The concept of twinning European cities is already well known, now Eurosite aims to make the twinning of natural sites just as widespread and talked about. We are well placed to do this - twinning is in our DNA. Established in 1989, Eurosite evolved out of the European Natural Sites Twinning Programme, which linked 33 sites across Europe since 1987. This programme demonstrated the clear demand for knowledge-exchange on practical nature management and two years later in 1989, the Eurosite network was born.
Twinning sites is a core Eurosite tool for knowledge-exchange. Eurosite members interested in twinning are able to take advantage of Eurosite’s expertise and services in this area to establish a twinning, including support with:
- Finding a twinning partner from within (and occasionally outside) the network
- Developing a Twinning Agreement to formalise the cooperation
- Promoting and publicising the twinning
- Ongoing support and guidance on achieving the goals of the twinning throughout the twinning period (typically four years)
- Neutral mediation in the unlikely case of a disagreement
The twinning partners decide the purpose, content and duration of their joint work. To find an appropriate partner, please check the Eurosite Twinning Partner Search Board »
There are typically two types of twinning. The first is the more traditional twinning between organisations or natural sites. The focus of these twinnings could, for example, be on the transfer of knowledge from one site to another, or on the exchanges of staff, volunteers and students.
If partners prefer to collaborate on specific research projects or the development of mutually interesting projects, they can also choose a thematic twinning. This type of twinning focuses on a specific theme (e.g. communication, recreation, climate change mitigation, the protection of a certain species) and can involve all kinds of stakeholders, such as site managers, municipalities, local communities, tourist organisations and businesses.
Themes currently in consideration for a thematic twinning:
- Natural grazers;
- Working with farmers in and around protected sites;
- Natura 2000 sites as touristic (eco.. education..) destinations;
- Successful Climate Change adaptation projects;
- Invasive Alien Species;
- Involvement of volunteers in site management activities.
Dutch-Polish twinning: what does the future hold?
The first weekend of June 2016, eight ecologists of Natuurmonumenten, the Netherlands, visited the Odra Delta in Poland. The objective of the trip was to evaluate nature conservation and the twinning between Eurosite members Society for the Coast (EUCC-Poland) and Natuurmonumenten over the previous years. Jacob de Bruin of Natuurmonumenten wrote a blog article about the trip. Read more »
In May and June 2018, two more twinning visits of Natuurmonumenten staff to the Society for the Coast in the Odra Delta were carried out. The twinning has evolved into a sustainable long-term collaboration. This time, a bird survey was conducted. Additionally, both twinning partners are exploring the best ways to design a management plan for the Odra Delta. Read more »
The Eurosite guidelines on twinning natural sites can be downloaded below. A template Twinning Agreement is also available upon request from the Eurosite Secretariat. For further information please contact Eurosite at: firstname.lastname@example.org