exposition by interested participants including more than 50 experiences and projects developed in Protected Areas and initiatives presented during a market like session.
In this last session, the EUROPARC Federation representative hosted a dedicated stand for the LIFE ENABLE project led by EUROPARC Federation together with EUROPARC Spain and 6 other partners that seeks to provide blended learning opportunities and improve the capacity of Protected Area managers in Europe. The project was well-received by potential course participants, which were informed about the project’s key dates and goals and added to the project dissemination list to insure they don’t miss any important updates in the future.