Webinar: Facing Climate Change in N2000

Natura 2000 sites and Protected Areas are in the front line of nature conservation, monitoring, evaluating, and sounding the alarm of biodiversity loss and climate change. Throughout Europe, the effects of climate change are impacting habitats and species. How can parks increase the resilience of species and thus decrease their vulnerability? Which measures can be taken to promote the conservation of species threatened by climate change effects?

The webinar was introduced by Michael Hosek, Coordinator of the EUROPARC Commission on Natura 2000, who briefly identified the main impacts of climate change to the Natura 2000 sites and presented the EU Guidelines on Climate Change and Natura 2000 sites.

With the first case study, presented by Miina Autilla, we learned about the conservation efforts made by Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife Finland to ensure the survival of the endangered Saimaa ringed seal. This species, whose breeding success depends on the ice and snow cover, is threatened by the global temperature rise. To provide safe places for the Saimaa ringed seal to breed and protected their pups, Metsähallitus involved hundreds of volunteers to build man-made snowdrifts and tested 2 types of artificial nest structures with very positive results. The methodology followed the academic research published by the University of Eastern Finland and was implemented thanks to the EU funded Life+ project Safeguarding the Saimaa ringed seal.

The second case study, presented by Marta Múgica from EUROPARC Spain, focused on how Protected Areas play a fundamental role in contributing to climate change adaptation and mitigation. Despite their contribution, European Protected Areas haven’t still incorporated adaptive measures into their management plans. To support Protected Area and Naura 2000 site managers in this endeavour, EUROPARC Spain created a manual and toolkit. The methodology (for now only available in Spanish) guides you through a series of steps to incorporate climate change considerations in all phases of planning and management. It constitutes a useful resource that can be implemented by Parks from across Europe.

A final presentation was made by Olivier de Sadeleer, project manager at the EUROPARC Federation, who told us all about the recently launched NaturAdapt Project. Funded by the EU, this 5-year project will develop and implement an adaptative management tool to address the challenges of climate change in French Parks. The methodology will be replicable in other European Protected Areas. and will enable the participation of EUROPARC members, both in the development and in the testing phases. Keep tuned!

Watch the full recording of the Webinar

Download the Presentations

Introduction: Climate Change Impacts on Natura 2000, by Michael Hosek

Case Study 1: New conservation methods for the Saimaa ringed seal in a changing climate, by Miina Auttila, Conservation biologist, Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife Finland

Case Study 2: Toolkit for incorporating adaptation to climate change in the planning and management of protected areas, by Marta Múgica, Coordinator, EUROPARC Spain

New EUROPARC Project: NaturAdapt in a Nutshell, by Olivier de Sadeleer, EUROPARC Federation

Resources:

EU Guidelines on Climate Change and Natura 2000 sites, EU Commission

The Endangered Saimaa ringed seal in a changing climate – challenges for conservation and monitoring, PhD Miina Autilla, University of Eastern Finland

Manual Adaption to Climate Change in Protected Areas available in Spanish, with executive-summary in English, EUROPARC Spain

Digital Toolkit, EUROPARC Spain

Adaption to Climate Change: Case studies from Spanish Protected Areas, EUROPARC Spain

Europe’s Climate Data Store by Copernicus Climate Change Project