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Sharing wetland centre best practice between Natura 2000 sites along the East Atlantic flyway


During the Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process Atlantic kick-off Seminar, the coastal and dunes habitat group identified cross-boundary issues as a cross cutting theme. Amongst others, the need to establish cross-border collaborations to share knowledge and create ecological networks was stressed. Moreover, a series of solutions proposed for the cross cutting theme of cross-boundary issues were: timing and synchronisation of management planning, showcasing best practices (e.g. biosphere reserves and Ramsar sites) and sharing experiences among Natura 2000 areas in different countries.

The importance of the involvement of already existing networks of stakeholders was also highlighted, with lack of communication with stakeholders and the public identified as one of the main issues in management of the coastal habitats in the Atlantic region.

One of the most conspicuous examples of species needing cross-boundary collaboration through Natura 2000 areas is migratory birds. In Europe, birds coming from their breeding grounds in the Arctic use Atlantic coastal wetlands as stepping-stones to reach their wintering grounds in western Europe and Africa (this route is called the East Atlantic Flyway). Bird populations need healthy ecosystems along their travelling routes, which cross countries and even different continents. The commitment of stakeholders is needed across all routes covered by migratory birds.

In this context cross-boundary cooperation across the Atlantic region of Europe is critical for the protection of migratory bird species. For this reason, the Migratory Birds for People programme is holding a workshop to exchange knowledge on cross-boundary collaboration for the conservation of migratory birds and on engaging stakeholders in the conservation of migratory birds.

Workshop goals:

  • Showcase case studies of cross boundary cooperation on the conservation of migratory birds in Natura 2000 areas;
  • Showcase the Urdabai example (a biosphere reserve and Natura 2000 area) as a hub for international cooperation and a good practice example;
  • Showcase the work of the Migratory Birds for People programme (one of the most important networks of stakeholders in the Atlantic biogeographical region) to the nature conservation community around Europe as an example of successful cross-boundary cooperation;
  • Identify the main issues when working across boundaries and identify potential solutions.

The meeting will include:

  • Best practice from wetland managers across the Atlantic region on wetland centres and Natura 2000 site management;
  • Project development and fund-raising advice on joint cross-boundary projects between wetland sites;
  • Communications workshop on tools and methodologies to engage people at and between sites in different countries;
  • Visit to local sites and projects in the Basque region.

About the Migratory Birds for People

The Migratory Birds for People Network consists of 25 partner wetland visitor centres across Europe and Africa, forming a network that follows the flight path of many migratory wetland bird species. These centres are working together to share best practice and develop new approaches to delivering wetland messages to their visitors.

About the Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process

The purpose of the Biogeographical Process is to help Member States to manage Natura 2000 as a coherent ecological network, whilst exchanging experience and best practice, addressing objectives and priorities and enhancing cooperation and synergies. Consensus building through the participation of diverse stakeholders is a key tool in the essential dialogue required for the effective management of Natura 2000 sites. To find out more about the Natura 2000 Proces, visit the Natura 2000 Communication Platform and subscribe to the newsletter.

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