Capacity building in Eastern Europe

Ranger training in Romania, ©Propark Foundation for Protected Areas

Effective Protected Areas need effective people and organisations

More than 25% of Europe’s land and 6% of its regional seas are now included in its network of Protected Areas. Today, much more is expected from these Protected Areas than the long established functions of protection, research, recreation and education. New roles include supporting people as well as nature, enabling sustainable development, safeguarding the livelihoods and rights of local communities, and ensuring flows of ecosystem services that support wider communities and economies. Increasingly too, ‘top down’ management of Protected Areas by public authorities and expert agencies is being complemented and even replaced by participatory and partnership based ‘co-management’, involving NGOs, private companies, land owners, farmers and traditional managers from local communities.

Today’s Protected Area staff needs a growing range of technical skills, while managers need to provide professional leadership and direction and to secure and wisely use the resources needed for management. They also need to find ways to address threats, old and new, and to justify and champion Protected Areas politically, socially, and economically.

To meet these challenges we need to build capacity for Protected Area management. That means helping them do their work better. It is often thought that capacity development is the same as training, but it is much more than that. Building capacity is about:

  • Enabling people to develop and use the competences required to do their jobs well, builds individual capacity.
  • Establishing and sustaining entities of all types that take responsibility for Protected Areas and the people who work for their future builds organisational capacity.
  • Creating an ‘enabling environment’ that politically, economically, and culturally recognises the values of Protected Areas and enables them to thrive builds societal capacity.

Moreover, as part of the project, PROPARK FOUNDATION FOR PROTECTED AREAS (RO) is organising 2 training of trainers seminars on:

The trainings are designed for experts with practical experience on these two topics from Eastern European countries who have the willingness, skills and interest in becoming trainers. ProPark Foundation will cover the costs for a number of 15 participants to each training, to be selected on an application basis.

Here you will find guidance, resources and contacts that will help you and your organisations work out how to build capacity in order to be more effective and efficient and to safeguard Europe’s growing network of Protected Areas so that they benefit nature and people.