EU Platform on Coexistence between People & Large Carnivores: latest news

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The EU Platform on coexistence between people and large carnivores was established in 2014 and has proved a useful way for stakeholders to exchange information on the EU level and to discuss how different member states deal with large carnivore management.

The latest newsletter of the Platform has just been launched. Today we bring you some highlights of the publication but you can also acces the full version here.

EU Platform work plan: livestock damage prevention

One of the main ongoing conflicts regarding large carnivores is the damage that large carnivores, particularly wolves, can cause to livestock. The EU Platform has a longstanding interest in the topic and has gathered together information on how such measures can be supported through EU funding and how they are implemented in the different member states.

At the Platform’s annual meeting in May this year, the members examined different approaches to supporting the prevention of livestock depredation. Member states use very different approaches with some funding only compensation measures and others putting significant resources into fencing, livestock guarding dogs, shepherding and surveillance systems. While some member states fund these measures entirely through regional or national funding (e.g. the German regions or Estonia), others such as France and many Italian regions, mainly use the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). It is clear that whichever funding source is used, advice in implementing such measures and using them in combination to effectively prevent depredation is essential.

Regional platforms on coexistence between people and large carnivores

The EU Platform aims to engage with similar regional groupings which focus on conflict around large carnivore presence in different areas in the EU. Two currently running projects are of interest in this regard.

The pilot project on the establishment of regional platforms on coexistence between people and large carnivores started work in January 2018. The project aims to work together with stakeholders to discuss potential solutions for conflicts around large carnivores in the national, regional or local context. The project is managed by the Instituto di Ecologia Applicata (IEA) supported by a team including facilitators, social scientists and communicators. The aim is not to propose particular solutions but to support the parties affected in discussing the problems and potential solutions together. Platforms are currently being scoped in Romania, Italy and Spain. A second tender to establish further regional platforms is planned later this year.

Recently, a regional platform in Spain, after a long multi-stakeholder engagement process, launched the ‘Declaration of Campo Grande Group‘, a document presents several practical solutions to reduce the conflict between conservationists and farmers.

A second project supported through the LIFE programme, EuroLargeCarnivores, aims to encourage coexistence through transboundary cooperation and knowledge exchange. Several member states and regions will be concerned by the project activities: Spain, France, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Romania, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary and Slovakia. The next EU Platform workshop will be co-organised by the project and the Platform.

Workshop at EUROPARC Conference

Fear versus facts: effective communication, a means to improve coexistence with large carnivores in protected areas.

At EUROPARC Conference 2018, we will investigate the importance of effective communication to ensure constructive dialogue and acceptance of large carnivores with communities and stakeholders within protected areas. Using concrete examples and some practical activities, we will consider: Human perception versus large carnivore ethology; Information and awareness-raising versus sensationalism and emotions. The work of the European Platform for Large Carnivores and Human Interaction will be highlighted.

EUROPARC Conference will take place in the Cairngorms National Park, UK, between the 18th – 21st September. Registrations and all information available at www.europarc2018.com

Next Webinars by EUROPARC Atlantic Isles: A partnership for natural capital & Peat Restoration

Laptop nature - Goumbik at Pixabay

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Webinars by EUROPARC Atlantic Isles

EUROPARC Atlantic Isles Section is offering two exciting webinars! The first webinar is next week: we will hear how a National Park in the United Kingdom set up a multi-stakeholder partnership to highlight its natural capital and its ecosystem services. In early October, a second webinar will focus on Peat restoration.

The webinars last about 1 hour. Participation is free but as places are limited you should register as soon as possible! EUROPARC Atlantic Isles webinars are a great opportunity to exchange information and expertise, in an easily accessible format. See below all the information and if you would like to suggest a theme for a webinar, please contact Anita Prosser at anita.prosser @ europarc-ai.org.

The Green Halo Partnership

  • Wednesday 8th August at 13.00 (Central Europe Summer Time)
  • Register here

This webinar will look at how the New Forest National Park has developed an innovative programme encouraging public, private and third sector organisations to recognise the economic and social value of the natural environment – its natural capital and the ecosystem services it provides in the New Forest National Park.

Two studies have helped to map and value the ecosystem services associated with the New Forest National Park. These reports highlighted the importance of theNational Park as a hotspot for ecosystem services – the challenge is to work out how the broad range of benefits flowing in and out of the National Park can shape the future of communities in and around the New Forest; enhancing the quality of life of those communities, providing a framework for the development of the local economy and strengthening the resilience of the unique landscape of the National Park itself by working beyond its boundaries, into a ‘Green Halo’.

New Forest National Park, United Kingdom © Ian Holloway

Bare peat restoration

  • Monday 8th October at 13.00 (Central Europe Summer Time)
  • Register here

The webinar will focus on Bare peat restoration on Pennine Peatlife sites, as part of the series on Peat and Moorland management. We will look at these techniques and explain the rationale behind them. Participants will get an insightful approach to the work of the Peatland Programme along with a summary of ongoing works within the Pennine PeatLIFE project.

Facilitating coexistence with the Iberian Wolf: lessons from Spain

Iberian Wolf © www.elchorro.es

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On the 25th July, Spain took a step forward in facilitating the coexistence with the Iberian wolf among extensive livestock producers. The Declaration of Campo Grande Group‘ was presented in the Royal Botanic Garden (RJB-CSIC) in Madrid, and presents several practical solutions to reduce the conflict between conservationists and farmers

Facilitating coexistence: a participatory process to find consensus

The conflict between conservations and livestock producers has, in the recent years, threatening both the survival of extensive livestock farming and wolf conservation. To tackle the problem, a working group named “Campo Grande Group” was settled and after a long process of debate and collaborative work, the first set of agreements for the species came to live. The main outcomes of this work are related to the quality of the participatory process itself, as stated by the group facilitators:

Collaboration between sectors helps reduce the conflict with the iberian wolf: the most significant advance is that the parties involved in this conflict have been able to debate freely, in a context of respect, mutual trust, and a will to solve the problem.

Click on the image to download the full Declaration of the Campo Grande Group

Moreover, the formulation and public presentation of the Declaration shows that it is possible to reach viable agreements between heavily confronted sides in such a polarised conflict. Everyone involved in the dialogue has modified his or her initial positions to reach consensus and provide a floor for arrangements. The greatest innovation displayed by this initiative is creating a secure environment for dialogue and negotiation. The availability of such a safe place is a keystone on designing actual management measures and overcoming the constraints arising in the course of its implementation.

The Campo Grande Group (CGG) (the working group got its name after the well-known city park of Valladolid where the meetings are held), has spent almost three years, and numerous work sessions, to deliver the document, pointing its work to reduce the most symbolic of conflicts over the conservation of nature and natural resources in Europe.

The Campo Grande Group is a spanish-wide joint group, which integrates farmers, ecologists, hunters, researchers and wolf specialists, pointing to coexistence between pastoralism and Iberian wolf populations, taking into account the different positions and approaches of its members.

So far, the role of the GCG focused on:

  • analysing the current context of confrontation,
  • dismantling clichés and commonplaces,
  • discussing measures and plans and
  • proposing lines of work and coexistence initiatives seeking collaboration, understanding and mutual support among the different actors involved in this situation.

Fundación Entretantos (www.entretantos.org) promoted the initiative in 2016. For more information please contact Pedro M. Herrera: +34 607 425 024.

Countdown to the EUROPARC Youth Manifesto Launch 2018

2nd EUROPARC Youth Manifesto Workshop - Kalajoki, Finland June 2018 (© Rita Kovács‎)

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After an inspired first workshop week in the Cairngorms National Park, drafting the EUROPARC Youth Manifesto, the young participants have gathered again between 17th and 21st June to for a second workshop to finalize the document and start planning its roll-out in September 2018!

EUROPARC Youth Manifesto – Workshop II in Kalajoki, Finland June 2018 (© Rita Kovács)

This time, youngsters met in the Finish town of Kalajoki with some new faces joining the project. Participants were lucky to arrive in time to experience the final days before Midsummer and, being quite outdoorsy folk, they made good use of the daylight until late, going for walks and exploring the near-by seaside. Besides, the hosting LEADER groups Ravakka, Rieska and Keskipiste had some more highlights planned to introduce youngsters to some Finish nature and culture: The group was taught how to craft willow whistles by a local carpenter, they went on forest walks including a camp fire break with Finish sausages – and of course, there was some time to experience Finish sauna.

Participants fine-tuning their whistles and putting them to the test (© Anu Hankeaktivaattori)

A quick clip by one of the youngsters, Ellie Moore, gives you an idea: 

While enjoying the peaceful surroundings and exchange, the young people were in Kalajoki for a mission: They had come to finish writing the EUROPARC Youth Manifesto. In the working sessions youngsters made their ideas more conrete; linking their proposed solutions for the issues they had identified in the first workshop to some Case Studies of Best Practises they know from other regions. In this way, the young people developed more than just a document of claims, but a manifesto that is intended to serve as a practical reference document and source of inspiration for decision-makers and managers in rural communities and Protected Areas.

Discussing Youth Governance (© Alan Smith)

With this vision for the Manifesto as a basis for a cooperation at eye-level between young people and authorities in mind, participants also began looking at ways how an effective youth governance could be implemented in rural communities and Protected Areas. Youngsters agreed that trainings and frameworks allowing young people’s voices to be heard more bindingly by decision-makers were needed. Ideas to make this work were many and included running youth empowerment workshops, trainings for decision-makers on how to better empathize and communicate with young people, installing Youth Councils and having a young person representing youth interests in councils and boards. As worked on through the role of the EUROPARC Youth Representative in the Federation’s governance structure, for instance (see the elections for the EUROPARC Youth Representative 2018-2020).

Braistorming for the roll-out (© Alan Smith / Cairngorms National Park)

Matching the discussions on governance, youngsters from the Finish Nuoriso Youth LEADER ran a practical workshop for their peers from the Youth Manifesto project to show them how they are organized as a youth group in charge of allocating funding to other Finish youngsters for creative project ideas. Then all participants practised how to bid for EU project funding and actually came up with some project concepts that would be worthy to put forward as EU funding proposals. 

Finally, youngsters started to plan the official launch of the Manifesto that will take place throughout this year’s EUROPARC Conference 2018. There will be a main presentation on stage in a dedicated slot on the final Conference day and an info desk set up during all three days of the event. All participants will be around for the whole Conference, keen to share and discuss their ideas directly with delegates. They’ll be wearing their Manifesto Hoodies for you to recognize and just walk up and ask your questions. Besides, so much can be shared, the Manifesto youth will make themselves heard and seen in unexpected ways and at unexpected times, showing they’re capable to contribute with what we need to create a sustainable future for our European Parks together: creativity, joy and some good ideas.

Make sure you register to the Conference and get „Inspired by the Next Generation“. 

By the way: For young people (below 30 years) there is a reduced rate available and youngsters will get the chance to join our  Youth Conference including some outdoor training workshops happening besides the main Conference. So, if you are under 30 yourself, make sure you take the opportunity to connect, learn and exchange ideas with youngsters from across Europe this September. You are not in your 20s anymore? Share this info with youngsters from your Protected Area and come together to the Conference!

It is true, young people are the future stewards of our natural and cultural heritage – but they are capable and willing to give input and implement changes already today if given the chance to. (EUROPARC Youth Manifesto, 2018)

 Follow the EUROPARC Youth Manifesto Project also on Facebook!