2022 Siggen Seminar: Nature Restoration in Europe – The Role of Protected Areas

All participants of the Siggen Seminar 2022

In 2022 the ‘Siggen Seminar’ focussed on Nature Restoration and the role of Protected Areas.

Why restore nature?

As clearly stated by the EU in the Green Deal and the Biodiversity Strategy to 2030, protecting the nature we have will not be enough to reverse biodiversity loss. A complementary, ambitious effort is now needed on nature restoration.

Restoring ecosystems all over Europe will help to increase resilience and connectivity of ecosystems, mitigate and adapt to climate change and prevent and reduce the impacts of natural disasters. For this, the European Commission is developing a new dedicated legislation, and the Bern Convention has recently approved targets for the restoration of natural ecosystems.

What’s the role of Protected Areas?

From the 28th till the 30th of March, 11 experts from all over Europe came together to discuss the role Protected Areas have to play in this process.

The policy perspective was provided by Angelika Rubin of the Nature Unit of the European Commission’s DG Environment. Sadly, at the time of her presentation, the EC’s proposal for a legislative framework for Member States regarding Nature Restoration had been delayed. Nonetheless, from her intervention, it became clear that special efforts will need to be put into updating the monitoring system, as well as large-scale restoration efforts.

Protected Areas are essential for restoring what was lost and protecting what was restored.

You can find Angelika’s presentation, as well as all others, at the bottom of the page.

The seminar

Following the concept of “co-petitition”, for two extensive days, participants worked in teams to find answers to the following questions:

  • What are the benefits of nature restoration for communities?
  • How to implement nature restoration (from a governance perspective)?
  • What are the key roles of Protected Areas (managers) in nature restoration?
  • How can restoration projects be set up?

There was a balance of presentations held and prepared by the participants, as well as group work. Of course, the Seminar also facilitated networking and informal exchange.

The work of participants has resulted in a PowerPoint presentation that gives the answers to the above questions and also details what the opportunities are for Protected Areas concerning nature restoration. It should serve as a resource for Protected Area managers to underline the key role their Parks have to play in restoration efforts.

You can find the PowerPoint presentation with the outcomes here.


All presentations held by our experts and participants can be found here:

Olivier de Sadeleer – Introduction to the Siggen Seminar

Angelika Rubin – Nature Restoration at EU Level

Ben Ross – Nature Restoration in Scotland

Elliott Lorimer – Restoration at Forest of Bowland

James Stuart – Think Big

John van den Berg – River Restoration in the Netherlands

Santtu Kareksela – National scale prioritization and spatial planning in Finland