Ackerdijkse Plassen and Tiengemeten, Netherlands, 30 November – 1 December 2016

Eurosite and its member organisation Natuurmonumenten, ELO and ECNC are organising a workshop on twinning, as part of the Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process. Twinning is a structured collaboration between people from two natural sites – NGOs, private land owners and governmental organisations – allowing synergies, joint working and learning for the benefit of Europe’s nature. Natura 2000 site managers and the European Commission see an important role for twinning to improve site management practices, however a structure behind the concept is required.

During this twinning workshop you and the other participants will design a (new) Natura 2000 Twinning Framework, taking forward the experiences from Eurosite, ELO, ECNC and other existing twinning programs. This Framework will capture the outcomes and lessons learned from cooperation between Natura 2000 sites and also make them accessible to the wider site management community.

By contributing to this workshop, you can make sure that the Natura 2000 Twinning Framework addresses your needs.

Workshop report is now available for download here.

Photo (c) Natuurmonumenten

The concept of twinning European cities is already well known, now Eurosite and partners aim to make the twinning of natural sites just as widespread and talked about.

Go to our dedicated twinning webpage to find more background information, articles and resources including twinning guidelines »


Download your own copy.

Day 1 – Wednesday 30 November 2016
Location: Ackerdijkse Plassen (visitor centre Natuurmonumenten)

08.15 to 09.30 Transport to venue. Bus departs at 8.30 from Rotterdam Central Station: please be on time!
09.30 to 09.45 Welcoming words by Stefan Versweyveld, President of Eurosite
09.45 to 10.00 Message from the European Commission, by Kristijan Civic, Eurosite
10.00 to 12.30 Presentations about the history and future of twinning and current good practice examples
- Nicole Nowicki, co-founder of Eurosite Twinning Programme
- Patrick Nuvelstijn, Natuurmonumenten
- Alec van Havre, on behalf of ELO and Landelijk Vlaanderen
- Michel Gerits, City of Antwerp
12.30 to 13.30 Lunch
13.30 to 15.30 Presentation and workgroups to discuss a future Natura 2000 Twinning Framework
- Anita Prosser, Akta Partnership
- World Cafe work session
15.30 to 16.00 Break
16.00 to 16.20 Presentation by Wouter van Steenis, Natuurmonumenten: the Tiengemeten Case
16.20 to 17.00 Workgroups continued and conclusions day 1
17.00 to 19.00 EuroCocktail
19.00 to 19.30 Transport back to Rotterdam Central Station
20.00 to 22.00 Optional dinner

Day 2 – Thursday 1 December 2016
Location: The island Tiengemeten

08.45 to 10.00 Transport to venue. Bus departs from Rotterdam Central Station at 9.00: please be on time!
10.00 to 10.30 Welcoming words with coffee and tea
10.30 to 12.30 Field visit at Tiengemeten and presentation about the Tiengemeten Twinning Agreement
12.30 to 13.30 Lunch at Helenahoeve
13.30 to 14.50 Workgroups to further discuss the Natura 2000 Twinning Framework and conclusions day 2
14.50 to 15.00 Closing words
15.00 to 15.30 Break and luggage
15.30 to 16.30 Transport back to Rotterdam Central Station
Nicole Nowicki, co founder of the first European Sites Twinning Programme, first Eurosite president and former Director – General. Through Eurosite, Nicole has been involved in the development of Natura 2000, representing site management organisations at the European level. She was promoted as Knight of the National Order of Merit by the French government in recognition of her work.

Patrick Nuvelstijn, Coordinator European and International Affairs at Natuurmonumenten.

Alec van Havre, treasurer at Landelijk Vlaanderen and active member of ELO, the European Landowners' Organisation.

Michel Gerits: "I am assistant coordinator of the department of design and build for the renewal of the public domain of the city of Antwerp and represent the generic knowledge domains: water, public lighting and domain issues. As an Architect and projectleader I recently realized the new lighting of the city center."

Kazimierz Rabski has a PhD degree as a physical-geographer. He has been working in the nature conservation sector since 1989, including nearly 5 years as Director of one of the Polish National Parks (Słowiński NP). Since 2002 Kazimierz has been working as independent consultant and expert in many state and business bodies responsible for the sustainable development and nature management of coastal areas.

The Europarc conference in The Malton Hotel, Killarney Ireland 2014. Photo: Don MacMonagle e:
Anita Prosser was born and educated in the UK having spent her early years in West Africa. Following a degree in Botany and Zoology she worked in over 32 countries throughout the world. More recently Anita has spent time focusing on European funding both for transnational work, influencing EU on its Volunteering policy, and on the new EU growth funds for the UK and chairing the European funding network on behalf of NCVO.

Wouter van Steenis is ecologist at the National office of Natuurmonumenten. Since 20 years he advices sitemanagers of Natuurmonumenten in the South-West part of the Netherlands (50 sites, 12,000 ha). 
Registration is closed.
Download our Twinning Workshop Booklet with practical information.

Participants are advised to find accommodation in Rotterdam.

The workshop will take place during two full working days. Participants are advised to travel to Rotterdam on 29 November, unless they live in close proximity of Rotterdam.

Travel to and from the venue is organised. Group transport, via buscompany De Jong Tours with sign ‘Eurosite’ is available at the Eurolines busstop, at the busstation located at the front entrance of Rotterdam Central Station. Please make sure you are on time! On Thursday, travel to and from Tiengemeten island continues by ferry.  If you use your own transport, please be at the ferry (De Hoeksche Vaart, Nieuwendijk 1b, 3284 KR Zuid-Beijerland) at 9.40h.

On Wednesday evening, 30 November, directly after the workshop, we are hosting our traditional Eurococktail at the Ackerdijkse Plassen. Workshop participants are invited to bring a small sample of local produce – something to eat or drink that typifies your part of Europe – to share with the other participants.

On Wednesday evening, we would like you to join us - the Eurosite team - for a dinner in the centre of Rotterdam. In a relaxed atmosphere we can continue our conversations and get to know each other better. We have selected restaurant Gare de Nord, Anthoniestraat 2, 3032 CP Rotterdam. Dinner is served in an old train wagon and all the food is plantbased, organic, seasonal and local! It is located about 1,2 km, about 17 minutes walking from Central Station. Price for the 3-course dinner is € 32,50. Please note, we kindly ask you to cover your own expenses.

Don't forget to bring your boots, photocamera and a warm coat for the fieldtrip!
Presentation by Nicole Nowicki. Download.
Title: Twinning of natural sites: towards a new Natura 2000 Framework? Summary: 30 years ago we were considering how to bring together nature conservation organisations from all over Europe and designed the first European Sites Twinning Programme. How did this programme come through and evolved? This story, which is in Eurosite’s DNA, will help us reflect on how to design a new Natura 2000 Twinning Framework and reply to the challenges faced to-day by Natura 2000. 

Presentation by Patrick Nuvelstijn. Download.
Title: Twinning in times of trouble. Summary: Experiences of Natuurmonumenten on Twinning and vision for the future.  

Presentation by Alec van Havre. Download.
Title: ELO and the ELO Pilot Twinning Project. Summary: Introduction of ELO, the European Landowners' Organization and outline and lessons from the ELO pilot project on twinning.

Presentation by Michel Gerits. Download.
Title: Learned lessons twinning Copenhagen-Antwerp April 2016. Summary: In April 2016 we attended the twinning sessions between Copenhagen and Antwerp on the theme of climate change, in particular the water issue. In this presentation I zoom in on my experiences about the trip and the meeting itself and try to propose a number of improvements.

Presentation by Anita Prosser. Download.
Title: Natura 2000 Twinning Framework. Summary: Explaining the rationale and purpose of the Eurosite twinning workshop.

Presentation by Kazimierz Rabski. Download.
Title: The touch of twinning. Summary: Showcasing twinning between Society for the Coast, Poland and Natuurmonumenten, Netherlands and sharing lessons learnt.

Presentation by Wouter van Steenis. Download
Title: Tiengemeten and Ile Nouvelle - a Twinning of estuary islands changing into nature. Summary: Tiengemeten is an island in the Haringvliet, South of Rotterdam. The island has been in agricultural use for almost 200 years. In 2007 it is, after ten years of preparations, restored to natural estuarine habitat. In the same time, the Ille Nouvelle, in the Garonne estuary near Bordeaux, is also changed from agricultural land into estuarine nature area. We had a Twinning for 5 years to learn from each other and to get inspired by the other island. I will present both islands, the Twinning and lessons learned on Twinings in general.