2nd Technical Meeting
Castelfranco (IT), November 2018
Between 13 and 15 November 2018, TESAF (The University of Padova Department of Sustainable Agriculture & Forestry) hosted the project’s 2nd technical meeting in the spectacular Villa Bollasco, Castelfranco, Veneto (PD). Representatives of each partner gathered to commence the development of the common framework for Natura 2000 management training. Over three days, partners confirmed the three core competence modules for focus during the project – these are mixed modules dealing with Natura 2000:
- Policy, planning and projects and biodiversity conservation – this module will be led by ProPark;
- Communication and collaboration, developing effective participatory processes in working with communities and local cultures;
- Awareness raising and education, including effective communication and outreach approaches and partnership governance models.
The three core competence modules are based on the partners’ analysis of the specific skills required and functions expected to be performed by Natura 2000 site managers. The analysis was completed following the project’s first technical meeting in Brussels at the end of June: the main management functions which competent Natura 2000 managers need to know and be able to do are identified as follows:
Of course, the content and job profile of each Natura 2000 site manager varies according to their individual role, profession and the circumstances and context of their Natura 2000 site or sites – for example, some Natura 2000 managers will work as specialist ecologists with in-depth knowledge about particular species and/ or habitats and their conservation needs; others will be project managers, perhaps specialising in site condition monitoring, volunteer or visitor management programmes, or with responsibilities to develop interpretation materials.
However, to varying degrees, all Natura 2000 site managers, be they technical nature conservation specialists, rangers, protected area practitioners or private landowners require specific competencies to be able to do their work effectively. Competent Natura 2000 site managers all have to be able to: engage and work with diverse stakeholders, including local communities; work together with other individuals and/ or types of organisations not necessarily in the nature conservation sector; demonstrate abilities to work effectively in partnership with other stakeholders, whilst being able to communicate the conservation needs and objectives of a Natura 2000 site clearly and confidently; make the case for Natura 2000 conservation measures, explaining why they are required and creating alliances to implement them. In short, competent Natura 2000 managers must know the conservation needs of their site(s) and how to achieve them – this will almost always require effective communication and collaboration, stakeholder engagement and outreach techniques.
Brussels (BE), June 2018
At the end of June, EUROPARC hosted the first meetings for our new LIFE Preparatory project, Supporting e-learning and capacity building for Natura 2000 Managers. Over four days, 14 representatives from the project partners plus four external experts gathered in Brussels for back-to-back project kick-off and technical meetings.