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June Newsletter - Funding calls, Eurosite Strategy 2015-2020, Twinning guidelines, publications, events and more!
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June Newsletter

In this month's edition of the Eurosite Newsletter we have lots of exciting news to share with you. We have now launched the new Eurosite Strategy 2015-2020 and we are very happy to be able to share it with our members and the wider nature conservation community. This month we have also published an updated version of the Eurosite Twinning guidelines and we have been busy planning our 2015 Annual General Meeting and our Monitoring workshop - we're looking forward to seeing you there! Please read on to find out more, as well as news from Brussels, publications, and events.

Insight Brussels
Network News
Publications
Events

Insight Brussels

Green Week 2015

Eurosite's Network Project Manager Jaume Tormo took part in Green Week 2015, which took place in Brussels on 3-5 June. It was a great opportunity to network and meet new people, as well as seeing familiar faces. Eurosite shared a stand with LandLife, so thank you to everyone who came to say hello.

During Green Week, the European Commission took the opportunity to stress their intention with regard to the Fitness Check of the Birds and Habitats Directives.

Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission, welcomed the participants and emphasised the importance of the environment. He believes that the Fitness Check is needed as some of the legislation dates back to 1975:

“Updating is not lowering standards, better regulation is not lowering standards”, he stated. “I give you the guarantee: we are not going to lower standards. We need higher standards. But we also need more modern ways of achieving those higher standards. No scaling back on the objective, I give you the guarantee. And I invite you to watch us very carefully and very critically, and not just take my word for it, but check our actions. I promise you will not be disappointed.”

The European Commission commenced a Fitness Check of the Birds and Habitats Directives in 2014. The Fitness Check aims to assess how the Directives are working, if they are fit for purpose and how they can be improved. As part of this process a public consultation has been launched, aimed at members of the public and organisations. The consultation will close on 24 July 2015 and can be completed online. Preliminary results of the evaluation will then be presented at a dedicated conference in October 2015.

2015 call for proposals for LIFE Action Grants launched

The 2015 call for action grants for the LIFE programme was launched on 1 June 2015 and covers proposals for both environment and climate action sub-programmes. The total budget for project action grants for this call is €240 811 337. Of this amount, €184 141 337 has been allocated to project action grants for the sub-programme for environment and €56 670 000 has been allocated to the sub-programme for climate action. At least 55% of the environment allocation will be dedicated to projects supporting the conservation of nature and biodiversity. More information about the call can be found on the LIFE website.

Call for proposals for LIFE Framework Partnership Agreements (2016-2017) launched

On 15 June the LIFE Programme launched a call for proposals for Framework Partnership Agreements to identify European environmental and/or climate NGO Framework partners who may, at a later stage, be awarded operating grants.

The indicative budget earmarked for the NGO operating grants is €18,000,000 for the two-year period. The aim of the operating grants is to promote better environmental and climate governance by broadening NGO and civil involvement in EU policy development, consultation and implementation.

The deadline for submitting proposals is 27 July 2015. For more information and to download the call for proposals 2016 application package, visit the LIFE website. EASME - the agency established by the European Commission to oversee the LIFE NGO operating grant programme - held an information session on 29 June 2015, to answer questions and help potential applicants prepare. All slides will be made available here.

First call for Interreg Europe proposals now open


The first call for Interreg Europe proposals is now open and will close again on 31 July 2015. Interreg Europe co-finances projects and thematic platforms that provide regional and local public authorities and other key regional stakeholders in Europe with opportunities to exchange ideas and best practice on public policy development and implementation, and to find solutions to improve their strategies. Read more...

Network News

Eurosite calls for a Europe where nature is cared for, protected, restored and valued by all

Eurosite is pleased to announce the launch of our new Strategy for 2015-2020. In the Strategy document, we set out our Vision, Mission and key objectives for the next five years and beyond.
 
Eurosite’s new Vision commits us to working towards a Europe where nature is cared for, protected, restored, and valued by all.  We aim to achieve this by providing opportunities for practitioners to network and exchange experience on practical nature management.
 
This Strategy will not only help to shape Eurosite’s future; it also reflects over 25 years of experience and knowledge built up by Eurosite and our members through their commitment to networking. Continuing in that tradition, one of the main objectives of Eurosite’s Strategy is ‘Networking for Europe’s Nature’. Eurosite networking takes many forms, including workshops, field trips, twinnings and working groups. Other priority areas include information sharing, advocacy and building a strong future. 
 
Commenting on the Strategy, Eurosite President Stefan Versweyveld stated: "This Strategy sets out a clear path for Eurosite to follow over the next five years and a strong basis for our future. I am looking forward to implementing the Strategy both for Eurosite's members and for Europe's nature."
 
Download the Strategy. For a bite-sized version, download our new leaflet "Eurosite - a home for suits and muddy boots". If you share our vision for European nature and would like to become a member, please visit the Join page on our website. 

Eurosite Twinning guidelines updated

Eurosite has published an updated version of the ‘Eurosite guidelines: Twinning natural sites’. The guidelines provide practical advice on finding twinning partners, starting a twinning, publicising your twinning, and producing a Twinning Agreement, as well as key ingredients for a successful twinning. The guidelines are intended for nature conservation organisations and site managers interested in setting up a twinning, who are in need of practical guidance, or who simply want to know more about the concept of twinning. Download your copy of the guidelines.

Eurosite member WWF Oasi investing in sustainable natural products

Image via Terre dell'Oasi Facebook Page

In 2009 Eurosite member WWF Oasi and a number of cooperatives launched Terre dell'Oasi. Carlotta Maggio, Scientific Projects Coordinator and International Relations, WWF Oasi, explains: "The goals of the project are to produce, transform and commercialise products from the nature reserves to: conserve and improve biodiversity, particularly on farmland, recover old farming traditions, create sustainable income for nature reserves and conservation projects, and raise public awareness. The project wants to demonstrate that economic activities can be compatible with nature conservation if they respect nature and the environment. It is thus possible to create income for local populations while protecting and investing in nature."

More information and the webshop can be found on the project website.

Eurosite Tilburg office August closure


Please note that the Eurosite offices in Tilburg will be closed for the summer during the whole of August 2015.

Publications

New LIFE publication: Alternative Ways to Support Private Land Conservation

LIFE‬ launched a new report on ways to engage private landowners in nature conservation earlier on this month, at Green Week. 

Private initiatives are vital to complement more limited public funding mechanisms resulting from the financial crisis.

The report was written by Tilmann Disselhoff and looks at methods of private land conservation and incentives to encourage private landowners to go above and beyond minimum requirements for conservation. Download the report from the LIFE website.

Guidance on implementing Natura 2000 action plans

The LIFE project Smart Natura, which is now coming to a close, aimed to identify cost-effective methods for reaching the goals of Natura 2000 action plans. In particular, the project aimed to develop and disseminate methods and tools for ensuring that voluntary agreements between individual municipalities and landowners are fully implemented.

The project has produced several handbooks, reports and case studies, including a Natura 2000 Handbook on landowner dialogue and cooperation, the Layman’s Report ‘Know your role and responsibilities in a nature project - Landowners, graziers, municipality & adviser’, and an Inspiration Catalogue of successful nature projects.
For more information about the project and its outcomes, visit the Smart Natura website.

Events

Eurosite Natura 2000 Monitoring workshop

Eurosite's Natura 2000 Monitoring workshop, supported by xct, will take place in Barcelona, Spain on 19-21 October 2015. The focus of the workshop will be monitoring at site level, with case studies on habitat and species monitoring, and new technologies, as well as a field trip. This workshop is also part of the EU's Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process. We will be announcing more details soon, but for now, please save the date!

Eurosite 2015 Annual General Meeting

Eurosite's Annual General Meeting will also take place in Barcelona, Spain on 22 October 2015. This one-day event provides Eurosite's members with an opportunity to network and to shape the future of Eurosite. If you are not able to join us on 22 October, we will also be holding a EuroCocktail in the evening on 21 October, to which all Eurosite members are invited.

Would you like to attend our AGM but are not yet a Eurosite member? Consider becoming a member (organisations and individuals welcome) and join us in Barcelona!

Eurosite-EUROPARC Ecosystem Services Working Group: Carbon sequestration workshop


The joint Eurosite-EUROPARC Economics and Ecosystem Services Working Group will be holding a workshop on the risks and opportunities of a voluntary carbon trading system for protected areas. The workshop will take place in Berlin, Germany on 16-17 November 2015. More details to follow soon. 

Events calendar

To find other great nature conservation events happening across Europe, take a look at our events calendar. If you are organising an event and would like us to promote it, please contact Eurosite at: info@eurosite.org

About Eurosite


Eurosite was founded in 1989, and since then the network has grown to include members from a wide variety of public bodies, private organisations and non-governmental organisations – all working to manage and conserve Europe's nature.
We aim to create opportunities for members to pursue their own priorities, but we also believe that membership of the network means members are able to achieve more than they might by acting alone.

Not a member of Eurosite yet? Find out about the benefits of membership.
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