2022 France

From the 5th till the 7th of October, 250 Protected Area professionals came together in Argelès-sur-Mer, France, to discuss Climate Change Adaptation in Protected Areas.

Climate Change; Resilient Parks…

… That was the theme of the second EUROPARC Conference in 2022! Organised in the framework of the LIFE Natur’Adapt project, participants were offered the opportunity to look to the future of Protected Area management. What are the impacts of Climate Change? How can we adapt? What kind of management do resilient Parks need? These were just some of the questions that we sought to answer through inspiring keynote speakers, innovative, participatory sessions and interactive workshops.

The climate is changing – and so should we.

Have a look at the photo album of the Conference:

Take me to the album!

Resources on Climate Change and Protected Areas

Keynote Speakers

Our Keynote speakers helped “set the scene”, and shed new light on the pressing matters at hand.

James Stuart

This “professional risk-taker” and Convener at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, Scotland, explained how we can see Climate Change as an opportunity. He inspired participants to “Think Big“: our Protected Areas all have superpowers that we can use and capitalise on.

We [Protected Areas], have the power, beyond others, to get it right and take it forward!

James Stuart, Photographer: Lee Kershaw

He spoke on the potential of private capital to invest in our natural areas, in a sustainable way. The money is there, what is needed now, is for our natural heritage to become “investible”. Or as James put it: “We have scale, we are a powerful family, we have a right to a seat at the table”. Discover how he wants to bridge the gab between private finance and Protected Areas in his presentation:

Ignace Schops

Former EUROPARC President, full member of the EU chapter of the Club of Rome and Director of the Belgian NGO Regionaal Landschap Kempen en Maasland (RLKM) – these are just a few of the titles Ignace has under his belt. His speech closed the Conference and highlighted, that the time for action is now. He poignantly said, that we are the “renewable energy” our earth needs in these times of Climate Crisis. It is our Protected Areas that have the capability to connect the dots, for nature and people.

Plenary Sessions

Reflective exercise at the Confernce

The plenary sessions allowed for times of reflection: ‘how is Climate Change affecting my area? What does this mean to me?’, followed by lively discussions with other participants. The session was led by EUROPARC Federation’s Olivier de Sadeleer, project manager for LIFE Natur’Adapt.

The Conference also provided the perfect opportunity to present the Methodology created in the Natur’Adapt project on Climate Change Adaptation in Protected Areas. How can managers ensure resilient Parks? What steps do those working in Protected Areas need to undertake? This session was led by Olivier de Sadeleer and Anne-Cerise Tissot, LIFE Natur’Adapt Project Manager working at Réserves Naturelles de France.

Field Stations

Field Stations at the Conference

A new session that was introduced during the Conference, were the so-called “field stations“: a mix of a poster session and our marketplace. There were a total of 13 stations, where participants could directly talk to experts on the topic of Climate Change Adaptation. From dune management, to community engagement in Marine Protected Areas, there was a wide range of topics for delegates to discover & discuss:

LIFE Natur’Adapt Resources in English

A wealth of resources was created within the Natur’Adapt project to help your Protected Area create adaptive management plans. We proudly present:

European Nature Academy

A special announcement also took place at the Conference: registrations for the European Nature Academy (ENA) are now opened! The ENA is part of the LIFE ENABLE project and provides FREE tailor-made training and a series of practical capacity building courses for nature’s managers. Currently, the project is looking for 60 participants to take place in the first round of courses. Especially those working in forest or marine areas are invited to apply.

If you are eager to learn more, or apply, please follow this link.


#01 Building capacities to manage climate change – Neil McIntosh & Sandra Grego – EUROPARC Federation

Climate change impacts on forest and marine Protected Areas in different ways. Not surprising, you may think! However, the management responses that are required are probably not as dissimilar as they may at first appear. This workshop discussed the types of competencies and management approaches to be developed, applied and adapted for climate challenges. The capacity building projects LIFE ENABLE, which focuses on forest and marine habitats, & LIFE Natur’Adapt was presented to discuss the types of practical competence-based training that is required for nature now and tomorrow.

#02 Deep dive in climate change adaptation methods and tools – Anne-Cerise Tissot – Coordinator of LIFE Natur’Adapt project, Réserves Naturelles de France

Field experience and research tell us that it is urgent to tackle both nature and climate breakdown. LIFE Natur’Adapt has developed methods and tools to support managers into integrating climate change adaptation in their management practices. In this workshop participants had the chance to go deeper on the topic and work collectively on the design of a tool box for climate change adaptation.

#03 Climate change, finance and partnership opportunities? James Stuart, Convener Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park

Climate change is very high on the political agenda. At every level of governance, politicians, authorities and communities are searching for adaptation and mitigation solutions. What if the climate change agenda held a key to unlock the potential of landscape-wide nature conservation and restoration? What if it also held new opportunities for partnerships that secure private finance into protected landscapes at scale? This workshop discussed these opportunities.

#04 Protected Areas laboratories for climate learning and action, Jessica Micklem-Kolenić – Youth Officer, EUROPARC Federation

Interactive workshops at the Conference

With this workshop participants explored how Protected Areas can respond to the calls made by young people for climate action. Using interactive and participatory techniques, we will consider how Protected Areas can value and capitalize those energies and ideas. We explored proposals and initiatives to proactively engage young people in nature conservation and restoration initiatives for climate adaptation. Participants also identified learning opportunities that Protected Areas can provide to support youth formal education.

Get the presentation here.

#05 Breaking the ice – how should we talk about climate change adaptation? Esther Bossink, Communications Officer – EUROPARC Federation & Juliette Dané, Project Manager – Climate Change Adaptation, Asters –  Conservatoire d’Espaces naturels Haute-Savoie

A quick look at the news shows us that the topic of Climate Change can be a “great divider”. Talking about climate change (adaptation) tends to be uncomfortable and even a cause for conflict. So, how can we communicate this topic, without overwhelming or alienating stakeholders? What should Protected Area managers consider when talking about Climate Change Adaptation? This highly interactive workshop looked at how we can break down psychological barriers in order to better deal with these conflicting situations in our communications.

Get the presentation here.

#06 Climate knows no borders. Leo Reyrink, Co-chair Transboundary Parks Task Force & Stefania Petrosillo, Policy Officer – EUROPARC Federation

How can cross-border cooperation support Protected Areas in the adaptation to climate changes? This workshop discussed issues, the potential and possible solutions with concrete examples based on the Natur’Adapt pilote test sites.

Intro & Agenda

Case Study

#07 Changing climate, changing agriculture,  João Cardoso de Melo, Director, Cascais Ambiente & EUROPARC Council Member and chair of the EUROPARC Agriculture Commission

From new water management to control of invasive species, climate change obliges us to rethink agriculture practices. In this workshop, we discovered concrete examples and shared experiences on how Protected Areas and farmers partnered up to deal with this new challenge.

Get the presentation here.

The impact of Climate Change on Outdoor Sports in Protected Areas (workshops merged)

This workshop merged:  #08 Engaging stakeholders in marine conservation. Is there a climate change opportunity? and #10 What happens to Ice, happens to Us? The impact of Climate Change on Outdoor Sports in Protected Areas and was led by Hrafnhildur AEvarsdottir – Vatnajökull National Park & Alberto Robles – European Network of Outdoor Sports

#09 Integrating climate action and biodiversity conservation at a local & regional level. Ainhize Butrón Mota, Climate Action Department, Ihobe & Etienne Aulotte, Head of department nature and agriculture development, Brussels Environment

The LIFE UrbanGreeningPlans Project at the Conference

Climate change is very high on the political agenda. At every level of governance, politicians, authorities and communities are searching for adaptation and mitigation solutions. Often times, climate action and biodiversity conservation work in parallel. What if the climate change agenda held a key to unlock a better integration of both strategies for the benefit of people and nature at a regional level? This workshop discovered the posibilities offered and presented the LIFE UrbanGreeningPlans Project.

#11 Carbon neutral sustainable destinations. The only way to go? Teresa Pastor Ramos, Project Development and ECST Manager, EUROPARC Federation

In this workshop, participants heared from, and share visions about, how sustainable destinations could approach Net-Zero Emissions in all possible dimensions. Adapting mobility, infrastructure, and economic activities will completely change tourism in the next decade. We will also discuss how Sustainable Destinations can anticipate and adapt to these forthcoming changes.

#12 Connecting people & landscapes in a time of climate change, Ulrich Köster, Verband Deutscher Naturparke & Clara Fontana, Fédération des Parcs naturels régionaux & Kristian Bjørnstad, Norwegian Parks Association.

The EUROPARC Conference 2022 in France was made possible through the generous support of: