SEE project: Promoting responsible behaviour in Protected Areas at ESPARC 2022

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From May 18 to 22, 2022, the XXI Congress of the members of EUROPARC Spain, gathered 150 participants in the Sierra de las Nieves National Park and Biosphere Reserve, Andalusia, under the theme “ESPARC 2022: towards living Protected Areas”. 

ESPARC Conference 2022 in Ronda, Spain

This was a great opportunity to share the information as well as the insights from the report produced by the Sustainability and Environmental Education in Outdoor Sports – ERASMUS+ project with the Congress participants.

SEE project report

The first report within the SEE Project, “Perceived Issues from Outdoor Sports in Protected Areas” highlighted the issues that can be created by Outdoor Sports in the natural environment and particularly in Protected Areas at the local level.

KEY FINDINGS: Perceptions about Outdoor Sports by Protected Areas Managers

Some of the main insights provided by this BeActive… BeOutdoors… BeResponsible… report include:

  • Most Protected Areas selected hiking (88.3%), mountain biking (57.5%), cycling (53.2%), running/orienteering (50%) and horse riding (39,2%) as the top 5 most practised Outdoor Yports.
  • The most consistent issues throughout the majority of habitats were perceived to be linked to hiking and were namely issues with unleashed dogs, and in mountain biking, where conflicts with other users and practice in restricted areas were usually perceived as the most prominent issues.
  • 70% of the respondents indicated that they monitor or estimate visitors numbers and 55% follow a visitor management plan but only 9% held the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism (ECST).
  • 97% of all the respondents have implemented some kind of regulation to manage outdoor sports.
  • Overall, 66% of respondents stated that outdoor sports in their Protected Area are linked to better awareness of nature and environmental issues, and 65% believe that their Protected Area is more valued by outdoor sports practitioners.

The survey was filled out by 94 Protected Areas from 24 countries. You can read a summary, the full report or a summary per outdoor sport category here:

READ THE REPORT!

In addition, on the official SEE Project website, you will also be able to find a second report focusing on broader sustainability issues for Outdoor Sports.

10 Good Principles for Outdoor Sports in Protected Areas

When talking about sports activities in protected natural spaces, it is necessary to pay attention to the way these activities are carried out in order to lower the impact of Outdoor Sports on the environment. That is why we also used this opportunity to present, in ESPARC Marketplace exposition, the 10 Good Principles for Outdoor Sports in Protected Areas developed together with the European Network of Outdoor Sports (ENOS). They summarise the best practices that can help you plan your visit to the Protected Area safely and respectfully to ensure your actions leave no negative impact on the natural environment.

Check them out:

10 Good Principles are available in different formats and languages! Please click here to download them!

Endorse the 10 Good Principles

Now that you know how the principles work, the next step is to back them up. How? It’s very simple! Here are a few examples:

  • Show the 10 Good Principles on your website. Visitors who prepare their trips will be better informed.
  • Disseminate information on social media. Use your network to spread the word!
  • Use your visitor centre to show and talk about the principles during the visits.
  • If you organise or participate in an Outdoor Sports event, make sure participants know the principles before the activity starts.
  • When working with young people, teach them and highlight the importance of respecting these principles. Five minutes of teaching can develop into many years of good practice.
  • Talk and spread the word to anyone interested, in any way. All diffusion is important!

LIFE ENABLE Project at ESPARC Conference in Ronda, Spain

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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.

ESPARC Conference 2022 in Ronda, Spain

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.

LIFE ENABLE at ESPARC 2022

Outdoor Sports Euro’Meet conference 2022

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How can we maximise the power of outdoor sports to make our lives and societies ever greener and healthier? This is the main theme for the 6th edition of the Outdoor Sports Euro’Meet conference.

A key event for the sector

The Outdoor sports Euro’meet is the strategic outdoor sports event and brings together key stakeholders committed to outdoor sports sustainable development. The Euro’meet provides a unique and engaging conference format that encourages interaction, networking and high-quality knowledge sharing. This event brings together outdoor sports experts, decision makers, outdoor sports federation representatives, practitioners researchers from the outdoor sports sector, national agencies, academic institutions, local authorities, not for profit organisations and businesses from all over Europe for experiential learning, development and sharing.

REGISTER NOW!

Three days, three topics: one goal

It’s now more important than ever to become proactively involved in the transition to a greener outdoor sports sector. Therefore the Outdoor Sports Euro’Meet 2022 conference will address three essential topics, within the theme “Green Sports for a Greener and Healthier Europe”, that will provide opportunities for in depth discussions and inspiration.

Balancing access, activities, and protection: We must not take nature for granted. At the Outdoor Sports Euro’Meet 2022 we will focus on how to develop and carry out projects in Protected Natural Areas and reduce our climate impact. We will also raise the question on how to go beyond sustainability to promote restoration of nature and biodiversity in our practices.

Be active, be healthy, be outdoors: We know, that the outdoors and outdoor sports are effective tools in health promotion and disease prevention, but which activities do actually work best? How do we organize our activities and communicate effectively to target groups that are not “the usual suspects”? The conference will create discussion points and share solutions to these key aspects.

Welfare and the power of the outdoor: There are many opportunities for integrating nature and outdoor activities in existing public welfare – in existing schools, daycare, health care and many more aspects of our societies. How do we move on from goals, policies and strategies to actual projects and activities? How do we involve our communities in this transformation of public welfare? The Outdoor Sports Euro’Meet 2022 will bring a focus on how we can take action on these important questions.

Propose a workshop and showcase your project

This conference will be based on active participation. This is why we encourage participants to propose engaging workshops, or to showcase their own practice-based or research project results that could inspire other participants to turn knowledge and experience into action. We are also seeking your nomination(s) of outstanding projects, initiatives which have recently demonstrated exceptional achievement and commitment to promoting the development of outdoor sports and be aligned with the shared vision of the European Network of Outdoor Sports Charter.

Secure your ticket* now to join the most important event for the outdoor sports sector!

*Special discount applies on conference fee for ENOS Members.

We need your input! Complete a survey on training experiences for Natura 2000 and Protected Area managers

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To further develop nature management capacity for Natura 2000 managers, we seek your help.

We have prepared two surveys—one for Training Providers and one for Training Participants—to collect information about trainings for Natura 2000 and Protected Area managers.

1. Survey for Training Providers

will collect information about existing training programmes (whether your training is provided as part of a course, networking event, or project etc.)

Click here to start the survey for Training Providers

We also invite you to forward the survey for Training Participants to your network of learners using this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3FZZ3FL

2. Survey for Training Participants

will collect information about training experiences you have had for Natura 2000 and Protected Area managers.

Click here to start the survey for Training Participants

Surveys will be open until May 31st!

What is the purpose?

Existing training events will be part of a report analysing European experiences with capacity building and training specifically developed and provided for (current or future) Natura 2000 and Protected Area managers.

These two surveys are part of the three-year LIFE ENABLE project led by the EUROPARC Federation and seven international partners that aim at forming the European Nature Academy for Applied Blended Learning.

You can visit the project’s website here.

The European Nature Academy will…

  • make all training currently offered more visible and accessible to nature managers
  • apply a blended learning approach
  • be a training and networking hub for Protected Area management with a focus on Natura 2000
  • increase our impact altogether to improve professional capacity development in nature conservation

Thank you in advance for filling out the survey, we look forward to receiving your input!