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14 August 2018

Photography is a love affair with life

“Photography is a love affair with life.” – Burk Uzzle, photographer

There are many things we can do to increase our happiness and love for life. As suggested by the famous photographer Burk Uzzle, photography is one such way. Engaging creatively with the world around us can lead to a heady euphoria comparable to romantic love. Getting out into the natural world is another great way to increase our zest for life. Just spending a few minutes a day in a sunny green place has been shown to have a wondrously transformative effect upon our mental states.

 

Engaging with cultural activities in our local communities is yet another way to boost our endorphins. Why not combine photography, nature and culture by taking part in our Go Wild! Stay Cultured photo competition. Spread the love for Natura 2000, the wonderful network of protected natural areas across Europe, which you can read more about here.

 

You have the chance to win prizes including two Interrail Global Passes, yet another reason to love life!

 

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1 August 2018

Too hot? Plan a getaway from the city!

It’s heating up across Europe, with temperatures here in Budapest reaching 33 °C, and other areas like Bolzano in Italy getting as hot as 35°C! Why not escape from the sweltering temperatures and visit one of the many waterside locations of Natura 2000 sites?

You can cool off at a site such as the Skocjan Caves Regional Park in Slovenia. Here, you can experience the beautiful Reka Gorge and vast underground caves. The site contains archaeological finds dating from the Mesolithic Age to the Middle Ages, making this a perfect place to embrace both nature and culture.

The meandering rivers of Soomaa National Park provide another opportunity for refreshment, and the site is home to such varied and colourful wildlife as golden eagles, black storks and brown bears.

Have a look at this map to find a beautiful Natura 2000 water spot near you.

During your visit, remember to take lots of photos and enter them into our Go Wild! Stay Cultured. photo contest for the opportunity to win prizes including two Interrail Global Passes to travel for 10 days within 1 month around Europe!

 

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates on the contest.

 

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27 July 2018

Inspiration comes “naturally”

Apply now to The Go Wild! Stay Cultured. Photo Contest and win valuable prizes, such as 2 Interrail Global Passes to travel 10 days within 1 month around Europe!

 

You already have a great photo(s) that shows your vision of connections between nature and culture in Europe? Send it to us now! Check out the call.

But if you still don’t know where to start, have a look at this map displaying all the Natura 2000 sites. You can find out which is nearest to your homeplace and plan a photographic day trip.

 

Natura 2000 is the largest European sites network for the protection of habitats and species: a milestone in preserving biodiversity and a remarkable symbol of our cultural and natural heritage. Click here to read more.

 

Get a move on and Go Wild!  Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates.

 

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18 July 2018

“Go Wild! Stay Cultured.” launches July, 20th

The Go Wild! Photo Contest is back! New edition, new name, new prizes.

Apart from nature, this contest has a cultural dimension as well.

We’re looking forward to your interpretation of culture and Natura 2000 protected areas and we invite you raise your voice on the importance of preserving natural habitats, especially for protected animal and plant species. As always, we will use your photos to address the decision makers – we need your support.

This year we will have several prizes with total worth of 1,500 euros.

 

More details coming on Friday 20th July – stay tuned and follow us on Facebook to find out more.

 

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10 July 2018

Hungarian NGOs speak up for coherent SDG implementation

The Sustainable Development Committee of the Hungarian Parliament held a session on 9 July dealing with the Hungarian Voluntary National Review of the SDG implementation. Péter Szíjjártó, minister for foreign affairs and trade reported on the Hungarian implementation, highlighting issues like demography, energy, water, migration and innovation. Among the invitees Klára Hajdu and Ákos Éger also intervened recalling the recommendations of Hungarian NGOs on SDG implementation on behalf of the Hungarian NGO Roundtable for the SDGs. The Roundtable prepared its own input into the VNR collecting recommendations on efficient insitutional framework, holistic solutions for problems that address the underlying drivers, as well as effective social dialogue. The Roundtable hopes that improved conditions will enable better cooperation between the government and stakeholders in the future.

 

Photo: Kovács Márton/KKM

 

9 July 2018

Experience nature and culture

Finally, the moment has arrived… No more counting the days until that last exam and dreaming of the sun on your skin while studying in a dark library. After all that coffee to keep you awake, the exam fever and the efforts, it’s time for you to turn off the computer and go out to experience nature and culture first-hand.

Have you known about Plitvice National Park in Croatia, with gorgeous lakes and impressive waterfalls for a full-immersion in refreshing waters and in ancient history? Or if you want to combine a summer at the seaside with wildlife spotting, try out the Iroise Marine Park in the north of France. It is a refuge area for marine protected species that you will find in a set made of dunes, cliffs, islands and majestic lighthouses.

Follow us here and on Facebook for more travel tips!

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29 June 2018

Vacation Recipe: in progress

Why we are so obsessed with taking pictures while we travel with our families? There are probably many different reasons, but our guess is that one of the most common ones is the human desire to capture and treasure a moment of happiness. Nature and culture are both known for boosting our lust for life and in Europe, we’re lucky to have plenty of such places, making our continent a gold mine for travel enthusiasts searching for an oasis of peace and photography inspiration.

This summer, what about going the southern Italian city of Matera, where you can visit and even sleep in caves formed by white calcareous rocks? Or travelling to Ireland and making a stop in the Burren National Park, shaped by ancient geological forces and now rich in flora and fauna?  And the best part is that you don’t even have to go far away to enjoy such places, as you can find the next Natura 2000 or UNESCO’s World Heritage site very close to wherever you are in Europe.

Keep it in mind when planning this summer’s vacation and stay tuned for more interesting tips for your trip!

 

Follow us here and on Facebook – we’re preparing ingredients for a new CEEweb “dish” – you just might like the recipe and decide to join the cooking!

 

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27 June 2018

Registration to our Annual Meeting and the Academy is now open!

We are happy to announce the opening of the registration to our upcoming Joint Annual Meeting 2018. The event ‘Europe’s biodiversity beyond 2020 – Tackling the challenges to achieve targets’  will take place in Budapest, Hungary, from 25 to 27 September 2018 (participants are advised to travel on 24 September).

CEEweb Academy will take place on 25 – 26 September and the Annual Meeting on 27 September.

Private land conservation, Natura 2000 and adaptive management plans, wetlands and climate change, the value of Ecosystem services, nature-based solutions in adapting to climate change – all these topics will be passed under review during the event. A crash course in risk-based and robust decision making will explain how using these forms of decision making can help identify the levels of exposure and vulnerability within a system, the potential impact or losses from change or a hazardous event, and how to develop adaptation actions. The potential of mapping software for public collaboration in the tracking of changes will also be addressed. Participants will also visit one of Hungary’s most beautiful natural sites, after which we will discuss different funding sources such as LIFE, ERDF, NCFF, PES, national funding sources, CAP Pillar 2, and water funds.

The event is open to members and non-members. The business meetings (Board, Council, AGM) are for members only.

This year the event is organized jointly with another network, Eurosite.

The final agenda of the event is here.

Registration is open now here, in order to receive a discount code, please contact the CEEweb’s office if you are a member. Registration deadline is 20 July.

Registration open

27 June 2018

Which ecosystem services do locals value the most? Workshop in Vásárosnamény

On 25 June, the first workshop for valuation of Ecosystem Services in the Hungarian pilot area of TRANSGREEN (North-East corner of the country) took place in Vásárosnamény – the city where the M3 motorway currently ends. Local stakeholders were invited to discuss the future of the area. Hunting Association, Rural Tourism, Forestry, local nature conservationist and the Mayor of Vásárosnamény represented local stakeholders. CEEweb’s experts on Ecosystem Services lead the workshop, where a survey was also distributed to evaluate and prioritize Ecosystem Services.

The reason for the ecosystem service assessment is to find out nature’s gifts in the area, and what local people value the most. Thus, we can identify what impact the future motorway will have on Ecosystem Services. To find out more about ecosystem services check: http://www.ceeweb.org/work-areas/priority-areas/ecosystem-services/

The Ecosystem Services selected as most important from the 22 identified Ecosystem Services based on the interviews made prior to the workshop were: river Tisza with its branches and programmes it offers, the mosaic landscape and biodiversity, the „spirit” of the area, (eco)tourism, and game.

It will be a challenge to evaluate/monetize those services, which is the next step of the assessment.

 

18 June 2018

TIME TO DISCOVER

Now that vacation season is here, it’s time to get some well-deserved rest and change the everyday routine keeping us in offices, homes and other closed spaces. What better than a nature escape? Or you prefer a culture trip?

Wait…why not have both?

And you don’t even have to go far way – you can make it a weekend getaway as well. Have you known that 98% of the EU citizens live 20 kilometres away from Natura 2000 sites? Apart from offering a nature sanctuary, these places often provide a cultural dimension too. You may be surprised with what you can discover in your neighbourhood – such as Ukonsaari Island in Finland, a sacred place for Sámi people and an archaeological and tourist destination or the holy mountain Mount Athos in Greece.

We’re inviting you to broaden your horizons! Follow us on Facebook for inspiration for your next holiday destination.