Subject: Siggen Seminar and Natural Heritage Scholarships: calls are open! | eNews February

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EUROPARC Federation eNews
February 2018

Dear readers,

In the first eNews of 2018,we bring you a special message from EUROPARC Executive Director Carol Ritchie!

As a celebration of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, EUROPARC members are invited to join us in the Siggen Seminar 2018, next month. 

Read also the latest updates from Brussels and the main topics currently under debate there, as well as a curation of the best opportunities for protected areas in the coming months. 

If you work are under 35 and work for a protected area, then the Alfred Toepfer Natural Heritage Scholarship is for you! Call has just opened!

In this issue...

special: Siggen Seminar
Siggen Seminar 2018 

18th – 21st March, Gut Siggen, Germany

EUROPARC is pleased to join forces with Interpret Europe for the 2018 Siggen seminar: Interpreting Natural Heritage, as part of our cultural identityThe objective is explore the role of protected areas in interpreting heritage for cultural identity. We will be looking at best practice and tools to enhance interpretation in natural areas.

Participation is free to EUROPARC membersall information at
Earlier this month, EUROPARC and Interpret Europe organised a webinar to open the celebration eventos of the European Year of Cultural Heritage. 

The recording of the webinar “Natural heritage and cultural identity: the role of interpretation“ is now available for download.

News from your BRUSSELS representation
The first European Strategy for Plastic Waste

On January 16th the European Commission adopted the first Europe-wide strategy on plastics which is part of the transition towards a more circular economy. Under the new strategy, the European Union will make recycling profitable for business, curb plastic waste, stop littering at sea, drive investment and innovation and spur change across the world. The ambitious objective is to protect the environment from plastic pollution whilst fostering growth and innovation, therefore protecting the earth, people and economies likewise. 

Currently, around 25.8 million tonnes of plastic waste are generated in Europe every year - which equals the weight of 3 million grown-up elephants! - while reuse and recycling rates are considerably low (less than 30%).

Protected Area Voices Needed
How to make the most of EU Cohesion Funds post-2020?

The European Commission is working on proposals for the EU Budget post-2020. PA managers are called to give their input to match financial priority setting with needs on the ground.
Have your say: respond to the online questionnaire until the 8th March (accessible in all EU languages.)

Public Consultation
EU Initiative for pollinators: your expertise is needed

The European Commission is running a Public Consultation on the EU initiative for pollinators (running until 5 April 2018), to collect views on the decline of pollinators. The questionnaire covers the causes and consequences of pollinator declines, potential mitigation measures and the EU dimension to the problem. 
Green Infrastructure and Restoration (GIR)
New report: Mapping and assessment of Ecosystems and their Services

The GIR Working Group is led by the European Commission (DG ENVI) and includes representatives of Member States and NGOs. On 31st of January and 1st of February, EUROPARC participated in the 8th meeting of the Green Infrastructure and Restoration (GIR) Working Group (WG) in Brussels. Read more here.

In the meeting, the European Commission presented its recently published technical report on ‘’Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services’’ (MAES). It provides an integrated analytical framework and set of indicators for mapping and assessing the condition of ecosystems.
How EU Agriculture and Forestry provide Public Goods & Ecosystem Services
Pegasus project launches toolkit

EUROPARC was represented at the PEGASUS final conference, an Horizon 2020 project brought together 14 organisations of 10 different EU countries aimed to develop innovative approaches and new ways of thinking about the way farmland and forests are managed.

One of the main outputs of the project was the toolkit ’Working Together to Build a Successful Initiative’’. It provides guidance and useful tips to stakeholders wishing to involve in a collective action to enhance the provision of environmental and social benefits from agriculture and/or forestry. Read more about it here.

Old Growth Forest in Europe
an EU common strategy for protection?

An old-growth forest is a forest that has attained great age without significant disturbance and thereby exhibits unique ecological features. 

"we are committed to restoring and protecting Old Growth Forests" was the positive outlook of Daniel Calleja Crespo, EU Commission Director for Environment, during a meeting held in Brussels last year about Old Growth Forests. The aim was to discuss options for building a common protection strategy for the remaining old-growth forest (OGF) areas across Europe, Wild Europe (WE) and the EU Committee of the Regions organised the “Conference for protection of old-growth forest in Europe” that EUROPARC attended.

In this article, we bring you a resume of the Conference, an overview of the different national approaches to OGF and a special on what is being done in Spain underthe LIFE RedBosques, led by EUROPARC Spain. 

Call for workshop in Belgium, April 2018

The EUROPARC Federation and Sibelco Group are looking for Parks and Natura 2000 sites to share experience in mitigating the impacts of quarrying activities. 

We are looking for 5 members with experience who would be willing to work with EUROPARC and Sibelco to establish protocols, partnership and guidance for sites that have impacts from the quarrying industry. A free workshop/technical meeting will be held in Belgium on 18/19th April. 

If you are interested in participating please send an email to with a short description of the quarrying activities that take/took place in your Protected Area and the experience you can share with the group. 

Alfred Toepfer Natural Heritage Scholarships
Opportunity for Protected Areas staff under 35 & Students

Each year the EUROPARC Federation, with support from the Alfred Toepfer Stiftung F.V.S., awards three Alfred Toepfer Natural Heritage Scholarships to promising young conservationists, who are committed to working for the benefit of Protected Areas.
Each scholarship is worth €3.000 and enables successful applicants to undertake a study visit on a particular theme to one or more Protected Areas in European countries. The call is open to all European citizens working in a Protected Area or nature conservation related organisation (governments, NGOs), but also to students and recently graduated professionals!

The 3 successful applications will be awarded at EUROPARC Conference 2018, in the Cairngorms National Park, Scotland.
Open call to Natura2000 managers:
IUCN Green List testing phase

To determine the feasibility of the application of the IUCN Green List Sustainability Standard to Natura 2000 sites, IUCN is carrying out an EU-funded LIFE Preparatory Project. As part of it, IUCN is issuing an open call to Natura 2000 site managers, inviting them to apply for the testing phase of the project. Selection of Natura 2000 sites identified for inclusion will be based on a number of criteria. 

How, why and when to apply? Read more about it here. 
EUROSITE organises
Natural Climate Buffers study tour

Registrations are open for a study tour between the 18-21st April in the Netherlands. The tour includes project visits where nature development, climate adaptation and water management objectives were jointly realised through robust integrated concepts, called ‘natural climate buffers’
Participants will learn about the hydro-ecological aspects of the projects and the socio-political experiences, both integral to the journey from the idea to realisation. All information on EUROSITE website.
Good to know

European Tree of the Year Contest
The best tree story - vote on your favorite!

Every year, the European Tree of the Year Contest looks out to gather and celebrate the most fascinating trees across Europe. What is special about the contest: neither a pretty look, nor size or age of a tree are what matters. What does matter is the story it tells and the way people, the local communities, feel connected to it. Voting are now open until 28th February 2018 – read the 13 finalist trees’ stories & choose your favorites!
A New Atlanticism
Building EffectiveTransatlantic MPA Partnerships

EUROPARC Brussels attended the final conference of a promising Marine Protectected Areas pilot project, funded by EU: The “Transatlantic MPA Network – Towards a Transatlantic Partnership of Marine Protected Areas” project. Its main objective is to improve the management of Atlantic Marine Protected Areas through effective transatlantic partnership-building, while following a novel, comprehensive concept of Atlanticism. Read about the project outcomes and results.
World Fish Migration Day
Connecting Fish, Rivers and People

April 21st: the World Fish Migration Day 2018 (WFMD) will be celebrated all over the globe through a wave of local events
In every country, organisations host their own events – some internally, but mainly open to the public. What matters most is to create experiences that reach people and make them aware how fish migration matters to our eco-system and to communities’ livelihoods. Read how you can join the celebration here.


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