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Twinning

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 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 and the lessons learned to a broad interested audience across Europe
  • Support (ongoing and new) LIFE projects in establishing a twinning as a tool for international knowledge exchange to ensure transferability
  • Ongoing support and guidance on achieving the goals of the twinning throughout the twinning period
  • 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 send us an e-mail.

Twinning types

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.

Ongoing twinnings

At the moment we have four ongoing site twinnings between:

  • North Pennines AONB Partnership (UK) and Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife Finland. The twinning has the following goals:
    • Exchange of experience and knowledge relating to planning and implementing nature conservation and management (especially within the European Natura 2000 network) and protection of natural resources and environment;
    • Sharing experience and cross-fertilization of results and the generated knowledge between the two LIFE projects;
    • Sharing experience on monitoring the impacts of peatland restoration (biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, carbon sequestration, socio-economy);
    • Sharing experience on how peatland restoration, and especially the monitoring data produced by the LIFE projects could be used to safeguard ecosystem services, e.g. with respect to local socio-economy or payments for ecosystem services;
    • Sharing experience of implementation of nature and environmental projects in nature areas;
    • Improvements of local inhabitants and volunteer involvements in active nature conservation
    • Capacity building of staff in the organisations.
  • Natural England (The Fenland National Nature Reserve Group) and Metsähallitus Parks and Wildlife Finland (North Karelia). The goals of the twinning are:
    • Exchange of experience and knowledge relating to planning and implementing restoration, management (especially within the European Natura 2000 network) and protection of peatland habitats and peatland related species in Finland and UK;
    • Improvements of local inhabitants involvements in active nature conservation, as the way to sustainable development;
    • Development of staff in the organisations.
  • Vereniging Natuurmonumenten (the Netherlands) and Society for the Coast (Stowarzyszenie Na Rzecz Wybrzeża, Poland). The twinning has the following objectives:
    • Exchange of experience and knowledge relating to nature conservation and nature management with special attention to Natura 2000 management plan(ning), as well as protection of natural resources managed by Partners;
    • Research the possibilities for synergy on the issue of climate change adaptation;
    • Sharing experience and joint implementation in projects in the field of nature and environment in managed areas;
    • Improvements of active nature conservation methods and tools focussing for example on chosen migrated species of birds
    • Improvements of local inhabitants’ involvements in active nature conservation, as the way to common sustainable development;
    • Capacity building of staff from both of the Partners organisation.
  • Natuurpunt (Belgium) and The Dutch Montagu's Harrier Foundation (the Netherlands). The twinning has the following objectives:
    •  Exchange of experience and knowledge relating to planning and implementing nature conservation and management (especially within arable land) and protection of natural resources and environment;
    • Sharing experience and joint implementation of projects in the field of nature and environment in nature areas and arable land;
    • Improvement of active nature conservation methods in the light of farmland birds (chosen species) needs;
    • Improvements of local inhabitants involvements in active nature conservation, as the way to sustainable development;
    • Development of staff in the organisations.

Current ongoing thematic twinnings are:

  • the Eurosite Peatland Restoration and Management Group (PRMG) - thematic twinning
  • Meadow bird management - thematic twinning in preparation

Twinning guides

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: info@www.eurosite.org

Read about twinning experiences

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 »