TransParcNet Meeting 2023

TransParcNet Meeting, field trip to burned site. Picture by Zdenek Macat.

In 2023, the Transboundary Parks network, TransParcNet, gathered in German-Dutch Nature Park Maas-Schwalm-Nette (DE-NL) between 20th and 23rd of June. 

How to deal with ‘natural’ disasters in Transboundary Parks cooperation?

All participants of the TransParcNet 2023, picture by André Claassen

Climate Change and its effects does not stop at borders. Whether it is dry summers leading to forest fires, or high amounts of rain in a small-time frame causing flooding, these disasters require a transnational approach.

“Fire and water – how to deal with ‘natural’ disasters in transboundary cooperation?” was the topic of the 2023 TransParcNet meeting, the annual gathering of EUROPARC’s Transboundary Park Areas.

Meeting Report

During the programme, professionals discovered and discussed how Transboundary Protected Areas can work together to prevent and manage “natural” disasters. The programme included lectures, workshops, excursions and, of course, cultural evenings.

The meeting was hosted by the German-Dutch Nature Park Maas-Schwalm-Nette (DE-NL), from 20 – 23 June 2023. Around 35 participants from 13 countries took part of the event.

Download the agenda

The meeting: experts, exchange & experiences

The TransParcNet meeting always provides members of the Transboundary Programmes with ample opportunity to exchange on the pressing issues at hand. Presentation by experts like Prof. Dr. J. G. Goldammer (Global Fire Monitoring Center / Fire Ecology Research Group, Germany) on Fire Management and Wildfire Risk Reduction in Cross-boundary Protected Areas, as well as a presentation by H. Kuijpers, on the complex history of the countryside and of the borders of the Maas-Swalm-Nette territory, helped set the tone of the meeting.

Presentation of Har Kuijpers during the TransParcNet 2023. Picture by Lisa Bardot.

There was also representation from the European Institutions: Gaetano Vivo, Deputy Head of Unit, Disaster Risk Management, DG ECHO also attended the meeting. He presented the Union Civil Protection Mechanism response: the data collected about the risks in EU and the economic impact of disasters, the role of ECHO in supporting campaigns of awareness and prevention, and related programmes and projects that can be accessible for Protected Areas.

Of course, it would not be a EUROPARC event without a healthy dose of networking and field trips! Participants had the chance to visit the burn site at the National Park De Meinweg. In 2020, a big fire affected the Park and the border between Germany and The Netherlands. The excursion to the burn site helped the participants to see the places, understand the dynamic of the disaster, and know the actions taken during and after the event. Furthermore, participants visited the Garzweiler II mining site. Here, they learned about the effects of lignite mining on the groundwater situation and on the vegetation in the wetlands along the Schwalm river.

Discover the photo album

This is just a small overview of all that was discussed, presented and visited during the three intensive days. For more details, read the full meeting report.

All presentations can be downloaded below. Please note that Har Kuijper’s presentation needed to be reduced in size to fit the website and the quality of the images thus is reduced.