Subject: IMPACT Interreg Europe Newsletter #4

Innovative Models for Protected Areas: exChange and Transfer
Exploring new models to balance exploitation and conservation of protected areas
This bi-annual newsletter is dedicated to sharing news, events and updates from IMPACT project. Enjoy reading!
Issue #4 - March 2018

Partners overview
ENRx: Espaces Naturels Régionaux, France

David Moulin, Deputy Director of ENRx
- Claudie Boulanger, Environmental Education & Sust. Development Manager of ENRx
- Florence Blas, Communication manager of Gîtes-de-France

IMPACT work in progress
Top 5 Good practices identified by IMPACT partners

IMPACT at EuropaRegion Donau-Moldau workshop in Straubing, Germany
- Interregional meeting in Lithuania
- Interregional meeting in Hauts-de-France Region

Related news

- ESPARC – workshop on Protected Areas & sustainable development
- European Natura 2000 Awards 2018 - Vote for the European Citizens’ Award!
EUROPARC Conference - workshop on socioeconomic development in Protected Areas

Latest videos
- Video-interview to Domenico di Nunzio, Molise Region

Partners overview
ENRx-Espaces Naturels Régionaux, France

Founded in 2003, Espaces Naturels Régionaux (ENRx) is a unique structure in France based in the Hauts-de-France Region, which gives support and manages the 3 regional parks of that region: the Avesnois Regional Park, the Scarpe-Escaut Regional Park and the Caps & Marais d’Opale Regional Park.

As a spatial environment and planning authority, ENRx is run by the elected representatives of the region and the three Regional Nature Parks. ENRx develops missions in the region (environmental education, biodiversity, genetic heritage, regional support, etc.) and contributes to the implementation of regional priorities (green and blue programs, sustainable agriculture, urban planning in rural environments, regional forest plan, climate plan, etc.). 75% of the personnel work on permanent missions in the three Nature Parks and in the Regional Centre for Genetics.

Among the main missions of ENRx, it is worth highlighting:
  • Biodiver’lycées: An original teaching programme to help young people get involved in environmental issues. This initiative is part of the regional policy to promote eco-friendly practices throughout life. 
  • Outdoor sports: With in-depth nationwide diagnostic assessments on the outdoor sports in the parks and the promotion of existing outdoor sports using communications supported by the French national fund for the planning and development of the country and the Nord-Pas de Calais region.
  • Regional Centre for Genetic Resources: With the Regional Centre for Genetic Resources involved, working alongside businesses (breeders, farmers, market gardeners, nurseries...) and scientists (botanical conservatories, agronomical centres, universities...) in the promotion of the region's heritage in fruit and vegetable growing and animal breeds, such as the "Plantons le décor" project.
The ENRx action plan will be put into place in the three regional parks:
Caps & Marais d’Opale Regional Park
Size: 136,500 Ha.
IUCN Category: V.
Protection Category: Regional Nature Park.
Population: 200,000 inhabitants in154 towns and villages.
Challenges: Making the local residents eco-citizens and players in their area and consequently guaranteeing the quality of their living environment.

Between the sea and marshland.
Les Caps et Marais d'Opale Regional Nature Park stretches from the "Grand site national des caps Gris-Nez et Blanc - Nez" (Channel and North Sea side) to the "Marais de St. Omer" (marshland) listed as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Further inland, forest blends seamless
ly with undulating "bocage" forming a splendid sea of rural greenery. The Artois Hills, an important farming area, gradually decrease in height finishing with gentle slopes leading to the wetlands of the “marais audomorois", the only marshes in France with market gardens.
Challenge: Making the local residents eco-citizens and players in their area and consequently guaranteeing the quality of their living environment.

Avesnois Regional Park
Size: 124,000 Ha.
IUCN Category: V.
Protection Category: Regional Nature Park.
Population: 157,000 inhabitants in 138 towns and villages. 
Challenges: Preserving the "bocage" landscape as a source of economic and ecological development.

Rural identity and agriculture.
The Avesnois Regional Nature Park is marked by agriculture. In the heart of the "bocage" (farmland criss-crossed by hedges and trees}, fields and meadows are divided into squares by hedgerows of trees and shrubs. Landscapes featuring forests, rivers and streams stand out thanks to their significant biological wealth. Bluestone buildings, orchards, and village bandstands all add to the appeal of this area. This rural area is ideal for breeding and making dairy products such as "Maroilles", the only certified cheese in the Nord-Pas de Calais region.

Scarpe-Escaut Regional Park
Size: 48,500 Ha.
IUCN Category: V.
Protection Category: Regional Nature Park.
Population: 190,000 inhabitants in 55 towns and villages.
Challenges: Controlling urban spread to prevent the natural area from losing its appeal and to preserve local resources.

Mining Heritage and cross border partnership.
The 1st Regional Nature Park created in France in 1968, it is characterised by a rich natural heritage (four national forests, rivers and streams). A periurban area, it features the remnants of the erstwhile mining industry {slagheaps, man-made lakes, headframes) included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The activity of the ancient abbeys, including the one in St-Amand-les-Eaux, shaped the surrounding rural landscapes. This park, together with the neighbouring Plaines de I'Escaut Nature Park (Belgian side) forms Le Hainaut Cross-Border Nature Park.

Discover the park

What are French Regional Nature Parks?

The Regional Nature Parks were created over 50 years ago and are designed to protect the outstanding natural and cultural heritage of high quality but fragile rural areas. These areas may be threatened by urban sprawl, tourism or by devitalisation. They are designed to ensure the harmonious economic and social development of their areas by focusing on environmental respect.

Parks bring together villages and small towns that undertake to apply the Park Charter for 15 years. Regional Nature Parks are created following successful proposals made by France's administrative regions. There are currently 52 of them in France. The status of "Regional Nature Park" is granted by the State through a decree issued by the Prime Minister.

To know more, visit the ENRx website.

David Moulin
Deputy Director.
Espaces Naturels Régionaux (ENRx).

Q: What is the role of the ENRX and what are your biggest challenges?

DM: ENRx is a regional public structure, which includes three Regional Nature Parks (Avesnois, Caps et Marais d’Opale and Scarpe-Escaut) in the North of France. ENRx has 80 agents, spread over 5 teams, who work in the field to implement the “Charter” territorial projects for these Regional Nature Parks. They also conduct various operational missions throughout the region, including preservation of biodiversity, sustainable development, environmental education, and conservation of plant varieties and animal breeds in the Hauts-de-France Region.

Claudie Boulanger
Environmental Education & Sustainable Development Manager
Espaces Naturels Régionaux (ENRx).

Q: Can you tell us the basics of the Biodiver’lycées programme promoted by the ENRx?

CB: ENRx were firstly conducting environmental education actions for primary schools and then began to host nature events addressed to high schools pupils. From 2016, ENRx proposed to high schools to have annual workshops in association with an educational structure. Each workshop includes an “immersion” to an ecosystem close to the school, a collective reflection and then the implementation of concrete actions within the school or in the town or on a nearby natural site.

Florence Blas
Communication Manager.

Q: What are Gîtes-de-France and what relationship is there with ENRx?

FBGites-de-France is the French leader in green tourism. It is a label of quality, which recognises the lodging in rural environment for their equipment, their environment and the reception of the owners, no matter whether they are rural lodging, bed & breakfast or group lodging.

Gîtes-de-France has been partner of ENRx for many years. For this reason we wanted to formalize our collaboration by signing a convention in 2014 with the same following objective:
  • Participate in the development of sustainable tourism in the territories of Regional Nature Parks, particularly through accommodation and outdoor sports activities;
  • Pool all resources useful for the organization, development, promotion and evaluation of these activities.
IMPACT work in progress
Top 5 Good practices identified by IMPACT partners

After an internal proces
of identifying and rating the 38 Good Practices collected in the framework of IMPACT project, the following ones are the Top 5 Best Good Practices:
Carry out a territory development policy based on its contribution and demand for ecosystem services.
Regional Government of Andalusia, Spain.
Improvement of the perception of the local population towards the Natural Parks through the Sustainable Development Plans. 
Regional Government of Andalusia, Spain.
SITXELL - Incorporation of the ecological values of natural spaces to urban and land planning.
EUROPARC Federation, Germany.

Involving volunteers in participatory conservation of biodiversity in Rodna Mountains National Park, Romania.
National Institute for Research and Development in Tourism, Romania.
CucinAcost0: Cooking lessons for young high school cookers apprentices on how to cook edible wild plants.
Molise Region, Italy.
IMPACT events
IMPACT at EuropaRegion Donau-Moldau workshop in Straubing, Germany.

Last March 14th, a one-day workshop was hosted In the Competence Centre for Renewable Resources (KoNaRo) in Straubing, Germany.

The objective of this workshop, organised by EuropaRegion Donau-Moldau, was to provide insights to potential applicants of the fourth call for tenders of the Interreg Europe Programme. EUROPARC Federation representatives presented IMPACT project to over 40 attendees, focusing on its role as Advisory Partner and Communication Manager of the project.

IMPACT interregional meeting in Lithuania

During three days, IMPACT partners, stakeholders and other participants had the opportunity to know a little bit about the Lithuanian Protected Areas system and its up-coming reform during an open interregional event organised in Klaipeda by EUCC Baltic office, partner of the IMPACT project.

IMPACT partners got to know from first-hand the three protected sites that are the object of the Action Plan to reduce key pressures on coastal nature and ecosystem services in Lithuania: The Curonian Spit National Park, which is a unique and vulnerable, sandy and wooded cultural landscape on a coastal spit, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List; The Nemunas Delta wetlands, a N2000 site protected under the Ramsar Convention; and The Pajūrio Regional Park, which is located on the Baltic Sea coast.

IMPACT study visit in Hauts-de-France Region

During the 2 days study visit, IMPACT partner ENRx showcased how they work in partnership with a large variety of local private & public stakeholders involved in socioeconomic or biodiversity activities in protected areas. These stakeholders include instituions such as EDEN62, Rivages Propres, Lycée Bavay and Gîtes-de-France.

The study visits took place in 3 Regional Nature Parks: Parc Naturel Régional des Caps & Marais d’Opale; Parc Naturel Régional de l’Avesnois; and Parc Naturel Régional Scarpe-Escaut

Related news
Workshop on Protected Areas & Sustainable Development

The Annual conference of ESPARC will take place from 23th to 27th of May in Picos de Europa National Park, Spain. In it, a workshop on Protected Areas & Sustainable Development will take place (in Spanish language), with the objective of analysing the contribution of protected areas to social and economic revitalization of the territories on which they settle, especially in rural areas. Experiences focused on the primary sector and on tourism activities will be presented. More information at the ESPARC 2018 website.
European Natura 2000 Awards 2018 – Vote for the European Citizens’ Award!

The 2018 edition of the Natura 2000 Award enters its next phase this spring: the public vote. In 2018, the public will again be given the opportunity to vote for the application they think deserves European recognition. The application which receives the most votes will be awarded with the European Citizens’ Award. To vote, go to the Natura 2000 Award website and read about the achievements of the finalists. Please also take the opportunity to raise awareness about the public vote by informing your friends and colleagues and encouraging them to participate.

Once again in 2018, an exciting array of initiatives have reached the finalist stage of the competition. These applications have already been subject to a rigorous evaluation process and will now go to the high level jury who select the five category winners. They, together with the winner of the European Citizens’ Award, will be honoured at a high-level ceremony on 17 May (shortly before the official Natura 2000 day). To see the prizes being distributed, register to attend the Award ceremony on the Award website. Be up to date with the Award activities, register to receive the Award e-newsletter.

Workshop on Green Jobs at EUROPARC Conference 2018

Protected Areas can mean a real opportunity for green jobs creation in sectors such as sustainable and active tourism, forestry, organic farming, processed food, fisheries and hand-made crafts, among others. A specific workshop on this topic will be hosted at EUROPARC Conference 2018, which will take place from the 18th to the 21st in September in Cairngorms, Scotland. In it, we will discuss on different strategies put in place by regional administrations to foster the development of sustainable socio-economic activities in connection with protected areas. More information at EUROPARC website coming soon.
Latest videos
Video-interview to Domenico di Nunzio

The Regional Counselor for Tourism of Molise Region, Italy, explains the main characteristics and development opportunities on this area of Italy, partner of IMPACT project.

About IMPACT Interreg Europe project

Innovative Models for Protected Areas: exChange and Transfer, or simply
IMPACT, is an interregional cooperation project developed with the support of the EU
European Regional Development Fund. Its objective is to introduce new management
models in protected areas to promote socioeconomic activities that are
respectful with nature.

During a four years process, the following six partners will be sharing best practices,
designing Sustainable Development Plans for their respective protected areas and
implementing them:
  • Regional Government of Andalusia (Spain), as the Lead Partner.
  • EUROPARC Federation (Germany), as the Advisory partner.
  • EUCC Baltic office (Lithuania).
  • Molise region (Italy).
  • National Institute for Research and Development in Tourism (Romania).
  • Espaces Naturels Régionaux (France).
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For more information, please contact our Communication Manager:
Teresa Pastor
EUROPARC Federation

Waffnergasse 6, 93047, Regensburg, Germany
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