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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.