EMPEG working group

At the beginning of 2018, Eurosite established the Eurosite Management Planning Expert Group (EMPEG) to produce an updated version of the Eurosite Management Planning Guidance Toolkit. The EMPEG working group gathers the newest conservation knowledge and promotes its use to increase the competencies and skills of site managers.





Since our establishment in 1989, Eurosite has been guiding its members, and the broader site managers’ community, on how to prepare high-quality management plans for their sites, considering all the relevant aspects and with the involvement of relevant stakeholders. As part of this work, Eurosite has prepared several versions of Guidance on Management Planning, with the latest one dating back to 2005.

At the beginning of 2018, Eurosite established this Expert Group to produce an updated version of the Eurosite Management Planning Guidance Toolkit, which provides information for site managers and others on several topics related to the elaboration of management plans. During the Annual General Meeting in Budapest, Hungary, in September 2018, the Members of Eurosite agreed to maintain this Expert Group as a permanent Working Group within Eurosite.

The main objectives of the Expert Group are:

  • Maintain and update the Management Planning Toolkit with new information that becomes available and promote its use
  • Increase the competencies and skills of site managers in elaborating effective, transparent and science-based management plans through training and workshops.
  • At the request of site managers or management plan developers, EMPEG will make its expertise available in various topics relevant to site management, including expertise in the field of stakeholder involvement, climate change adaptation, evaluation and monitoring and assessment of ecosystem services.
  • Keep track of the implementation of the Natura 2000 network and promote effective management of Natura 2000 sites.
  • Identify funding opportunities to enhance protected areas management planning further.

An alarming development affecting Eurosite’s members today concerns the funding of their activities or the increasing lack of available funds. Overall, funds in the form of subsidies are decreasing or disappearing. To protect work in nature conservation, new ways of funding must be found. The value of ecosystem services is being increasingly talked about. People, businesses and countries take all kinds of ecosystem-related ‘products’ for granted: medicines, clean air and water, CO2 storage, wind- and solar energy, and so on. Eurosite’s EES Working Group helps and supports members to take action on these issues and make ecosystem services work for them. Its goals are to:

  • Increase the number of protected areas implementing ecosystem services planning;
  • Increase awareness of the economic and environmental benefits of protecting and enhancing ecosystem services.

The EES Working Group, formed in 2013, meets regularly throughout the year and holds annual workshops on topics such as carbon sequestration.

Foreseen activities:

Developing an elaborated training programme on ecosystem services for site managers


The Working Group organised a “Ecosystems at your service” seminar during the Eurosite Annual Meeting in Serres, Greece, from 8 until 10 November 2016. Based on the outcomes of this seminar, a special edition of the Eurosite eNewsletter about ecosystem services was published.

  • In 2017 the working group developed a leaflet on ‘ecosystem services for site managers’.
  • In 2019 the working group developed a guidance document on ecosystem services and GIS.
  • In 2020 the working group organised a workshop as part of the online Annual Meeting.

A special edition of the Eurosite eNewsletter was published based on the outcomes.


Eurosite Management Planning portal

Online workshop: Innovative Peatland Restoration Techniques




This website is financed by the EU’s LIFE Programme