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Networking for Nature: European networks make conservation history

11-12-2012 05:13 PM CET | Associations & Organizations

Press release from: EUROPARC Federation

Thomas Hansson and Teo Wams at the EUROPARC Conference meeting

Thomas Hansson and Teo Wams at the EUROPARC Conference meeting

Europe's nature needs a new network, say protected area professionals gathered at the annual EUROPARC conference in Genk, Belgium, hosted by the Regional Landscape Kempen & Maasland.

In a landmark decision, two of Europe's biggest nature conservation NGO's, The EUROPARC Federation and Eurosite, agreed to come together and form a new united network purpose-built to meet nature’s needs in the years ahead. Together, the new network will represent a membership responsible for managing and protecting Europe's natural and cultural heritage.

Both NGOs will invest in the development of a new strategy, “Networking for Nature”, to be implemented across Europe. A core focus will be to ensure the protection goals central to Natura 2000 and the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy are integrated and strengthened within practical work for Europe’s nature and rich natural heritage.

Thomas Hansson, president of the EUROPARC Federation expressed his satisfaction and joy about this decision: “In these times, Europe needs a strong organization that builds upon expertise and experience in crucial fields of re-connecting society with biodiversity. The EUROPARC Federation and Eurosite complement each others’ skills and will bring nature conservation onto a next step in Europe.”
For Eurosite, Teo Wams strongly agrees: “I am thrilled that we have now decided to go forward with all our efforts and spirit to build this new “network for nature”. We will focus on nature protection from a social, economic and ecological perspective, building on the momentum achieved, and demonstrating that we are ready to move on with inspiration”.

The current economic crisis in Europe is seen as an opportunity to build on the strong expertise of both organizations and combine their experiences into one network in the future.

EUROPARC Federation´s Annual Conference, in partnership with Eurosite is taking place in the C-Mine convention centre in Genk, Limburg, Belgium. More than 600 conservation experts gather for 4 days to exchange their experience of sustainable management of protected areas.

Words: 318

EUROPARC Federation is a non-governmental organi¬sation, founded in 1973. It has since grown to become Eu¬rope’s largest protected areas network and currently has over 430 members spanning 36 countries. EUROPARC is built on the principle that Europe’s natural heritage is better conserved and managed through international cooperation. To this end, the organisation seeks opportunities for networking, exchange and col¬laboration in all areas of protected area work. EUROPARC President is Mr. Thomas Hansson, EUROPARC Director Ms Carol Ritchie.

Eurosite is one of the largest pan-European networks bringing together governmental and non-governmental organisations, as well as private bodies, in active collaboration for the practical management of Europe’s nature. There are currently 67 members of the Eurosite network from 22 European countries engaged in the delivery of this mission.

EUROPARC Federation
Waffnergasse 6, 93047 Regensburg

Press contact:
Julia Schönhärl
Telephone: : +49 (0)941 599 35 98-3 (DE); Mobile: +49 176 810 578 28 (DE)

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