In an exciting development, the board of Fedenatur and the council of EUROPARC have created Europe’s largest organisation, representing parks from the city to the sea and from the metropolitan to the mountain tops.
Combining their respective memberships will create an organisation whose total hectares of protected areas would cover all of Italy and Luxemburg! The combined Protected Area network will cover 40% of Natura 2000 sites (marine and terrestrial).
The periurban parks joining the new body are extremely important greenspaces where peak daily visitation can reach 34.000, more than attend most major European league football matches. In and around towns and cities, Fedenatur member parks provide services for a total population of almost 24 million people. Added to the 73 million people who visit, the 56 million who live beside and 4 million who reside in parks awarded with EUROPARC’s charter for Sustainable Tourism, the members of the combined organisation serve a constituency of at least 25% of the European population.
“We are very satisfied today. Union means strength. Strength to advocate for nature in a very much urbanized continent. Strength to defend the quality of life of city dwellers. This union symbolises the fact that nature is important for everyone and must be present everywhere: in cities, outside them and in more remote areas,” said Mr Agostino Agostinelli, Fedenatur President, following the historic decision to integrate was passed at the Fedenatur general assembly on 5th May.
Ignace Schops, President of EUROPARC, welcomed the addition of Fedenatur’s expertise in the management of periurban greenspaces to EUROPARC’s extensive experience in national and regional parks. He indicated that the extended network would add new stakeholders, together seeking nature conservation and sustainable development solutions to the challenges that face us all. He welcomed Fedenatur saying ”I am so proud! Nature has no boundaries. For EUROPARC Federation a new exciting time starts today, become the strongest and most unique nature network across Europe. As a result, the EUROPARC network will grow by 10% - this green growth for real!
Empowered by this new strengthened network I believe we take a strong strategic position in Europe. As biodiversity is still declining rapidly, we need to join forces and give a strong voice to the local, national and European leaders! Nature deserves more resources and attention on the political agendas. Together with Fedenatur, we can reach out to decision-makers and show that we do provide solutions for the social-economic challenges we currently face in Europe“.
EUROPARC has built considerable proficiency in the support of protected area management and looks forward to working too with stakeholders responsible for periurban parks, to share experience, which will help all of Europe’s greenspaces and landscapes be places that are good for biodiversity and good for people.
The integration of both organisation will begin working immediately, Joining Forces for Nature, and will strengthen the EUROPARC Federation’s network. A new periurban commission being launched and significant presence and workshop during the EUROPARC Conference in the Parc Jura Vaudois, Switzerland, 18th-22nd October.
The EUROPARC Federation is the network for Europe’s natural and cultural heritage. Created in 1973, it has over 380 members in 37 countries and, as the representative body of Europe’s Protected Areas, is the collective voice for all nature and landscape areas. The Federation works to improve the management of Protected Areas in Europe through international cooperation, exchange of ideas and experience, and by influencing policy.
Fedenatur is the European Federation of Metropolitan and Periurban Natural and Rural Areas. Since 1995, the federation manages the network of those areas, enabling experience exchanges between periurban site managers on a European scale.
Ignace Schops – EUROPARC President
Agostino Agostinelli, Fedenatur President
For more information please contact:
EUROPARC Federation www.europarc.org
+49 941 599 359 80
Bárbara Pais firstname.lastname@example.org