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Oct 2

Natura 2000 awards: deadline extended!

The deadline for applying for the 2018 Natura 2000 Awards has been extended until 15 October 2017.

Any entity involved in activities related to Natura 2000 can apply to one of the five Award categories: Communication, Socio-Economic Benefits, Conservation, Reconciling Interests / Perceptions, and Cross-border Cooperation and Networking. In addition, the high-profile “EU Citizens’ Award” goes to the application receiving the highest number of nominations through a public vote on the Award website.

The Natura 2000 Award is dedicated to rewarding excellence in the management and promotion of the network and to raising awareness about Natura 2000 and its benefits to European citizens. It also contributes to the fourth priority area of the Commission’s recently adopted Action Plan to improve the protection of nature and biodiversity in the EU, for the benefit of its citizens and the economy.

The Action Plan Priority Area “Better communication and outreach, engaging citizens, stakeholders and communities” includes the proclamation of 21 May as European Natura 2000 Day. On the Natura 2000 day next year, the winner of the Natura 2000 Award will be announced at a special ceremony in Brussels by Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

For more information on how to apply, please consult the Natura 2000 Award website.

For specific questions/suggestions, please contact the Secretariat of the Natura 2000 Award: n2000awards@adelphi.de.

Jul 27

2nd call for Horizon 2020 Eklipse mechanism

EKLIPSE is developing a European Mechanism to answer requests from policy makers and other societal actors on biodiversity-related issues.

The Horizon 2020 Eklipse mechanism invites proposals for requests from consortia representing policy, research, NGOs or individual applications from policy or other societal actors.

Policy and other societal actors are invited to identify topics or evidence needs relating to biodiversity and ecosystem services and of EU policy relevance, requiring in-depth analysis and a consolidated view from science and other knowledge holders. The building of consortia representing policy, research, NGOs or individual applications from policy or other societal actors is particularly encouraged.

Interested parties – including consortia – should apply by 2nd October 2017 by following the rules and procedures detailed as described on the EKLIPSE website.

Jun 19

Green Week 2017: Green jobs for a greener future

The EU’s opportunity to debate and discuss European’s environmental policy from 29 May to June 2 was themed ‘Green jobs for a greener future’, focusing on how EU environmental policies are creating green jobs and contributing to economic, sustainable and socially responsible growth in the EU. It also highlighted the demand for new types of green skills in many professional sectors.

In line with the theme, the EU LIFE programme came out with a new publication on greening jobs and growth, because “The EU has a strong export position in this field. The Circular Economy Package adopted by the European Commission in December 2015 will generate business opportunities and jobs in new and expanding sectors, such as recycling, as well as in innovative services such as product leasing. Additionally, meeting the targets of the 2030 climate and energy framework could create an additional 700 000 jobs by 2030”, according to Karmena Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

During this year’s Green Week many projects and success stories were presented. As part of Green Week 2017, Eurosite, CEEweb for Biodiversity and IUCN hosted a partner event on how people and the economy can benefit from nature.

Jun 15

Presentation of the EU Action Plan for nature, people and the economy

In April this year The European Commission has published its Communication with the EU Action Plan for nature, people and the economy. The Action Plan comes as a follow up to the comprehensive evaluation of the Nature Directives the Commission has launched in the form of a ‘Fitness Check’ in 2014, describing “This Fitness Check has found that, as part of broader EU biodiversity policy, the Nature Directives are fit for purpose but that achieving their objectives and realising their full potential will depend upon substantially improving their implementation”. The EU Action Plan should improve the practical implementation of Nature Directives and help us move closer to stopping the loss of biodiversity and achieving the targets of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020.

Already following up on one of the Actions (13) from the Action Plan, on 6 June 2017 the European Commission, in cooperation with the Committee of Regions, has held a conference to officially present the Action Plan to relevant authorities and stakeholders. The Conference was well attended by representatives of all sectors, including a representative from Eurosite. These representatives have been identified as important partners in implementing the different actions, and the Action Plan was positively received by all.

Details of all individual actions were published in the form of Factsheets. These are now also available in all official languages of the EU.

As the network of practitioners managing the European protected sites on a daily basis, Eurosite will do everything in its power to be a valuable partner to the European Commission in implementing this Action Plan.

The main message of the Conference was nicely summarised by the First Vice-President of the European Commission, Mr. Frans Timmermans. He stated that The biggest challenge of our generation, and the next, is to decrease the burden we put on Mother Earth, or Mother Earth will not be able to sustain us. We need to create a balance between protecting our natural environment and, at the same time, maintaining a good standard of living and a highly-sophisticated society. This is an exciting challenge we are facing, and it is not technological, not even financial, it is an organisational challenge of getting everybody working in the same direction.

More information about the conference, including a video recording, can be found here.

May 29

European Natura 2000 Award: Calls are open!

The European Natura 2000 Award, which honours leading nature conservation achievements, has opened for a fourth year of applications. Any entity involved in activities related to Natura 2000 can apply to one of the five Award categories. In addition, the high-profile “EU Citizens’ Award” goes to the application receiving the highest number of nominations through a public vote on the Award website. The call for applications will be open until 29 September 2017.

The Natura 2000 Award is dedicated to rewarding excellence in the management and promotion of the network and to raising awareness about Natura 2000 and its benefits to European citizens. It also contributes to the fourth priority area of the Commission’s recently adopted Action Plan to improve the protection of nature and biodiversity in the EU, for the benefit of its citizens and the economy.

For more information on how to apply, please consult the website.
For specific questions/suggestions, please contact the Secretariat of the Natura 2000 Award: n2000awards@adelphi.de

May 29

LIFE Projects – an important source of knowledge translating the Ecosystem Services concept into practice

EU LIFE Programme together with the LIFE Viva Grass project organised a LIFE Platform meeting on Ecosystem Services: “COSTING THE EARTH? – translating the ecosystem services concept into practical decision making” in Tallinn, Estonia from 10 to 12 May 2017. The meeting was attended by some 100 participants representing more than 50 different LIFE projects.

Ecosystem Services is an innovative concept from both the scientific and conservation perspective. Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystem Services (MAES) is one of the major outputs under the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020.

Numerous LIFE projects are trying to implement the ecosystem services approach on the ground through their project work. Since 2011 they also need to analyse the possible effect of project actions on ecosystem services. Therefore, the goals of this event were to:

  • identify the relationship between LIFE projects and the application of the ecosystem service concept in the EU;
  • explore the contribution of our LIFE projects to testing, applying and enhancing the ecosystem services concept in the European Union;
  • discuss how the EU LIFE Programme contributes to policy and decision-making;
  • contribute to guidance for assessing and applying ecosystem services at both the LIFE Programme level and at the individual LIFE project level.

The event considered approaches (i.e. tools, methods and approaches) developed within LIFE projects on:
– Defining/mapping ecosystem services
– Valuing ecosystem services
– Application of the ecosystem services concept in decision-making

For further information about the event, including all presentations, please visit the event website.

 

Photo credit: LIFE Viva Grass

May 1

EU Action Plan for nature, people and the economy

Following the evaluation of the Birds and Habitats Directives, the European Commission has adopted the Action Plan for nature, people and the economy to improve their implementation and boost their contribution towards reaching the EU’s biodiversity targets for 2020. The Action Plan focuses on four priority areas and comprises 15 actions to be carried out between now and 2019.

The Action Plan is complemented by detailed factsheets providing more information on each of the 15 actions. Measures will be taken at EU level, but Member States and stakeholders concerned will also need to act, with increased support and assistance from the European Commission.

The EU Action Plan will be presented at the conference “An EU Action Plan for nature, people and the economy” on the 6th June 2017 in Brussels.

Read more »

Apr 28

LIFE launches 2017 call for action grants

The LIFE programme has launched its 2017 call for proposals, underlining its commitment to supporting projects that protect the environment and tackle the impact of climate change.

The total budget for project action grants in this year’s call is over €373 million. Of this, over €290 million is foreseen for the sub-programme for Environment and over €82 million for the sub-programme for Climate Action. At least 55% of the budgetary resources allocated to projects under the sub-programme for Environment shall be dedicated to projects supporting the conservation of nature and biodiversity.

For further information about all the features of the 2017 call for action grants, including guidance, links to application packages and links to National Contacts Points, go to the 2017 call page on the LIFE website.

On the 31 May 2017 there will be a LIFE 2017 call information and networking event to explain how to prepare and submit a successful LIFE proposal.

Read more »

Apr 4

Green Week 2017 – The transition towards a circular economy

Green Week is Europe’s biggest annual conference on environment policy that brings together participants from different fields from government and industry to non-governmental organisations, academia and the media. The EU Green Week is an event that is based on a unique exchange of ideas and best practices. It also provides you with the opportunity to show that your organisation is part of the transition towards a green economy.

The event will take place in Brussels and across Europe from 29 May to 2 June 2017. The theme for this year’s edition is Green Jobs for a Greener Future and focuses on the benefits of sustainable practices for the economy, as well as skills, training and capacity building. It stems from the demand for new types of green skills in many professional sectors. The event is an excellent chance for the nature and conservation sector to highlight its potential for job creation contributing to economic, sustainable and socially responsible growth in the EU.

You are invited to take part in this leading environment event by registering an event on green growth, jobs, education, skills or career development. It is possible to register events that take place during May and June and any type of event is eligible, be it a workshop, presentation, training or online course, etc.
Your participation may bring you plenty of benefits. Organised by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment, this key event in the environment policy calendar attracts policymakers, leading environmentalists, stakeholders and other interested parties from across Europe and the globe. Your EU Green Week partner event helps you gain visibility, attract media attention and find partners. You will receive European Commission branding to show that you are part of Europe’s leading environment event.

To register your partner event, click here to complete the short registration form.
For more information, visit www.eugreenweek.eu, contact Mathieu Henceval at +32 (0)2 66 33 051 or email partners@eugreenweek.eu.

 

Photo: fish polder, DDBRA