Living together. Biodiversity and human activities:
a challenge for the future of protected areas.
Workshop selection is done on the conference registration form.
There are a limited number of spaces for each workshop and these will be allocated on a first-come-first-served-basis.
When workshops are fully booked you will not be able to sign up for them on the registration form.
The return of large carnivores to Europe's Protected areas is a conservation success story or the result of independent events?
The natural return of the large carnivores (bear, wolf and lynx) in some European Protected Areas and their expanding distribution in Europe is a challenging situation. On the one side, it evidences the improving natural conditions and habitat protection in the European context, but on the other side, it causes several conflicts with some human activities. The cooperation between protected areas and specialists is essential in this issue.
There remains unresolved conflicts between these carnivores and their human neighbours. In some areas, farmers and hunters are concerned about livestock and game and consequently oppose the return of large carnivores. Protected areas must work with the local and national authorities to contribute to a global strategy of carnivore management at population level, as stated by the European Commission.
Where and what is wilderness in an European context? Is this an aspiration too far for our crowded continent?
There are a few parts of Europe where 'wilderness' areas can currently be found in the sense of the IUCN Classification, referring to very substantial regions that are largely untouched by the hand of man. Should Europe consider designating wilderness based one the philosophy of Aldo Leopold and other, or can we develop an European model? What will this mean for the management of Natura 2000 sites if left to natural dynamics?
The potential sites map will be analysed in correspondence to their opportunities to landscape design and benefits for local communities connected to them.
Invasive alien species: how to tackle this threat to native habitats? Should we prevent or control?
Introduced species threaten the ecosystems they are introduced into, affect agriculture and other human uses of natural resources, and impact on the health of animals and humans. Due to the increasing level of travel, trade, and tourism associated with globalization of the economy, biological invasions are increasing at an unprecedented pace.
Furthermore, climate change may facilitate the arrival or establishment of higher numbers of invaders. Preventing the impacts caused by invasive alien species is thus urgent if we want to protect the biological diversity.
It is also crucial to monitor the trends of invasions, as well as the negative effects of invasive species. Protected areas play a special role not only in the effort to tackle invasions, but also to raise the awareness of the public on this threat.
Does the Common Agricultural Policy help or hinder sustainable land management in National Parks?
Is integrated land management in protected areas a myth or a reality? How does European agricultural policy contribute to, or hinder nature conservation and the loss of biodiversity? Are the wishes of communities within protected areas taken into account in land management decisions? Does the way land management is supported help deliver protected areas management? Can community, farming and conservation interests all be met within a protected area? The workshop will also focus on the ways in which European rural development policies (including the CAP) do, or do not, help to 'involve local communities in ways that are appropriate to the objectives for the protected area' using examples from the UK.
When it comes to managing nature, Europe has generally been divided into the protectionists and the hunters. Whilst the confrontations between the two factions continue to be publicised the urgent need for conservation grows.
Can there be less confrontation and more conservation?
The EU legislation on nature conservation has created a comprehensive scheme that aims to ensure the long-term preservation of our wild fauna through the protection of their habitats, especially through the designation of the most important sites within Europe, which forms the Natura 2000 network, as well as through controls of hunting and other forms of exploitation. Indeed, there are many pressures on our wildlife like the loss and degradation of their habitats, which is one of the greatest threats they are facing today. It will be more and more fundamental, as recognized by the Commission (launching the 'Sustainable Hunting Initiative' in 2001), start a new dialogue developing co-operation between governmental, hunters and conservationists organizations concerned with the conservation and sustainable hunting.
What role should protected areas play in contributing to the creation of renewable energy in Europe?
In recent decades, our lifestyle and growing wealth has had a profound effect on the energy sector increasing demand for energy, soaring oil prices, uncertain energy supplies and fears of global warming have opened our eyes to the fact that energy can no longer be taken for granted. How protected areas should be involved in the game of solutions for renewable energy? A key element will be the technical solutions researched combined with nature conservation.
How is the relationship between the management of protected areas and health?
Nature significantly contributes to our health and wellbeing as individuals and gives broader societal benefits. How to explore and help build the relevance of parks and nature to society - to "make protected areas matter"?
This can be done by improving the communication of the benefits that protected areas provide, and also by developing practical applications to make protected areas more interesting, attractive and important in people's everyday lives. Today, there is a need to assess current best practice from around the world and the newly formed EUROPARC Working Group on Protected Areas and Health has therefore taken the initiative.
This workshop will constitute an important step in the process by allowing practitioners to collaborate and share their knowledge, initiatives and innovations, while following up on the conclusions from important events earlier this year such as the Healthy Parks, Healthy People congress in Victoria.
How can tourism businesses and the European Charter of Sustainable Tourism strengthen each other and meet the aim of ensuring what's good for business is good for biodiversity?
Comparative research carried out for EUROPARC's "Joining Forces" brochure has already shown that the Charter is a suitable vehicle for implementation of the CBD Guidelines on Tourism and Sustainable Development. This workshop aims to explore the relationship between the business sector and protected areas in the context of the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism.
Thanks to the Charter, tourism businesses are being integrated to a greater extent than ever before in the tourism management of many of the Charter Parks. This workshop provides an opportunity to look at how membership of the Charter is encouraging businesses in Charter Parks to adopt protected area friendly business practices.
In turn it will also enable an analysis of how business – park relations are strengthening sustainable tourism in and for the parks, thereby allowing the Charter to take root.
Will community engagement be the way forward to secure the conservation of biodiversity in the long term?
Collaborative management has meant working towards the establishment and management of protected areas by both the relevant authorities and communities living within, or adjacent to, protected areas.
Are we serious about stakeholder governance in protected areas?
Protected areas, including Natura 2000 sites should be integrated within the fabric of a modern society, rather than isolated from the influences of the full range of human activities. The constituency of stakeholders begins well outside the particular sites, and may encompass all the key economic sectors. How to benefit communities by allowing them to participate in the sustainable development, functioning and management of protected areas?
Protected areas in Europe are parts of a large ecological network. How could the connections between these areas be improved and a participatory process engaged with land users beyond the park boundaries?
News forms of nature protection have to be defined taking into account the functionalities of landscapes between protected areas including a large range of different actors. The workshop will also explore possible future projects and new possible ways to build cooperation projects.
How do we best manage volunteers in protected areas to ensure a positive outcome for the biodiversity of the area and for the individual?
Volunteering in Protected Areas are opportunities to offer people a unique experience of living and working in contact with a natural environment and contribute to its management and improvement.
Volunteers can carry out activities related to environmental education and interpretation, with the public, and animation, culture, maintenance of simple structures and paths, assistance and information to visitors, as well as activities related to habitat management and monitoring all with the supervision and coordination of the Park staff.
How can Protected Areas' best utilize volunteers and manage their activities in a way that is good for the individual, good for the protected area and good for biodiversity?
Should we ascribe economic values to nature without describing their intrinsic and ethical values?
We must ascribe the economic value of nature alongside its intrinsic and ethical value.
Are we in danger of knowing the prices of everything and the value of nothing?
On the one side, it evidences the importance nature protection in the human life context, but on the other side, its price would be considered as a sustainable economic measures.
Is economics the new tool in the armoury of argument for protected areas in Europe? How do we show the range of ecosystem services we provide and deliver?
Should parks be used as a quality brand and how do we manage and control such a system?
Parks are being used as a quality brand in many ways: to recognize healthy food and local products, to identify the accommodation facilities that act in more eco-friendly way, to wear fashion clothes and to sell recycled produced. As this process is speeding up very quickly how are we able to control the system?
A special attention must be paid to the maintenance of the level of the brand quality in relation to the development of the system not only in the commercial way.
How do we gain skills and train staff to meet the changing needs and priorities of protected areas?
The training of protected area professionals from Ranger to Researchers is a perennial dilemma. The planning and management staff of protected areas face a complex set of management problems and an uncertain future.
Today, internal and external forces are combining with changes in management philosophy to create a new direction in natural resources management.
It will examines the methodologies and planning for the training from decision-making and management to the principles of ecology and economics.
Do you know the European countries role and responsibilities about the Convention for Biological diversity, programme and work?
The Convention for Biological diversity, programme of works has been agreed by every European country. The world could be doing better at tracking change in biodiversity and what it means for people.
The Convention on Biological Diversity has adopted a suite of indicators to measure progress towards its 2010 biodiversity target but in a review of progress the partners found that whilst major advances have been made there were still significant gaps in the development of the indicators and the content of the indicator framework at national, regional and global scales. How will each European country play its role and meet its responsibilities?
Where is the money available for protected areas to be found in Europe? And why is European Commission money so hard to access....what are the route markers on the trail of the money?
Money is needed to cover staffing, equipment and programs to ensure adequate conservation and mitigate threats. Funds are needed to purchase privately-owned lands or manage publicly-owned lands essential to conservation. What are the secrets of getting European Commission funding? What are the route markers on the trail of the money? Achieving successful conservation of habitats through protected areas, whether an individual site or a national system, requires significant funding. EUROPARC is working at local, national and international levels to help ensure that sufficient funds are being directed towards protected areas. The workshop will look at examples of EU nature funds - LIFE+; EU Structural Funds; and EU Agri-environment funding.
How do we make the best use of traditional techniques and modern technology to communicate to the public about Biodiversity?
Environmental education and interpretation are lethal weapons in the right hands. Coming to terms with the "human-environment" interface presents an enormous challenge to humanity. As population rises and pressures on the environment increase, the urgency grows for people to become knowledgeable, motivated, and equipped to make intelligent choices regarding lifestyles and their resultant environmental impact. This is a challenge that increasingly places importance on environmental education and interpretation occurring in formal settings (e.g., classrooms) and non-formal educational settings (e.g., parks, recreation areas, and visitor centres). Within this workshop we focus our efforts on examining issues of global sustainability as addressed by environmental education and interpretation.
How do the designations of "world heritage" site and "biosphere reserve" affect national, regional, and local planning (or governance)?
Over the last 40 years, several international bodies have established legal and management frameworks, originally designed mainly to conserve biodiversity, then putting progressively greater emphasis on the social and cultural dimensions of the designated sites. In many cases, however, these international designation schemes overlap and/or embed existing national/sub-national ones, and the workshop will investigate how UNESCO designations may be used by authorities at different levels and in different sectors.
It shall be developed along the following principal directions: analysis and evaluation of legal aspects; analysis of management issues; aspects connected to the relationships between designated sites and surrounding areas. By adopting a pro-active working group approach, participants will also compare the situation at various BR and WH sites and identify possible mechanisms to facilitate overall good governance processes.