In memoria del Lago Salinella (parte pugliese) #2

In memoria del Lago Salinella (parte pugliese) #2

LAGO SALINELLA #2 – Ed ecco come è diventata quell’area di Lago Salinella dalla parte pugliese, in agro di Ginosa. Buona parte di quella zona si era anche salvata dalle bonifiche borboniche di Afan De Rivera ma non si è potuta salvare dalla Regione Puglia.

In memoria del Lago Salinella (parte pugliese) #1

da “La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno – ed. Basilicata” 29 agosto 2016

In memoria del Lago Salinella (parte pugliese) #1

LAGO SALINELLA #1 – Chi se la ricorda la storia del Lago Salinella a Ginosa Marina (TA)? Era il 1995 e la Regione Puglia dette il via libera alla realizzazione di un villaggio turistico sulla sponda pugliese dell’antica foce del Bradano. A nulla valsero tutti i tentativi che l’Ufficio Parchi e Riserve Naturali (appena nato) e la LIPU Taranto fecero per impedire che si realizzasse. Troppo potenti i sostenitori della famiglia Reale di Lecce, proprietaria dell’area che era di una bellezza mozzafiato: dune fossili con fioriture di Plantago albicans, habitat tutelato dalla Direttiva 92/43/CEE, Sterne zampenere dappertutto. E poi, il disastro… Ma quelli in fotografia non sono aironi cenerini bensì splendidi fenicotteri rosa.

CONFERENZA EUROPARC 18-22 ottobre 2016

CONFERENZA EUROPARC 18-22 ottobre 2016

We Are Parks

We Are Parks is the title of EUROPARC Conference 2016. With it, we want to highlight the importance of Parks as the place were nature and people meet. Parks play a fundamental role in society and how people live, work and visit our parks, whilst keeping them healthy is the ongoing challenge we embrace!

To accomplish this task, we all play an important role. From managers to individuals, the future of our parks relies on the way we manage them, we use them and we value them. Thus, this Conference will be  a meeting point where people that work and live for Parks gather, share and learn together, on how to improve their governance. Throughout the Conference the local community will be involved.

The Swiss bottom up approach!

At Parc Jura Vaudois, we will be  in the perfect place to do just that. The bottom–up democratic model of Parks existing in Switzerland will provide the ideal framework to learn more about their governance system. What role do people play in the creation and management of a park? Which challenges exist in the Swiss system that confront them? And, how do they apply to other countries and backgrounds? These are just some of the questions that we will explore during the Conference.

Get to know the view from the locals.

We have planned different fieldtrips, were you could explore the natural surroundings of Parc Jura Vaudois, meeting the local people and finding out from them what they need and value and, indeed, why they voted for their new regional park. There are excellent opportunities to see, hear, smell and taste the local produce and the unique qualities of the park and the vision for its ongoing management.

Even more reasons to attend!

But there is even more…, we have prepared an exciting programme. There will be different specialist workshops andtutorials where experts in different areas from all around Europe will be sharing and analysing best practices on park management. Some workshops are highlighted below, to whet your appetite, but do check out our comprehensive list on the Conference website.

Importantly too, we also want our participants to enjoy, socialize and strengthen the bonds that bind our Parks community. For this, a special Marketplace will be present at the Conference, where you could share information about your park and your projects, and some of your regional products with the rest of Europe!

Places are still open, so do not hesitate and join us in EUROPARC Conference 2016!

Periurban Parks: Nature Closer than you imagine

How would it feel to relax in nature after a long day of work? Trekking in a forest, running through a meadow, or simply wandering along a river, just nearby your town?

Periurban parks bring us these possibilities and much more: they protect us! They refresh city temperatures, absorb air pollutants and decrease traffic noise. They look after our physical and mental health. They are outdoors gym, nature-schools and a green place to meet with family and friends. In some areas, Periurban parks are also places where one can grow and buy fresh and organic vegetables! 

Want to find out how to tackle some of the challenges of nature close to towns and cities? Then join the Tutorial We Are Close to Cities at EUROPARC Conference to hear more.

How are “Friends of Parks” giving a helping hand?

The “Friends of Parks” groups differ from region to region, country to country. Some Friends are made up by local supporters who organise regular activities within the Park. Some are very independent but co-operating with park managers on nature conservation activities or helping maintain visitor centres. Some are lobbyists and organising campaigns.

Therefore, Friends can either have a legal body or a very short and informal structure. But they all touch the same point: members of the community coming together for the sake of their Park.

But how to “get a little help” from our Friends? What kind of partnership is more beneficial to the park? What can be done when relationships are not good?

On the workshop We are Friends we will be sharing thoughts on how Friends of Park Groups can be an asset for Parks and learn from experiences of Friends groups within our network.

We are Sustainable Farmers

In a rapidly urbanized population, people are losing contact with their food sources, while modern production practices – large monocultures and use of pesticides – threatens our biodiversity and food safety. Protected areas have the potential to be places where people and farming can live, work and learn how to manage the land sustainably.

How can we make farming in and near protected areas more nature friendly? What are the needs of farmers in their relationship to a protected area? How do we develop local products and brand them with the park?

We are Sustainable Farmers Tutorial brings examples from across Europe and we will be discussing how to achieve a better understanding between nature conservation and farming perspectives.

There are so many more tutorials and workshop that will be stimulating and full of new ideas… please see our website for inspiration and even more reasons to make sure you are at the Conference!

List of Invasive Alien Species

The European Commission, DG Environment has launched thefirst official list of invasive alien species. The 37 species that integrate the list will be subject to the restrictions and measures set out in the EU Regulation on invasive alien species.

Earlier this year, Europarc Central and Eastern Europe shared best practices on managing these species! Check here the presentations of the workshop and learn from our network!

European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas

On the 10th and 11th of August, members of the Evaluation Committee of the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas met in Regensburg in order to assess the verification reports submitted by Charter applicants in 2016.

Overall, the Committee was pleased by the high level of participation. Among the 19 applications received from seven different countries, 11 were presented as first timers and the rest with the intention to re-evaluate.

The results will be communicated to the applicants soon, and the selected areas will be awarded at the Charter Award Ceremony that will take place at the European Parliament of Brussels next December (provisional dates are 5th-6th December).

This year, the Ceremony will be organized in close collaboration with the Spanish and Catalan Institutions, which have supported many protected areas in the field of sustainable tourism, and a special event will be dedicated to them.

IMPACT Project – New management models for Protected Areas

Finding a balance between the exploitation and conservation of natural resources is a priority in most European regions. This is the reason why managers of protected areas are increasingly exploring new ways to integrate the socioeconomic development of their surrounding communities with the conservation of their natural and cultural values.

The main objectives of this integrated approach by park managers is economic growth and job creation, with special concern given to the integration of women, young people and entrepreneurs into protected area management plans. Likewise, the involvement of local businesses and social partners in the decision making process has been identified as a critical step to guarantee the exit of the planning process.

In this framework, EUROPARC Federation has joined efforts with six European partners to create the IMPACT-INTERREG EUROPE Project. Funded by the European Regional Development Fund, this project aims to apply the integrated management strategy to specific protected areas located in Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Lithuania and Romania.

However, the benefits will extend beyond the protected areas of study, as one of the objectives of the project will be the identification of those strategies that yield better results in order to replicate them in other European regions.

Stay tuned for the latest updates at IMPACT-INTERREG EUROPE website.

BIOEUPARKS – Bioenergy from Protected Areas

Biomass is one of our main energy sources. It is used to warm our houses up, generate electricity for our appliances and feed our transportation means. Moreover, it is a renewable source of energy that, when used as an alternative to fossil fuels, reduces the greenhouse gasses emissions and consequently benefits nature conservation.

By 2020, the European Union aims to obtain 20% of its energy from renewable sources and, among other energy sources of this kind like wind, solar or tidal power, the so called Bioenergy is of high importance.
However, the production of biomass with energetic purposes has to be done in a sustainable way in order to yield benefits for the environment. The biomass supply chain, or the process through which it is produced, involves different phases, actors and challenges that turn it into a complex matter.

At the beginning of 2016, five European Protected Areas from Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy and Greece started theBIOEUPARKS Project. Their objective was to showcase how parks can play a leading role in finding solutions for bioenergy production at local-scale.

Today, this project has successfully finished. Within the results, five different models of local short range biomass supply chain in protected areas have been developed, which could represent a reference point for other protected areas interested in facing the same challenge.

To learn more about this project visit BIOEUPARKS website or download the final report Socio-Economic and Environmental Responsible Models for Sustainable Biomass Exploitation in European Protected Areas.

Congratulaions and Thanks to Dr. Rauno Väisänen

EUROPARC Federation would like to take this opportunity to mark the leadership in nature conservation and international coooperation of  Rauno Väisänen, Executive Director of Parks and Wildlife Finland, who will be retiring after over 20 years service.

Rauno has been a good friend and supporter of EUROPARC for many years. A member of the EUROPARC council from 2002 to 2008, he  further recognised the need for international cooperation regionally by founding our Nordic Baltic section. It has been his enlighted inclusive and cooperative leadership that has seen many Finnish colleagues initiate, support and contribute to EUROPARC programmes. EUROPARC is proud to continue to have them as members.

We wish Rauno every best wish in his retirement which we are sure will be full of new adventures. There is always an open door at EUROPARC where we have and hope to continue to benefit from Rauno‘s experience and wise counsel.

I will leave the last words to Rauno himself, which I hope will inspire all working in protected area to realise again the benefits of international coperation.

“I have always been active and supportive as regards to international cooperation, because it is such an essential part of the innovation system and strategic foresight of our organization. Working together at the international level gives us confidence that we can jointly affect really big global issues. We are not alone with our mission. This is a motivating message that should reach every ranger. The international work has been for me personally very rewarding. I met many wonderful people, learned a lot, got many new ideas and inspiration, support and encouragement which helped me a lot, contributed to the development of P&WF, and helped me to contribute to the development of ideas and activities elsewhere.”