Eurosite works to facilitate, support, inspire and unite its members in the common goal of caring for Europe’s nature. One of Eurosite’s main missions is to share ideas and good practice on subjects that are of interest to its members. This is exactly what Eurosite is doing through our working groups.
If the working groups cover your area of expertise, and you would like to become a member of one of the Eurosite working groups, please contact us.
ECONOMICS AND ECOSYSTEM SERVICES (EES) WORKING GROUP
An alarming development affecting Eurosite’s members today concerns the funding of their activities, or rather 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 was formed in 2013, meets regularly throughout the year and holds annual workshops on topics such as carbon sequestration.
- Developing an elaborated training programme on ecosystem services for site managers
- The Working Group organised a seminar "Ecosystems at your service" 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.
WETLANDS AND CLIMATE CHANGE (WCC) WORKING GROUP
Building on wetlands and climate change work from 2014 and on request of Eurosite members, Eurosite established this working group with the objectives to:
- Increase exchange of knowledge on ecosystem-based approaches to adapt to and mitigate global climate change and adapting wetlands to global climate change;
- Share information on international initiatives on wetlands and climate change;
- Follow and react to the developments of policy and practice in relation to wetlands and climate change and their effects on the Natura 2000 network, and advocate best possible approaches;
- Cooperate on the development of joint projects and identify funding sources.
- The Working Group published a first special edition of the Eurosite eNewsletter "Managing wetlands as a nature-based solution to climate change" in January 2017, and a second edition in January 2019
- Eurosite Natural Climate Buffers Study Tour in the Netherlands (2018), organised in cooperation with Eurosite by WCC working group member Natuurmonumenten on behalf of the Dutch Coalition for Natural Climate Buffers (watch video)
- Eurosite Natural Climate Buffers Study Tour in Scotland (2019), organised in cooperation with Eurosite by WCC working group member Scottish Natural Heritage in cooperation with PeatlandACTION
- Read the first Eurosite Wetlands and Climate Change Factsheet about Etangs et Marais des salons de Camargue »
- Read the Eurosite Wetlands and Climate Change Factsheet on Natural Climate Buffers (NBCs)
EUROSITE MANAGEMENT PLANNING EXPERT GROUP (EMPEG)
Ever since our establishment in 1989 Eurosite has been providing guidance to 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.
In the beginning of 2018 Eurosite has established this Expert Group with the goal to produce an updated version of the Eurosite Management Planning Guidance Toolkit, which provides information for site managers and others on a number of topics related to the elaboration of management plans. During the Annual General Meeting in Budapest, Hungary, in September 2018, the Members of Eurosite have 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 competences and skills of site managers in elaborating effective, transparent and science-based management plans through trainings and workshops.
- On the request of site managers or management plan developers, EMPEG will make its expertise available in various topics relevant for 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 further enhance protected areas management planning
EUROSITE PEATLAND RESTORATION AND MANAGEMENT GROUP (PRMG) - THEMATIC TWINNING
Building on the Interreg NWE funded project Care-Peat, the transnational Peatland Restoration and Management Group (PRMG) was established within Eurosite. The main purpose of this group is to engage nature conservation organisations, and projects, involved in this field of work, in NWE and broader. In the first instance, this group will be a platform to share the results of the Care-Peat Project by inviting the members to participate in different activities (workshops, demonstrations) around the pilot sites. In addition, the role of the Group will be to share knowledge, experiences and the development of new (transnational) projects around peatland restoration and management also beyond the Care-Peat Project and in the long term.
The PRMG aims to:
- facilitate the knowledge exchange of peatland restoration, research, and management across the EU and build the knowledge base and examples of good practice;
- involve as many relevant organisations and peatland projects as possible, tackling various issues related to peatland restoration and management;
- developing an action plan for the roll-out of peatland restoration in NEW-region and wider.
EUROSITE REMOTE SENSING SUPPORT GROUP (ERSSG)
The use of remote sensing techniques and spatial analysis tools are among the fastest growing fields in nature conservation planning and management. Access to free high-quality spatial data is improving day by day (e.g. thanks to the EU Copernicus earth observation and monitoring programme). Moreover, the availability of low-price and easy-to-use mapping equipment and open source software makes it possible to implement new technologies in biodiversity conservation on every level, including for managers of high value nature conservation areas.
In 2019, Eurosite organised the 4th Natura 2000 Monitoring workshop to bring these matters closer to managers of sites protected for nature conservation. The workshop was one of the networking events of the Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process. Here, the role of satellite and drone images in conservation monitoring and the usefulness of open source software packages that can increase the efficiency, accuracy and precision of our work was discussed. You can find the workshop report here. One of the main results of this fruitful meeting was the conclusion that there is a high demand among Eurosite members to create a new, permanent working group focused directly on remote sensing, hence the establishment of the ERSSG.
The ERSSG focuses on developing innovative, open tools supporting open access to biodiversity spatial data.
- Eurosite Remote Sensing webinar series (2020) on YouTube
- ERSSG webinar: Drone potential for vegetation monitoring
- ERSSG webinar: An introduction to QGIS for site managers
- ERSSG webinar: Improving the accuracy of bird counts in ImageJ - an open source software programme
(photo: Edyta Mazur)