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CEEweb newsletter – 2013 Issue 3

Editorial Upcoming events Think forests and Alpine regions: Natura 2000 management workshop Connecting the green dots – Green Infrastructure workshop Cooperation for the profit of biodiversity and businesses Mapping ecosystems, restoring habitats and offsetting – all in two days A meeting to celebrate the past and to discuss the future of CEEweb Meetings for sustainable tourism From a Grey Deal to a Green Implementation of the Future CAP? Workshop on saving the Baltic Sea Recent developments No Net Loss: Great idea, dangerous implementation? Tap into your creativity Go Wild – compete in a photo or cartoon competition Attention: Green-Go Photo contest of ECNC Editorial Dear Reader, Welcome back! I do hope that you had a nice summer holiday and you have returned to work refreshed and filled with nice memories of majestic European nature and landscapes. We have already started the ‘autumn session’ here at CEEweb, and I am pleased to present you the latest issue of CEEweb’s Electronic Newsletter. With this issue we invite you to take part in a number of upcoming events organised by CEEweb. Here’s a brief list of them all. If you get interested in a few of them – and I hope you will – browse the newsletter to find out more about them. Natura 2000 workshop in Bulgaria will focus on management of forests and other habitats in the Alpine biogeographic region and will serve as a preparation for the Alpine biogeographical seminar. Development of Green Infrastructure is another workshop you may consider attending. Alternatively think of joining an event on possibilities for cooperation of business and conservation organisations. CEEweb Academy focusing on the conservation of ecosystem services, restoration, and the No Net Loss Initiative will be a highlight event for CEEweb this year. The Academy will be followed by CEEweb’s Annual Meeting, which will give room for important decisions about the functioning of the network and vivid debates on CEEweb’s future work. CEEweb, Fundatia ADEPT and EEB will host a conference in Brussels on the CAP greening measures and biodiversity-friendly Rural Development Policy after 2013. The aim is to turn the recently adopted ‘greyish’ CAP legislation into green on the country level and during the implementation. Another event you may join is a seminar on agri-environmental measures for saving the Baltic Sea organized by the Lithuanian Fund for Nature. The event will gather a wide range of environmental and agricultural specialists and farmers to present the new set of new CAP measures mostly, but not only, in the Baltic sea countries. Beyond the upcoming events, we report about the recent developments with the No Net Loss Initiative and offer you to read a relevant CEEweb study. Last, but not least, we invite you to wake your creativity! As you may have read already, there will be photo, cartoon and video competitions linked to environmental values – like our ‘traditional’ Green-Go short film contest. Maybe you will be the lucky winner if you enter a competition with your work. And if you’re not the artist type, why not tell a talented friend about the possibility? As you can see, a lot is happening this autumn as well, and we hope you will actively participate for the sake of European nature. Enjoy reading the newsletter. Yours sincerely, Mátyás Prommer Secretary General Upcoming events Think forests and Alpine regions: Natura 2000 management workshop A workshop on Natura 2000 management with special focus on the Alpine Biogeographical Process, forest habitats and identification of threats will take place in Bulgaria on September 12-14, 2013. The workshop is organized by CEEweb for Biodiversity jointly with Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation and the European Environmental Bureau. Participants from several CEE countries (Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Romania) will attend as well as from some Western European countries (Austria and Germany). The aim of the event is to discuss recent Natura 2000 issues at the policy level and in practical terms. On the policy level, developments in the field of designation, management, financing and the Art. 17 reporting process will be covered. In practical terms, threats and different management options will be discussed focusing on some Alpine and forest habitats building on practical experiences of the participants. Based on the discussion, a list of identified threats and management recommendations will be compiled and channeled to the Alpine Biogeographical Seminar as well as to the EU discussion about the Natura 2000 forestry guidance. Read more >> Connecting the green dots – Green Infrastructure workshop A workshop dedicated to better Green Infrastructure (GI) project implementation will take place in Budapest on October 7, 2013. The workshop is organized by CEEweb in cooperation with ECNC. The deadline for registration is 15 September. The Green Infrastructure Strategy came out this year emphasizing the benefits and opportunities of Green Infrastructure (defined as a tool for providing ecological, economic and social benefits through natural solutions; examples include urban parks, eco-ducts or protected areas and their creation). Since the release of the strategy, CEEweb and ECNC focus on lessons learnt, potential implementation, cooperation, financing and challenges. GI does not only provide solutions for saving biodiversity or mitigating climate change, but could largely contribute to green economy through such benefits as providing jobs or cutting social costs. For instance, urban heat island effect influences most of European cities causing not only environmental but also health problems. The cost of solving these problems would be around 500.000 EUR/hectare, however, with natural solutions, such as green roofs and urban parks, this effect can largely be mitigated (EC, 2013). Our workshop and related work aims to increase the acceptance and share lessons learnt about boosting such natural solutions among national decision-makers, local authorities and NGOs. The outcomes of the workshop will be summarized in a brochure and will feed into the 2nd European Conference on Regions and Biodiversity: ‘Local action for biodiversity: the role of regions. Read more >> Cooperation for the profit of biodiversity and businesses A workshop on “Enhancing cooperation between the for-profit and the non-profit sectors in the Visegrád countries for the benefit of all” is organized by CEEweb on October 7, 2013 in Budapest, Hungary. Some 30 businesses and green non-governmental organizations from Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic will participate. The event will start with thought-inspiring lectures. Speakers will talk about the benefits of partnerships as viewed by NGOs, corporate business, and small and medium enterprises. Experiences on establishing partnerships in Western Europe will be shared. The event will continue with an interactive session, where participants will have a chance to express their needs and discuss their ideas on enhancing cooperation. The workshop is organized in the framework of a project on inter-sectoral cooperation for biodiversity conservation supported by the Visegrad Fund and the EU. The project is as timely as ever. Biodiversity loss is accelerating worldwide, also in the Visegrad countries. This causes the decline of ecosystem services and natural resources, which are the preconditions for human well-being and the operation of economy. Thus, it is the interest of both the civil society and the business sector to conserve biodiversity and preserve our unique natural resources. Read more >> Mapping ecosystems, restoring habitats and offsetting – all in two days CEEweb’s academy this year, organized on October 7-8, 2013 in Budapest, focuses on the current processes and updates of Target 2 of the Biodiversity Strategy 2020. Namely, this includes the mapping of ecosystems and their services, habitat restoration and offsetting, and No Net Loss. The deadline for registration is 15 September. Most of Europe’s ecosystems are assessed to be degraded. By losing ecosystems and their services, we undermine the very basics of our existence. This can be expressed in monetary terms as well. The estimated annual loss in ecosystem services resulting from the cumulative loss of biodiversity will be worth nearly 14 trillion (thousand billion) Euros by 2050, equivalent to about 7 per cent of the global GDP in 2050 (Braat and ten Brink, 2008). However, there are policy tools already existing or to be implemented for halting the degradation and loss of ecosystems, which aim for mapping, restoring and connecting ecosystems and enhancing our natural capital. With this CEEweb Academy, we wish to raise awareness of these policies and the tools for their implementation as well as their practical realization at all levels. With this event, we also wish to create an enabling environment for stakeholders from different sectors (European Commission, Member States, and other national and local authorities, NGOs, the private sector, science, etc.). We hope they find a common platform to cooperate for more effective nature policies and their implementations. Read more >> A meeting to celebrate the past and to discuss the future of CEEweb The Annual Meeting of CEEweb this year will be held on October 9-10, 2013, in Hotel Alfa Art, Budapest, Hungary. The Annual Meeting is the main decision-making and planning instrument of the network. During the meeting, the work programme of CEEweb for 2014 will be discussed and adopted following the meetings of Natura 2000, Sustainable Tourism, Rural Development and CITES working groups. An excursion and cultural evening are planned so the members of the network can also meet informally. Related events organized by CEEweb in the same venue: CEEweb Academy on Preserving Europe’s Ecosystems and Natural Capital – Tools and Processes in Theory and Practice (October 7-8), Workshop on enhancing cooperation between the for-profit and the non-profit sectors in the Visegrád countries for the benefit of all (Ocotber 7), and Workshop on redesigning the landscape, connecting ecosystems and benefiting from their services by Green Infrastructure (October 7). Read more >>
Meetings for sustainable tourism There will be two more meetings of the CEEweb Sustainable Tourism Working Group (STWG) this year. The first meeting will be organized back to back with two relevant events: the 4th Meeting of the Carpathian Convention Working Group on Sustainable Tourism (October 21-22, 2013) and the 2nd European Ecotourism Conference (October 23-25, 2013). The meetings will take place in Poiana Brasov, Romania. The second meeting of the STWG will be combined with the meeting of national experts and project partners of a project dedicated to the development of the Sustainable Tourism Strategy for the Carpathians. The meeting will take place in Budapest on December 10-11, 2013. For further information please contact Veronika Kiss. From a Grey Deal to a Green Implementation of the Future CAP? A high-level conference ‘From a Grey Deal to a Green Implementation of the Future CAP? Conference on the rolling out of the greening measures and recommendations for biodiversity-friendly Rural Development policy post 2013’ will take place in Brussels, Belgium on October 29, 2013. The event is organized by CEEweb for Biodiversity, Fundatia ADEPT Transylvania and EEB. The deadline for registration is October 15. The reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is still high on the policy agenda. Following the political deal that was concluded in late June, there is a growing concern that the future CAP will not meet environmental challenges. As the final deal lacks ambition, the success of the reform will rely on the implementation of the so-called ‘green measures’ under Pillar 1, and will also fundamentally depend on how National Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) are prepared by the Member States. Against this background, the conference aims to bring together policy makers, farmer organizations and non-governmental organizations to share and discuss experience on the previous CAP implementation, to describe the remaining opportunities, and to provide input to the future National Rural Development Programmes. The conference will consist of two blocks of presentations, the first one on the CAP reform and the remaining opportunities for the environment, and the second one on the future RDPs. Each of these two sessions will be followed by a panel discussion. Read more >>
Workshop on saving the Baltic Sea The Lithuanian Fund for Nature organizes a seminar on November 11, 2013 in Vilnius, Lithuania, titled „Common Agriculture Policy for 2014-2020: challenges and perspectives in implementing environmental commitments“. The event will gather a wide range of environmental and agricultural specialists and farmers to present the new set of agri-environmental measures in the Baltic Sea countries, but also in other EU countries. Runoff of nutrients from agriculture is the single greatest cause of eutrophication of the Baltic Sea. Therefore, the following questions will be discussed at the seminar: whether farmers can reduce their nutrient runoff substantially and still be competitive on the market, how we can use policy measures under the new CAP to support them, and whether we need new structures for cooperation in the region to reach our goals. The outcomes of the seminar will be presented in a workshop “What is the cost of saving the Baltic Sea?”, which will take place next day, on November 13, 2013, during the annual forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. The seminar bears the status of event under the Lithuanian presidency of the Council of the European Union 2013 and is co-funded by the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. CEEweb for Biodiversity and its member, Fundatia ADEPT Transylvania, will also share their experiences on the agri-environmental measures, and the recent rural development programmes and their future expectations. We kindly invite interested persons also from the CEE countries to share their experiences on agriculture policy. For further information please contact Nerijus Zableckis via e-mail or phone: +370 656 20426. Recent developments No Net Loss: great idea, dangerous implementation? Green NGOs have major concerns on recent wording and the future practical implementation of No Net Loss initiative (NNL), conclude Mátyás Prommer, CEEweb, who took part in the latest NNL working group meeting. Some of these concerns are discussed in a study on benefits and possibilities to minimize risks of NNL prepared some months earlier by CEEweb. The NNL process culminated in a two-day event on July 3-4, 2013, including a workshop with broader participation followed by the last NNL Working Group meeting. Green NGOs gave voice to their concerns also at the meeting. NGOs were the only ones who challenged that the NNL initiative should bring in flexibility into existing directives. Concerns were expressed also by the Commission’s purpose to use NNL initiative to achieve the 15% restoration target. The Commission plans to launch the initiative in 2015. The purpose of the initiative is to ensure that there is no net loss of ecosystems and their services. Compensation or offsetting schemes are discussed as tools for the implementation of this idea. Read more >> Tap into your creativity Go Wild – compete in a photo or cartoon competition Would you like to spend three full days with a local photographer guide in a breathtaking Natura 2000 site in Bulgaria? Now you have a possibility to compete for this unique opportunity and for many other awards in the Wild Click & the Wild Line Photo and Cartoon Competition! You can choose to go wild with a camera or sketch the sceneries of your imagination with a wild line – maybe even both! No matter if you are going to snap a great shot or draw a cartoon never seen before, CEEweb for Biodiversity together with Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation and other CEEweb members welcome you to join our contest to celebrate the European natural heritage! Now, if this is not for you, spread the word about the Wild Click and Wild Line to your talented friends: “like” the competition’s Facebook page or send this link to a photographer or cartoonist you know. Read more >>
Attention: Green-Go Attention, filmmakers: remember to join the Green-Go Short Film Contest 2013! The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2013. Choose your topic from three different categories: 1) Life in plastic, it’s fantastic, 2) Water – the drop of life and 3) Stayin’ alive. Read more >>
Photo contest of ECNC Autumn is on its way, and it’s the perfect season for outdoor photography. When you go outside, bear in mind that ECNC and Wikimedia Commons are running the photo competition ‘for a Beautiful Europe’ this October about the relation between man and nature. The competition is organized by ECNC, CEEweb’s partner in the Green Infrastructure workshop, in the framework of its 20th anniversary. Read more >>