Wednesday, 4 October 2023

Interactive, relevant, practical — those are the keywords, of the conference and of the workshops. 

During these three hours, participants will have the chance to dive into a topic of their choice to co-learn and discuss with experts. Together, we will look at some of the most burning topics in nature conservation today, to learn how we can create the landscapes of the future. 

Below, you can find a description of each of the sessions. Upon registration, you will be asked to indicate your first and second choice for these workshops. 

Led by Marta Múgica, Director EUROPARC-Spain Technical Office and Fundación Fernando González Bernáldez.

Climate Change poses a challenge to all aspects of society, and our protected landscapes are no exception. Adaptation is essential if we want to adequately respond to the impacts that climate change is already causing and will inevitably cause in the future. Have you analysed the opportunities to integrated adaptation in your Protected Area? Are you aware of the particular risks of your area? How and with whom can we design actions to minimise these risks? 

In this workshop, participants will work together to analyse risks in different types of Protected Areas; prioritise the needs of the area; identify stakeholders to work with, and propose actions that they can implement when returning to their work after the Conference. 

Led by Federico Minozzi, managing director at EUROPARC Federation

The partial recovery and return of large carnivores in areas of Europe where they have been absent for many years is frequently creating controversy and impacts on rural livelihoods. Protected Areas are likely to be areas where coexistence between human activities and the presence of large carnivores is most threatened.  

Are you ready to challenge your perspective and to put yourself in the shoes of your stakeholders? We will discuss the role Protected Areas can play to support coexistence and present the new European Toolkit for the establishment of local platforms on large carnivores. 

How can we implement this toolkit in Protected Areas? Will you be among the first to pilot and test the toolkit in your area? Thanks to the kind support of the Secretariat of the EU Platform for Coexistence between People and Large Carnivores, two experts  in environmental mediation and large carnivore management, Eva-Maria Cattoen and Tasos Chovardas, will share their expertise and help facilitate the discussion. Join this workshop, a good chance to present your needs, share your knowledge and learn from colleagues.

Eva-Maria Cattoen is a certified mediator, mediation trainer and managing director of the consulting office “LechtAlps - Ingenieurbüro Cattoen” in Austria, which is specialised in conflict management and public participation processes in the environmental and regional development sector.

Tasos Chovardas is from the EU Platform Secretariat; CALLISTO-Wildlife and Nature Conservation Society and is also a Registered Mediator.

Led by Frédérique te Dorsthorst – de Muij of StoryDynamic, workshops trainer, and narrative consultant and narrative coach for individuals, teams and organisations.

How can you turn your personal work-experiences into stories to inspire others? How can storytelling be an approach to protect nature? These questions are the red threads of the interactive inspiration session on the Art of Storytelling.

The landscapes of Europe’s Protected Areas contain uncountable stories. Stories about the history of the landscape. Stories about the flora and fauna. Stories about what that landscape means to people, because of special moments in their lives there, or stories from YOUR work in nature. Stories that should be told, because they show the value and importance of these landscapes.

In this inspiration session about storytelling, participants will learn the basic principles of a good, impactful story. How can nature professionals tell their story? How can they use the power of stories to achieve their goals? This workshop will be an interactive mixture of theory and exercises. Participants will apply these exercises on their own topic and will get inspired by the stories of others, to enrich their own.

Led by Anna Castelli, Project manager of the GreenHealth project at EUROPARC and Pete Rawcliffe, EUROPARC Council Member, chair of the HPHPe Commission and Head of the People and Places team in NatureScot.

The SDG framework provides a supportive framework for enabling both Healthy Parks and Healthy People. By using practical experience from a range of Parks and Protected Areas, this interactive workshop will explore what is holding us back from realising the potential of Protected Areas as natural health centres. Together, we will discover how these issues and challenges can be overcome in policy and practice.

In this “Walkshop” we will go outside to experience the 5 ways to well-being approach in practice, share experience of its use by Protected Areas and discuss the challenges to embedding this work into the everyday work of health and nature professionals. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes!

Led by Neil McIntosh, Project manager of the LIFE ENABLE project at EUROPARC and Sandra Grego, LIFE ENABLE Project Officer and Communications Assistant.

To make a real difference in how nature is valued & protected, Protected Area Managers need to champion an ambitious vision of what we hope to achieve. Our vision will determine how we have to work now for the future.

Sustainable management of nature requires Protected Area managers to become social engineers. Can we think of Protected Area Managers as nature’s social workers? Even if we know what to protect and how, protection is not in itself enough. To be effective advocates for nature, new approaches are necessary. 

To achieve more for nature, we all need to work towards the ‘bigger picture’. This requires nature’s needs to be clearly communicated, shared and owned by the whole of society. To achieve our ambitions for nature, we need to invest now in competence-based actions that connect people and place. Join this workshop, to learn how you make this a reality. 

Led by Fernando Pinillos Communications and IT Officer at the EUROPARC Federation. 


Technology has become a fundamental component of nature conservation. It allows us to acquire a deeper understanding of nature, better assess the impact of our interactions, forecast changes in natural processes and resources availability and collect, process and store data in a manner that was previously unattainable. However, the necessity to count with specific knowledge to develop or utilise these tools, the overwhelming amount of existing resources, the lack of experience and other limiting factors, often condition our capacity to take a step forward and incorporate technological solutions into our work.

Through this workshop, we want to give participants the opportunity to share and learn from each other how technology has eased the work carried out in managing protected areas, protecting or restoring nature.

Do you have any good example of technological use that is worth sharing? Register to this workshop, so you can contribute to the collective knowledge on how technology can help us build a landscape in which people and nature can coexist.

Led by Stefania Petrosillo, Policy Officer of the EUROPARC Federation, Bernard le Roux, co-founder of Dialogues AB, a company dedicated to working in the field of tension surrounding complex issues - both within the public and private sectors and João Cardoso de Melo, Director of Cascais Ambiente and EUROPARC Council member.

Managing a Protected Area where local communities live and work, requires good skills on conflicts’ prevention and management. That is especially true speaking about farming in and around Protected Areas.
The session will offer Protected Area managers, suggestions, approaches, techniques and inspiration to improve their capacities to manage conflicts.

“[…] We regard conflict as a natural process in any living system. It is an opportunity for the development and growth of society, organisations and relationships. Whilst polarity is an essential phase in a successful process, there is always the risk that such polarity can become a conflict if it is not resolved or transcended. […] The tension is an indicator that some form of adjustment is necessary – either in the structure of the organisation, the flow of communication, the relationships, the goals or in the practical implementation of decisions. This is no problem as long as the issues are facilitated well and resolved. Should they, however, fail to be resolved, the ensuing conflict could have negative, even disastrous effects.

For these reasons, it is of great importance for an authority that faces social problems takes care to act in a way that will alleviate pressure.” From

Led by Teresa Pastor, European Charter for Sustainable Tourism Manager at the EUROPARC Federation, Marieke Kuipers, senior advisor recreations at PWN and Urs Wegmann, Managing Director of the Greifensee Foundation and member of the board of the Griffin Ranger Company.

Protected Areas, in general, and Periurban Parks, in particular, have seen a huge increase in the number of users and types of recreational activities and outdoor sports. Quite often, the latter impact nature and on other users. Thus, one of the main challenges park managers are confronted with is the quest for a balance between nature conservation and hosting visitors.

However, how can Park managers respond if rules are not respected? Is the implementation of strong restrictions an uncomfortable, but urgent, measure for the benefit of both nature and people? Or should managers involve user groups in co-designing the rules as to ensure better compliance? How can rangers support this process? Join this workshop and learn from the experiences of the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park in the Netherlands as well as from Swiss rangers who specialise in recreation issues near cities.

Led by Evelyn Underwood, Head of programme, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services at Institute for European Environmental Policy, and Gabrielle Aubert, Policy Analyst, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services at Institute for European Environmental Policy.

In this workshop, we will jointly analyse different governance frameworks of Protected Areas and identify the enabling factors as well as challenges for conservation planning. Within small groups, we will investigate traditional and innovative funding opportunities for a resilient network of Protected Areas, including Natura 2000. We will look into specific examples from different countries to highlight success stories, learn from others and shed light on other, often overlooked funding mechanisms. The goal is to point out existing funding opportunities for Natura 2000 and other Protected Areas in different contexts, and learn how to identify which are best fitted to your reality and country.

Led by Jessica Micklem-Kolenic, Youth Officer at the EUROPARC Federation, Leonardo Cerno, Youth Representative at the EUROPARC Council and the Youth Core team of the Conference.

Protected Areas are a bridge between nature conservation and local communities through non-formal education as well as partnerships with schools. This interactive session will be co-hosted with the Youth Core Team. They will facilitate a workshop that looks at multiple aspects around environmental education and how Protected Areas can contribute to a change in societal values to build a future society which can live in harmony with nature.

Leaders: Benjamin Billet, Head of Policy at ENOS, the European Network of Outdoor Sports.

Outdoor sports can have impacts on nature, but they are also impacted by climate change and degradation of natural environments. Therefore, it is essential that outdoor sports are on the forefront of supporting sustainable development. Outdoor sports provide ample opportunities to connecting people to the landscape.

The SEE toolkit provides educational resources for outdoor sport training providers and other educators to make sure that outdoor sports are being practised in harmony with nature. Through various exercises and teaching methods, trainers, instructors, or guides are being enabled to raise awareness for sustainability issues, rethink mobility, inform people about the possible impact of outdoor sports (and how to mitigate these), integrate environmental education in outdoor sports and motivate outdoor sports practitioners to become change agents.

The educational materials developed during the SEE project are aimed at outdoor sports training providers, but could also be a helpful resource for park managers and (nature) guides that organize excursions or running tours.

During this workshop, the aims, and results of the SEE project will be briefly presented, including some good practices that show how outdoor sports organizations and practitioners can also be advocates for nature protection. The second part of the workshop will include actual testing of various methods and exercises of the SEE toolkit by the attendees (indoor & outdoor if time and weather conditions allow this), concluded with a brief evaluation round.

Led by Tim Duckmanton Team Leader, Strategy and Environment, Lake District National Park Authority and Matti Tapaninen, EUROPARC Nordic-Baltic Section, and Senior Advisor at Metsähallitus.

Protected Areas now cover over ten percent of the world’s surface, and the Convention of Biological Diversity sets new ambitious targets for conservation. The Key question for the future is to understand better how effective we are in the management of protected areas and other natural and cultural settings. Management effectiveness evaluation is  defined as the assessment of how well Protected Areas are being managed – primarily the extent to which management is protecting values and achieving goals and objectives. Evaluation of management effectiveness is recognized as a vital component of responsive, pro-active site management. As well as being an essential tool at local, regional and national level, evaluation also has an increasing international context. Members of EUROPARC Federation have a growing need for better guidance and tools to evaluate management effectiveness.

This workshop will provide a good understanding of the role of management effectiveness evaluation, how it can be used at different scales at a system, network or site based level. We will also establish what support Protected Areas need to implement appropriate models of management effectiveness evaluation.

This session will review cases studies from a site and system perspective, showing the many scales and methods available. We will discover how it relates to the Montreal CBD targets, work of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas and the facilitating role of the EUROPARC Management Effectiveness Commission. We also want to share and learn from participant’s protected area experiences and challenges delivering management effectiveness.

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