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A brighter future, with a little help from our nature

Gi water picToday, demand for both drinking and industrial water is growing as the global population is expanding and as we increasingly use it for energy and food production. We are well aware that this “blue gold” is irreplaceable and still, we do not invest enough to keep our water clean and manage it in a sustainable way. Instead, we rely on grey infrastructure that destroys natural elements, pollutes the environment, costs large amounts of money and still does not function effectively.

What is the right answer to the contemporary challenges? Nature-based solutions.
Read about the ways to integrate green-blue infrastructure into the water sector in our newest brochure “A Brighter Future, With a Little Help From Our Nature”.

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Resilient Modern Cities, with a little help from our nature

Gi cities picBy 2050, 82% of Europe’s population will live in cities. At the same time, urban areas are facing a wide range of challenges as the urban population is growing, the environmental degradation is increasing and the effects of climate change are starting to impact our daily lives. A big and challenging task is now in front of regional and local authorities – creating sustainable, healthy and resilient cities that will be able to afford to withstand the future challenges and provide well-being to its citizens.

What is the answer to these challenges? Nature! Multifunctional green spaces, carefully planned and integrated into spatial plans, can significantly contribute to addressing these challenges.

Our publication “Resilient Modern Cities With a Little Help From Our Nature: green infrastructure integration into urban spatial planning” presents the benefits of nature for creating livable and healthier cities in the EU, including best practice cases and recommendations.

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Sustainable agriculture, with a little help from our nature

gi agri pictureDid you know that people have converted 37% of earth’s land surface into farms and pastures? Decades of intensive farming practices have taken its toll on environment and people – agriculture is thought to cause around 70% of the projected loss of terrestrial biodiversity. Also, the global decline in insect pollinators is caused mostly by the use of pesticides in agriculture.

Because agriculture relies heavily on nature, unsustainable practices initiate a vicious circle where both people and nature end up as losers.

CEEweb for Biodiversity supports creating and maintenance of sustainable farming systems, which can ensure producing safer and healthier food and provide conditions for a thriving countryside with secured livelihoods for farmers. Well-preserved nature is a pre-requisite for those systems, as it delivers a whole array of benefits for farming, including pollination, appropriate nutrient cycling, pest control, water regulation and soil protection.
Our new brochure on green infrastructure integration into the agriculture sector presents the most recent scientific evidence, best practice examples and recommendations for having more nature in our fields. You can read more about it here – we believe that you will find the information both interesting and useful!

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What is the way forward? – Scenarios for the Niraj-Târnava Mică Region with relation to Ecosystem Services

is the title of our newest brochure on Ecosystem Services, which is the result of mapping 91.000 ha of Natura 2000 sites and their services in the Niraj-Târnava Mică region, Romania, jointly with Milvus Group and the Centre for Ecological Research of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA ÖK).

With the active inclusion of local stakeholders, we worked out four different scenarios for 2040 considering the previously identified 12 key ecosystem services. Without a doubt, we can see that people want to have a strong community and strong environmental legislation in the future, which can result in keeping and strengthening the mosaic landscape of the region, small scale agriculture with healthy products and clean water, diverse forests and sustainable tourism. Read more here.

 

A healthier future – with a little help from our nature

Did you know that the annual economic burden of health impacts from air pollution in Europe is more than 1 trillion EUR? Have you heard about the rehabilitation garden in Sweden that improves mental health of patients and significantly lowers primary care costs? Our new publication on green infrastructure (GI) and health presents the most recent scientific findings and evidence on beneficial effects and economic advantages of having more nature, collected and/or compiled by institutions such as World Health Organization and the Institute for the European Environment Policy. We will send this publication to the representatives of national health authorities in Central and Eastern Europe, calling them to invest more time, capacities and funds in promoting the development of GI in their countries. By raising awareness and calling for action on national levels, we are hoping to contribute to a better and more concrete integration of green infrastructure and health on the ground. You can read more about it here  – feel free to use and share the content!

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naptar Our 2017 Calendar

Did you know that green roofs provide shelter and nutrition for pollinators, urban gardening creates stronger communities, spending time in nature reduces stress levels…? We know and we organized a photo contest showcasing their beauty and emphasizing the benefits of green infrastructure to our everyday lives. You can see and read about the most beautiful green roof in town here.

Furthermore, we selected 12 photos from the authors/organisations that participated in the contest and created a beautiful green calendar for 2017. We sent it to over thousand of national and EU decision makers, asking them to advocate for a bigger part of EU budget for green infrastructure and by doing that to provide the EU citizens with a timely response, tackling all the challenges they are facing today. 

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Socio-Economic Benefits of Natura 2000 in Central and Eastern Europe 2016

The Stipa project in Natura 2000 site in Romania resulted with €2,5 million in annual benefits and increased the income of 2,300 farming families. In Latvia’s Slitere national park, ecotourism project ensured additional work places as the number of the companies providing travel services rose from 23 to 48 and as visitors spent around €1 million in 2011. These are just some of the numerous success stories that prove that Natura 2000 is indeed a motor of the economy.

It is the largest coordinated network of protected areas in the world and it covers one fifth of the European territory, offering multiple benefits for nature, economy and society. The Birds and Habitats Directives, the basis of Natura 2000, are currently under the fitness check by the European Commission. First Vice President Frans Timmermans promised the results will be published in June, and then postponed its publishing for the fall.

We are still (impatiently) waiting for the results of the fitness check and we want the directives to stay intact.

In order to further investigate the numerous benefits Natura 2000, we developed the fact sheet focusing on the stories of socio-economic benefits in its sites in the Central and Eastern European region (Hungary, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Latvia): Download.

We’re inviting you to read it and to follow us on Twitter (@CEEwebEurope) and engage in a conversation with us!

Report on Socio-Economic Benefits of Wetland Restoration in Central and Eastern Europe
2016
This report was made within the Michael Otto Foundation for Environmental Protection project entitled “Building BlueGreen infrastructure in Central- Eastern Europe: from pilot projects to regional action”. The report investigates wetland restoration projects across Central and Eastern Europe and makes a survey of ecosystem services and other socio-economic benefts which improved in their course. The report reviews wetland ecosystem services and surveys 16 wetland restoration projects from Central and Eastern Europe and their associated ecosystem services. The report includs policy recommendations on how to scale up local restoration effort to national and EU level in view of the EU restoration objectives.The training material together with more detailed information on the project is also available on the project’s website.

 

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How to become viable? A guidance material for small-scale farmers 

Small-scale family farmers are a centrepiece of the society in Central and Eastern Europe, however, various processes are threatening their very existence.This guidance material is designed to provide guidance to small-scale farmers, farmer organisations, and NGOs supporting the development of small-scale family farming. The paper lays down basic principles of small-scale farming and the challenges and opportunities small-scale farmers are facing. It also showcases sustainable and simple solutions for maintenance and growth of smallholdings, highlighting at the same time their socio-economic benefits. Small-scale family farming can be made viable in the region in a cost-efficient, sustainable manner.

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TrainingMaterialIVFMaking small scale family farming profitable. Sharing experience from Visegrad countries to Serbian farmers. Training material
2014
This training material was made within the IVF project on sharing the Visegrad experience with Serbian small-scale farmers. It approaches the sustainability aspects of rural development in small scale farmer communities from Serbia and the viable possibilities of achieving resilience. Among others, the document lays down basic sustainable agriculture techniques, a framework for sustainable rural development at a local level and principles of sustainability for small scale family farmer comunities. The training material is also available in Serbian (latin script) on the project’s website.

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Biodiversity proofing of EU Cohesion Policy funds with a view to sustainable development
2014

The guidance document entitled “Biodiversity proofing of EU Cohesion Policy funds with a view to sustainable development” aims to lay down the principles and develop a proposal for biodiversity proofing criteria in EU Funds. The document presents principles, project selection criteria and other tools that shall be integrated into the implementation cycle in order to maximise biodiversity benefits and reduce negative biodiversity impacts of the use of Cohesion Policy funds. In addition it also includes specific guidance for NGOs on how to get involved in the task of biodiversity proofing throughout the programming and implementation cycles. Thus decision makers, environmental NGOs, but also other partners and project promoters can use this guidance to assist the development of programme supplementary documents, project development, project appraisal and monitoring.

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 Drawing from its past studies, from a review of existing indicators and from the experience of members from Central and Easter Europe, CEEweb advances a Sustainable Rural Development Index (SRDI) that would support the transition from evaluating from a purely nature conservation approach to a sustainable use of resources and enhancement of ecosystem services, in line with the 2013 Communication of the Commission. The logic behind the study is that preservation or stimulation of biodiversity-friendly farming systems depends on a number of social and economic factors that need to be efficiently addressed by the policy. In the short-term we are confronted with a crucial period in terms of reversing biodiversity loss in European agriculture. However, this process can only be achieved through a sustainable and balanced rural development that would provide the much needed social and economic tools to farmers so that they can truly become the stewards of the environment.

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Green Infrastructure: Training Manual for Trainers
2014

This training material was compiled to help raise awareness about green infrastructure and the services nature provides us. By understanding how nature works for us, we can begin to consider ecosystem services when making decisions. We can recognize the multiple benefits that green infrastructure delivers and include nature’s value in our economic calculations. Thus, investing in nature can become our true life insurance. This manual was designed for practitioners in both governmental and non-governmental institutions to help them raise awareness about green infrastructure. It can be used to train oneself and one’s team as well as serving as a workshop plan for educators.

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Good Practices in Sustainbale Tourism - cover page

Good Practices of Sustainable Tourism in the Carpathians
2014

The purpose of this document is to show examples of sustainable tourism development. The best practices show us how sustainable tourism development contributes to local communities and helps to preserve the natural and cultural heritage. These examples may serve as a model not only for other Carpathian countries, but also for other mountain regions.
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Enriching our society through natural solutions: Why and how to make Green Infrastructure projects a sustainable answer for ecological, social and economic problems?
2013

To spread the word among stakeholders and provide guidance on how to implement Green Infrastructure, CEEweb for Biodiversity and ECNC-European Centre for Nature Conservation have worked together to combine their policy knowledge and international experience. This brochure has been made to give context, a definition, examples and help for thinking in terms of “natural solutions” and Green Infrastructure projects.
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Gaining Profit while Conserving Nature: Guidelines for cooperation of businesses and NGOs in the Visegrad countries
2013

The guidelines aim to enhance interest of business and NGO sectors to work together for biodiversity conservation in the region and build their capacities for doing so.
The publication is available in English, Czech, Hungarian, Polish and Slovak

Four Highlights from Natura 2000 Forests: NGO recommendations on management
2013

It is crucial to share experience and knowledge on different forest management options and their role in achieving favourable conservation status of forests. With this brochure NGOs wish to contribute to this knowledge by sharing their field-based experiences. Four selected issues of forest management are highlighted: Wilderness and non-intervention management, management for deadwood retention, light forests and ecological coherence.
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Integrating the Water Framework Directive and the Nature Directives: implementation in Central and Eastern Europe
2013

Case studies from Poland, Hungary and Romania showed that in Central and Eastern Europe there are already successful examples of projects based on the integration of the Water Directive and the Birds and Habitats Directives.

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Implementation of Environmental Impact Assessments in Central and Eastern Europe: Case studies from Estonia, Bulgaria and Hungary
2013

The study reveals that EIAs can be a useful tool for biodiversity conservation in Central and Eastern Europe. Case studies showed that infrastructure projects that were considered harmful to biodiversity were eventually stopped or postponed. Nevertheless, in some cases the decision to halt such infrastructure projects was taken mostly because of economic rather than environmental reasons.

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Rural Development Programmes Performance in Central and Eastern Europe: Lessons learnt and policy recommendations
2013

The study focuses on the performance of National Rural Development Programmes in terms of biodiversity in five countries from Central and Eastern Europe: Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania.

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Biodiversity: under-funded and under threat
2013
Three years on from international agreements to halt biodiversity loss, European biodiversity remains under threat. This document, drawing on the table in annex 1 (p.5), assesses progress towards halting global biodiversity loss, and towards achieving international ‘Aichi’ biodiversity targets.
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Are we going to tackle the growing e-commerce in CITES species?
2013

The survey outlines how internet trade poses emerging threat to endangered species.
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Benefits and minimising risks of the ‘no net loss initiative’
2012
This study examines the potentials, risks and limitations of compensation and offsetting schemes employed to to meet the objective of the no net loss initiative (NNL), and comes up with recommendations for future policy discussions.
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Capping resource use
2012
We need to set a cap on the use of resources including all types of raw materials if we want to effectively bring down their consumption in the EU and refit our economy inside its ecological space. This publication contains proposal for how to realise this necessary reduction in non-renewable energy use within the EU.
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How do we care for the Natura 2000 site during conservation planning? 
2012
Experiences and recommendations from the pilot project “Participation in Natura 2000 site management planning in Poland”
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Services of nature – How Natura 2000 contributes to the provision of ecosystem services for human well-being
Ecosystem services are goods and services of nature which humans utilise for themselves. The food we eat, the clean water we drink, fuel, fibers, but also the formation of soil, the natural decomposition of waste or the maintaining of a stable climate on earth are all the services of ecosystems. The brochure is an introduction for non-experts to the topic.

Updated Version – 2012 English, Hungarian, RomanianSerbian

Why is today’s economy a problem of tomorrow?

Further answers for Ministers and Children

Updated version – 2012

Third issue from the series for ministers and children reveals the interlinkages between the only seemingly disconnected crisis of today and of tomorrow. Download (pdf, 4 MB)

ACTING IN THE PRESENT – WORKING FOR THE FUTURE Biennial Report of CEEweb for Biodiversity 2010-2011

2012

In this colorful publication you can read about our activities we have undertaken and policies we have been pushing for in the past two years.Download (pdf, 2.2 MB)

Financing Nature in Central and Eastern Europe

2012

This publication provides an insight into the financing mechanisms for Natura 2000 and nature conservation based on the analysis of ten case studies from five different Central and Eastern Europe countries.

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Assessing Green Infrastructure Elements in the Visegrad Countries

2011

The Visegrad Countries’ project titled as ‘Conservation of Natural Heritage of Visegrad Countries Through Saving Biodiversity In The Landscape’ has aimed to focus on these issues and assessed the national green infrastructure elements in the Czech Republic,Hungary,Poland and Slovakia. This study aimed to provide information on the recent status of these elements and to offer recommendations for the development of Green Infrastructure and other relevant policies at national and EU level.
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Proposed Climate Change Act for Hungary based on energy quota system

2011
The aim of the publication, prepared by one CEEweb Member, the National Society of Conservationists – FoE Hungary, is to raise political awareness on the need to change paradigm in energy policies through proposing a concrete tool. Download (pdf, 2.7 MB)

Borrowing services from nature – Methodologies to evaluate ecosystem services focusing on Hungarian case studies

2011

This publication aims to show good examples for evaluating natural values and for showing possible environmental and social impacts of various policies

Short introduction about the publication

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From resource efficiency to limiting resource use – innovative tools for a sustainable Europe

Conference Booklet

2011

At the event experts from different sectors discussed vividly the policy context of increasing resource efficiency, challenges and opportunities of implementation and the need and possible alternatives for limiting resource use.

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ACTING IN THE PRESENT – WORKING FOR THE FUTURE

Biennial Report of CEEweb for Biodiversity 2008-2009

2010

In this colorful publication you can read about our activities we have undertaken and policies we have been pushing for in the past two years.

Download (pdf, 2.2 MB)

Why is today’s economy a problem of tomorrow?

Further answers for Ministers and Children

2010

The next issue from the series for ministers and children reveals the interlinkages between the only seemingly disconnected crisis of today and of tomorrow.

Download (pdf, 4 MB)

Environmental, Social and Economic Effects of Direct Marketing of Farm Products

An eye-opener for decision-makers

2010

This publication describes the real advantages of direct marketing supported by the government from a social and economic point of view not overemphasizing the obvious environmental benefits.

English (pdf, 636 KB) Bulgarian (pdf, 636 KB), Estonian (pdf, 636 KB)

e-CEETES – Central and Eastern European e-Trade in Endangered Species

2010

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna Report (CITES) is one of the most influential agreements concerning biodiversity.

CEEweb prepared this summary of the effects of e-trade in the CEE region in order to raise this issue at the following Conference of the Parties of CITES, held March 2010.

English (pdf, 14.5 MB)

Clear View

Regional synthesis report on the biodiversity challenges in Pan-Europe

2009

The well-being of any society depends on healthy ecosystems that provide proper services. Therefore conservation of biodiversity rightfully should be the same level priority on the political agenda as socio-economic issues.

This synthesis report was prepared using data collected from 46 national biodiversity assessments. The survey shows that in the Pan-European region the situation could and should be improved.

English (pdf, 816 KB)


Why Does Biodiversity Loss Matter?

Answers for Ministers and Children

2008

This story is written for politicians and children alike. It is about Susie and Peter who are “typical youngsters”: although they like nature, they know so little about the surrounding natural world – nor do they understand how important nature and biodiversity is in their own lives.Luckily, on this journey they meet a man who can explain complicated relationships between biodiversity and climate change, tourism and poverty, biofuels and rice prices, and the like. As their journey draws closer to its end, Susie and Peter come to understand that the fate of people and biodiversity are inseparably related. Join Susie and Peter on this trip and find out yourself about the most pressing environmental issues of our times whether you are a politician or a child! English (pdf, 2 MB)

Russian (pdf, 2.5 MB)

Hungarian (pdf, 1.8 MB)

Serbian (pdf, 2 MB)

How Local Agenda 21 Can Change Your Community

A manual for the Carpathian settlements

2008

Growing inequality between rural and urban areas is among the major concerns in the Carpathian region. This manual shows how the settlements themselves can take the steering wheel into their own hands and create better lives for themselves. You can read about the process of Local Agenda 21 (LA21) which has the potential to maintain and revitalise healthy social structures of small villages.

English (pdf, 7.8 MB)

Slovak (pdf, 7.9 MB)

We have a similar publication on the topic in Hungarian (pdf, 1.2 MB)

Significance and Implementation of Global Environmental

Conventions at National Level

National Capacity Self-Assessment for Global Environmental

Management in Hungary

2008

The publication looks at implementation of the three Rio conventions in Hungary: the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention to Combat Desertification. The reader can learn about the global environmental challenges where joint international action is indispensable.

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The Biomass Dilemma

2008

This booklet explains about the real social, economic and environmental implications of biomass and biofuels (or more correctly agrofuels). It seems that biofuels will not bring a solution to the problem of global warming and energy shortage. On the other hand-they will exacerbate these problems to the extreme.

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BUILDING ON VALUES – PROTECTING THE FUTURE

Biennial Report of CEEweb for Biodiversity 2006-2007

2008

In this colorful publication you can read about our values and much of the activities we have undertaken in the past two years.

Download (pdf, 4.9 MB)

Services of nature – How Natura 2000 contributes to the provision of ecosystem services for human well-being

2007

Ecosystem services are goods and services of nature which humans utilise for themselves. The food we eat, the clean water we drink, fuel, fibers, but also the formation of soil, the natural decomposition of waste or the maintaining of a stable climate on earth are all the services of ecosystems. The brochure is an introduction for non-experts to the topic.
English (pdf, 966 KB)

Bulgarian (1 MB), Czech (1 MB), Hungarian (975 KB),

Macedonian (1 MB), Polish (1 MB), Romanian (992 KB),

Serbian (1 MB), Slovakian (1 MB), Ukrainian (1 MB)

Natura 2000 from an NGO point of view – Lessons learnt in EU 10

2007

The handbook is intended for helping NGOs in candidate and potential candidate countries to prepare for EU accession, with special regard to the biodiversity legislation of the Union. The experiences of EU 10 NGOs are summarised to give a better picture of the opportunities and possible pitfalls during the accession process.

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Natura 2000 Site Designation Process with special focus on the Biogeographic seminars

Second edition for Romania and Bulgaria, 2007

English (pdf, 201 KB)

Bosnian (pdf, 328 KB)

CEETES – Trade in Endangered Species in Central and East European Countries

2007

Download (pdf, 31 MB)

Conserving Biodiversity through Sustainable Production and Consumption

2007

Background document to the pre-conference on biodiversity and sustainable production and production held before the Belgrade Conference within the Environment for Europe process, which was prepared by CEEweb and Integrative Strategies Forum on behalf of ECO Forum. It aims to explore the links between socio-economic processes and biodiversity loss and thus to show the needs for effective actions, which can ultimately save biodiversity.

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Delivering the Kyiv commitments: NGOs join forces in the Pan-European region

2007

This publication reviews the progress and needs for delivering the Pan-European Kyiv commitments to halt biodiversity loss. Through collecting successful NGO projects and initiatives, it contributes to sharing good practices in the region in various fields.

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Sustainable Rural Development Model Project in the Carpathian Eco-region – Neaua Parish

2007

CEEweb, through its local member organisation, Milvus Group has implemented a regional development model project in a small Romanian municipality in the Carpathian Eco-region. This publication summarises the outcomes of this project.

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Sustainable Tourism Opportunities in the Carpathians

2006

With a dash of theory and through 15 real-life case studies from the Carpathian countries, the publication summarises positive and negative impacts of tourism. It covers economical, socio-cultural and environmental impacts. Three additional case studies present future opportunities for tourism development in sustainable way. The publication was developed in the framework of the EU CADSES co-financed Carpathian Project by CEEweb, ETE and ad hoc CEEweb Carpathian Tourism Working Group.

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European rural development: past, present and future

2005

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“A European approach and its Hungarian implementation” LEADER – Community initiative for the economic development of rural areas

2005

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Linkages between biodiversity and tourism – An introduction

2004

Biodiversity is impacted by tourism in various ways. This publication gives an overview of these linkages and illustrates the possible positive and negative ways of tourism development through Central and Eastern European case studies.

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Report of the international conference “TIME IS LIFE – Conference on halting biodiversity loss by 2010″

2004

The 2010targetto halt biodiversity loss is a serious commitment of governments after 2001 at various levels. This conference organised by CEEweb looked through the progress made until 2004 and the needs for strengthened efforts formulated in a position paper. National level assessments of the delivery of the targets in CEE countries are also summarised in the conference report.

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Natura 2000 Site Designation Process with special focus on the Biogeographic seminars

First edition for EU 12 countries

2004

Download (pdf, 114 KB)

Safeguarding biodiversity in National Development Plans

2003

The use of EU funds greatly shapes the natural and economic landscape of EU Member States. CEEweb analysed the National Developments of CEE countries in 2003 with regards for biodiversity conservation, which is summarised in this publication.

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Implementation of International Commitments in Central and Eastern European Countries

2003

Governments are committed to various multilateral environmental agreements for the conservation of biodiversity. CEEweb assessed the implementation of some of these conventions in CEE countries, which is summarised in this publication.

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Implementation of PEBLDS in Central and Eastern European Countries

2003

The Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy is a regional tool for biodiversity conservation. The national implementation of PEBLDS was assessed by CEEweb in CEE countries.

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Integrated evaluation of regional development plans and strategies with regards to sustainability

2002

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Please contact the Policy Office to order a publication in hard copy.