European Habitats Forum
Eurosite is a member of the European Habitats Forum (EHF). The EHF is a group of NGO networks that provide input and advice to DG Environment and EU Member State Nature Directors, particularly regarding implementing the Birds and Habitats Directives and establishing the Natura 2000 network. The EHF meets with the DG Environment of the European Commission twice a year and has one seat in the coordination group for biodiversity and nature. The EHF facilitates, through these meetings, communication between DG Environment and European nature conservation NGOs.
Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process Consortium
Since 2014, Eurosite has been participating in the Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process, an initiative of the European Commission assisting the Member States and key stakeholders to manage Natura 2000 as a coherent ecological network. Wageningen Environmental Research (WENR) is the lead contractor to support the EC in developing and implementing the Process. WENR does this with support from sub-contracted consortium partners.
Eurosite is following the Process closely and will contribute to it by organising thematic networking events according to the needs of the site managers’ community.
Find out more about the Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process on the Natura 2000 Communication Platform.
Global Coalition for Biodiversity
Ahead of the crucial 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming (China), the European Commission asks all national parks, aquariums, botanic gardens, zoos, research centres, science and natural history museums to join forces and increase public awareness regarding the nature crisis. The COP was supposed to take place in 2020 but has been postponed to 2021 due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Comparable to the Paris Agreement focusing on the climate urgency and just as necessary, it is envisaged that during COP 15, 196 Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity will adopt a new global framework to protect and restore nature. After the COP, the Global Coalition for Biodiversity will focus on coordinated actions mitigating biodiversity loss.
In May 2020, during Biodiversity Week, Eurosite — the European Land Conservation Network became an official supporter of the Global Coalition for Biodiversity of the European Commission. With this communication campaign, the Commission calls for stronger mobilisation to raise awareness about the need to protect biodiversity. Because strength lies in unity, we call upon all institutions that care about the planet’s future and biodiversity to join the Global Coalition for Biodiversity for a future with rich and resilient biodiversity. To join forces for nature, the Coalition aims to have 500 members and supporters engaged in signing the pledge. Interested institutions can contact email@example.com directly (please Cc Gilles.DOIGNON@ec.europa.eu) for further information or to sign up. The full text of the pledge is available here.
European Land Conservation Network – ELCN
The European Private Land Conservation Network is a LIFE Preparatory project and an initiative of the European Commission.
The project is being coordinated by NABU (Germany). Besides Eurosite, other project partners are Xarxa de Custòdia del Territori (XCT) (Spain), Natuurpunt (Belgium), Montis (Portugal), Fundacion Biodiversidad (Spain), Fundatia ADEPT (Romania), ELY Centre Lapland (Finland), IMA Europe (EU) and WWF Oasi (Italy).
The project’s final goal is quite ambitious: establishing a European Land Conservation Network (ELCN), with Eurosite acting as the secretariat that will be charged with the long-term management of the network after the project has ended.
European Network for Private Land Conservation (LIFE ENPLC)
European Network for Private Land Conservation (ENPLC) is a four-year project funded by the European Commission’s environment and climate action funding instrument, LIFE. The project intends to expand the use of private land conservation tools in the European Union, improve the financial incentives and funding for private land conservation, foster citizen engagement in private land conservation and continue the existing networking among organisations and individuals engaged in private land conservation to establish a durable governance structure for private land conservation in Europe. The ENPLC project is a follow-up project to the LIFE ELCN project. It brings together 18 organisations from 11 European countries- Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, Spain and the Netherlands.
Care-Peat is an Interreg North-West Europe (NWE) project with 12 partners working together to reduce carbon emissions and restore the carbon storage capacity of different types of peatlands in North-West Europe. The leading partnership comprises seven knowledge institutes and five nature organisations from Belgium, France, Ireland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Together with seven sub-partners and 41 associated partners, we develop and test new techniques and socio-economic strategies for carbon reduction. The main goal of Care-Peat is to set up and demonstrate innovative technologies for new restoration and carbon measurement techniques and involve local and regional stakeholders. Therefore, the nature organisations, together with local landowners, restore peatlands of 7 different pilot sites ranging from one to 250 hectares and demonstrate the (potential) carbon savings of the restoration. Different restoration techniques are used for each pilot site – from manual management to growing additional peat moss. Throughout the project, the organisations are supported by the knowledge institutes that work together to develop and test new equipment, methods and models to predict carbon flows (e.g. by using drones and satellites to guide restoration and provide input for carbon models). Essential outputs of Care-Peat are the publication of a management and decision support tool and a set of socio-economic models concerning the best options for peatland restoration regarding carbon storage.
In 2021, as part of the Interreg NWE Programme, the Care-Peat project was allowed to strengthen its scope with a so-called ‘capitalisation project’. The aim is to apply the project results to new areas and a new target group in North-West Europe. The approval resulted in fewer than three new partners and six new associated partners who have joined our consortium. In the capitalisation project, we develop a unified methodology for assessing GHG emissions from peatlands that are widely applicable in North-West Europe (different peatland types and regions) and thus increase the impact of the decision support tool. Also, we include farmers and farmer organisations as a new primary target group by engaging with them directly and incorporating best practices for carbon savings on farmland. The project runs from 2019-2023, with a total budget of 7.03 million euros, of which 4.22 million comes from EU funding.
Nardus and Limosa
The project’s central objective is the cross-border restoration of meadow-heathland systems rich in Nardus grasslands (6230*) with healthy meadow bird populations. The five project areas are the best areas in the Campine region where somewhat nutrient-richer heath systems occur, with many grassland birds. The LIFE project Nardus & Limosa focuses on studying, testing and implementing a P-mining method that considers breeding birds. The project focuses on restoring 255 ha of Nardus grasslands (6230*), which are rich in the typical meadow birds. At the same time, as a result of diverse hydrology, geomorphology, and soil, inland dunes grasslands (2310 and 2330), wet heaths (4010), and to a more limited extent, dry heaths (4030) will be restored in close interdependence with the Nardus grasslands.
Fully titled Multi-stakeholder Landscape and Technical Innovation leading to Peatland Ecosystem Restoration, MultiPeat aims to optimise the hydrological system of degraded peatlands of a wide range of types across five countries: Poland (PL), Germany (GE), Belgium (BE), Netherlands (NL) and Ireland (IE) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and recover the optimal conditions to restart their sequestering functions, all under the precondition of overcoming obstacles in multi-stakeholder landscapes. MultiPeat will assess the climate impact of the restoration measures by quantifying the GHG emissions and calculating the current annual GHG budgets and the potential savings in the future.
In support of the above aims, the project also aims to:
- Collect and summarise critical accumulated knowledge of past and present EU peatland projects as the first step to an EU-wide Peatland Data Portal and bring EU peatland projects together under a common platform.
- Develop a toolkit to catalogue selected EU peatland projects, policies and data, including an EU-wide Peatland Policy Catalogue, Data Portal and Policy Development Tool.
- Raise awareness of degraded peatlands’ role in global warming, and promote engagement in climate change mitigation (CCM) via peatland restoration and replication of project results and techniques.
- Contribute to the WFD and new CAP legislation by developing national reviews of CAP impact on peatlands and GHG emissions.
- Contribute to mainstreaming CAP aims by developing a business case for paludiculture and a concept for paludiculture in and as buffer zones of restored peatlands in GE and BE.
- Contribute to scaling up of peatland restoration in the project countries and beyond.
- Improve state of habitats and relevant species:
- PL: contribute to the conservation of 7110, 7120, 91D0 and 7230 habitats
- GE: to increase the integrity of fen complex habitats and improve management practices
- BE: to restore and improve habitats 7140 and 91E0*
- NL: increase the size and quality of Annex 1 habitats H7110A* and improve the quality of recovering raised bogs and their fringes (H7120), natural dystrophic lakes and ponds (H3160), wet heathlands (H4010A) and their associated species
- IE: to restore blanket bog habitats and improve management practices for long-term blanket bog habitat improvement
- To establish in all project sites systems more robust and resilient to climate change (e.g. droughts, high temperatures).
- To replicate successful techniques implemented (e.g. calculating GHGs in heterogeneous nature areas).
- IE: Analysis of the GHG saving potential of co-located peatlands and renewable energy.
Nature and Cities
Specific objectives of the project Nature and Cities (awarded under Europe Aid funding for Supporting Civil Society Dialogue Between the EU and Turkey) are to enhance dialogue, know-how transfer and cooperation between civil society organisations of both Turkey and The Netherlands on environmental and sustainable development within the scope of EU acquisition and policies on the environment. Additionally, it aims to promote nature-based solutions and green infrastructure in cities as an effective tool for raising awareness of the environment. This is also of importance to the potential EU membership of Turkey. The project is led by the Turkish Nature Conservation Centre (DKM). To sum up, the primary goals, outcomes and results are:
- Improved knowledge of nature-based solutions and green infrastructure in Turkey through the experience of EU member states (The Netherlands)
- Enhanced dialogue and cooperation between Turkish stakeholders from various sectors to promote nature-based solutions and green infrastructure in cities
- Joint agreements signed between CSOs in Turkey and The Netherlands for sustainable and long-term cooperation on nature-based solutions and green infrastructure in cities
- Awareness was raised in Turkey and The Netherlands on nature-based solutions and green infrastructure.
The ‘Evidence-Based Improvements in the Nature Directives’ is to advise the European Commission, Member State authorities and other stakeholders on better use of scientific knowledge and networks to support the implementation of the nature directives. This project shall mobilise the scientific community to support better and more effective implementation of the EU nature legislation. The two critical aspects of this are to make better use of scientific knowledge and networks and to mobilise the scientific community, both in support of the outcome of the Fitness Check – which requires better and more effective implementation of the EU nature legislation. The lead partner is Wageningen Environmental Research.
Farmer’s Pride, a project funded under Horizon 2020 and led by the University of Birmingham, is establishing the European Network for In Situ Conservation of Plant Genetic Resources. It will bring together stakeholders and sites across the region and coordinate actions to conserve diversity for crop enhancement and adaptation in the future.
Farmer’s Pride will:
build relationships between existing diverse PGR stakeholder networks, and where necessary, create new partnerships to establish a unified network of stakeholders involved in PGR conservation and sustainable use;
enhance existing knowledge of European land-race and crop wild relative genetic diversity and showcase how it can be effectively secured and managed;
use social science and economic tools to establish the value of in situ PGR populations and individual traits, as well as a cost-effective means of conserving them;
use predictive characterisation methods to identify valuable features in situ PGR populations, targeting those most vital for satisfying future agricultural and market needs;
establish a mechanism to facilitate the flow of plant genetic material from in situ populations to the user community, both directly and via ex situ collections;
develop and establish a durable governance and resourcing structure for the European network of in situ PGR conservation sites and stakeholders;
promote public awareness of the value of PGR for agriculture and consumers; and
design and implement a network of European sites and stakeholders that conserves the breadth of PGR diversity found in situ.
Through these activities, Farmer’s Pride will significantly strengthen European capacities for the conservation, management and sustainable use of in situ PGR as a foundation for increased competitiveness in the farming and breeding sectors and ultimately for long-term food and nutritional security in Europe.