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30 May 2017

Demand for people’s budget

European citizens have to be a part of a debate on a future of Europe and on the next EU budget that has to work both for citizens and the planet. It should show Europe’s willingness to achieve sustainability and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which the EU is committed to. Representatives of non-governmental organizations, as well as of DG Climate Action, DG Regio, DG Environment and European Parliament came together in Brussels to discuss the ways to achieve these objectives.

The results of a stakeholder survey on the next EU budget was presented at the meeting. The survey was designed by the SDG Watch Europe alliance with CEEweb taking the lead and collected more than 300 responses from all over Europe. The EU becoming a key driver to sustainability, Sustainable Development Goals mainstreamed and more citizens’ participation and higher transparency in decision-making processes are the demands that reached a broad agreement among survey respondents.

However, it is not simply about more money. We need to see policy coherence and reducing trade-offs that lead to EU money being wasted on contradictory objectives. That is why SDG Watch Europe is introducing 8 sustainability principles to ensure coherence in the future internal and external EU spending and to put sustainability at the heart of the European project. Klara Hajdu, Senior Policy Officer at CEEweb for Biodiversity stressed the need for sustainability proofing.  “We need a structured process with the effective application of tools in order to prevent and mitigate the problems as well as to minimize negative effects.” – says Klara Hajdu.

NGO representatives agreed on the future steps to be taken in order to call on the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council to integrate these principles from the very beginning of the financial policy planning, and prioritise the interest of the citizens and the implementation of the SDGs.

 

22 May 2017

The winners: air, water, nutrition

We have the results of our “What is your favorite gift from nature?” contest! It seems that nothing can beat clean air, clean water and nutrition because those are the most popular ecosystem services chosen by the Members of the European Parliament who voted in our online contest.

We selected 12 ecosystem services: nutrition (tasting nature), clean air (Take a Deep Breath), clean water (Thirst for Life), medicine (The Healing Power), raw materials (In a Raw), recreation opportunities (Moving Forward), pest and disease control (On a Patrol), pollination and seed dispersal (No Bees? No Food, No Humans), flood and storm protection (To Serve and to Protect), climate regulation (Keeps it Cool), pollution and toxic substances control (Detox for our Planet) and opportunities for spiritual interactions (The Sixth Dimension) for the contest. We are sure it was a tough choice – each ecosystem service is valuable, if not existential.

Next, we will present ecosystem services at the “How can People and the Economy benefit from Nature? Stories from Citizens”conference in Brussels on 7 June. The conference will gather members of the European Parliament, representatives of the European Commission, the European Council, scientific community, civil society, private sector and other relevant stakeholders.

This event will present examples on how nature can provide answers to many societal and environmental challenges the European Union faces today.  Citizens coming from different sectors will share their personal experiences about living and working in Natura 2000 sites, and we will showcase successful products from this area accompanied by inspiring background stories about the collaborations and the related socio-economic benefits.

We are inviting you to register now http://bit.ly/StoriesFromCitizens and also to join us for the concert by our Friend of Natura 2000 Katy Carr and to taste the nature with us – we will offer delicious, organic Italian products and a Belgian beer! Registration is free.

17 May 2017

Green tourism strategies

On 10 May, partners of the INSiGHTS  project of Interreg Danube Transnational Program met at the 2nd internal thematic meeting in Vienna hosted by the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU) to discuss the progress of work packages on Local Strategies and analyze the answers of their pilot destinations based on the Self-Assessment manual. The workshop was dedicated to the evaluation of the Status Quo analysis and the exchange of information between the various partners. Each destination explained the outcomes of their stakeholder involvement highlighting the need to improve their destinations’ strategy, the socio-economic benefits for their region and the quality of visitors’ experiences through product development.

After a detailed discussion on the local assessment of each pilot region, we presented the state-of-the-art good practices approach and outlined forthcoming steps in filtering and synthesizing the collected case studies so that piloting partners can adopt specific aspects of these good practices to refine their tourism strategies along the three thematic pillars.

You may find more information about the event in press releases in English and in Hungarian.

For more information about the project, click here.

8 May 2017

Nature works for people, the economy

Nature can provide answers to many societal and environmental challenges the European Union faces today and we will show real-life examples to prove that! We are pleased to announce the How can People and the Economy benefit from Nature? Stories from Citizensconference in Brussels on June 7th 2017.

This event will present examples on how nature can provide answers to many societal and environmental challenges the European Union faces today.  Citizens coming from different sectors will share their personal experiences about living and working in Natura 2000 sites, and we will showcase successful products from this area accompanied by inspiring background stories about the collaborations and the related socio-economic benefits.

“How can People and the Economy benefit from Nature? Stories from Citizens” conference will bring together around 150 participants: members of the European Parliament, representatives of the European Commission, the European Council, scientific community, civil society, private sector and other relevant stakeholders.

The conference is organised by CEEweb for Biodiversity, Eurosite and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and hosted by the Members of the European Parliament Ms. Sirpa Pietikäinen, Mr. Benedek Javor and Mr. Pavel Poc.

You may now register for the conference: http://bit.ly/StoriesFromCitizens

Agenda Stories from Citizens conference

 

3 May 2017

Improve your business, make it circular

Join us for the first Circular Hungary conference and expo on 1 June 2017 in Budapest! Entrepreneurs, designers, experts and policy makers will discuss and show innovative examples of how circular economy can provide benefits for both business and Hungarian economy. We will bring together Hungarian and foreign experts and company executives with extensive experience in various aspects of circular economy. In addition to lectures, interactive sessions will provide the opportunity for sharing ideas.

Translation from English/Hungarian will be provided.

For more information about the conference in Hungarian, please visit this website: http://circularhungary.hu/hu/circular-hungary-2017/

28 April 2017

More actions for nature still needed

The European Commission has published the Action Plan for nature, people and the economy to improve the protection of nature and biodiversity in the EU, for the benefit of its citizens and the economy.

CEEweb for Biodiversity welcomes the actions for improving the implementation of the EU’s flagship nature policies, but is of the opinion that further actions are crucial for protecting wildlife and habitats: “We are pleased that the Action Plan is published and that it presents a set of actions for better implementation of Natura 2000. However, as the fitness check study has concluded that the directives are still not fully implemented in all the member states, we ask for more actions on the national level– said CEEweb’s Natura 2000 and Water Policy Officer Monika Kotulak and added that in following months CEEweb for Biodiversity will focus on helping the European Commission and national governments in Central and Eastern Europe with implementation of the planned actions.

CEEweb for Biodiversity will continue with advocating for the changes in Common Agricultural Policy and for more money for nature in the next EU budget and with continuous communication of socio-economic benefits for nature.

27 April 2017

We asked members of the EP

“What is your favorite gift from nature?” is the question of our online contest for the Members of the European Parliament. Namely, we selected 12 ecosystem services: nutrition (tasting nature), clean air (Take a Deep Breath), clean water (Thirst for Life), medicine (The Healing Power), raw materials (In a Raw), recreation opportunities (Moving Forward), pest and disease control (On a Patrol), pollination and seed dispersal (No Bees? No Food, No Humans), flood and storm protection (To Serve and to Protect), climate regulation (Keeps it Cool), pollution and toxic substances control (Detox for our Planet) and opportunities for spiritual interactions (The Sixth Dimension) and we asked MEPs to choose their 3 favorite ones.

Think about it – every day, nature provides us with gifts that are beneficial for society and the economy. Perhaps, sometimes we take them for granted, don’t we? However, every single one of these gifts – ecosystem services – is crucial for our existence and provides us with value that we actually can put a price tag on.

With this contest, we aim to raise awareness among the Members of the European Parliament about the importance of ecosystem services. The results of the contest will be published in late May.

27 April 2017

Take action on future of CAP

Our food and farming system is broken. Our newest infographic presents the facts that support this argument, by showing how is EU taxpayers’ money spent on agriculture in the EU. Annually, EUR 53 billion or 40% of the overall EU budget is spent on Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and it is important that European Union citizens have their say about it

The future of EU’s food and farming system is being decided now as the European Commission (EC) has launched a public consultation on future of CAP with the alleged reason to modernise and simplify the EU’s most expensive and – according to many – dubious policy on agriculture.

We are inviting you to check the information about CAP spending and its consequences for small-scale farmers, labor forces, diffuse pollution and biodiversity here: http://bit.ly/CAP_spending and to take action by joining the public consultation. In order to facilitate your participation, we suggest you use the recommended responses to the five most important questions about the future of CAP that are available on the website of the Living Land campaign that to unite organisations and concerned citizens to call on decision-makers to fundamentally rethink our agricultural policies:  https://www.living-land.org/actnow/.

24 April 2017

Transgreen: knowledge transfer and planning reinforced at Miskolc-Kosice-Uzhgorod (HU-SK-UA) pilot area meeting

On 5-6 April, project partners directly involved in the pilot area and others working on different pilot areas, joined in Budapest for a meeting dedicated to planning activities for the Miskolc-Kosice-Uzhgorod (HU-SK-UA) project site and to exchanging knowledge.

The meeting organized by CEEweb brought together representatives of CEEweb, SNC, NDS, NIF, WWF DCP and experts from the three countries to develop the next steps to be taken in the Miskolc-Kosice-Uzhgorod (HU-SK-UA) pilot area.

Project partners focusing on other pilot areas, but bringing in specific know-how to the overall project, such as NCA, SPECTRA, WWF RO, presented methods and recommendations for verifying ecological corridors in the field.  Besides the aspects of needed equipment, existing maps and required field work, the question of the applicability of the different methodologies to mountain and lowland fauna was also discussed. This was followed by a common working session where these inputs were considered and adapted to the needs of the HU-SK-UA pilot area.  The knowledge transfer among pilot areas is one key element in the project, which allows countries and local sites to benefit from one another.

After refining the methodology for the ecological corridors, participants went on to refine other processes regarding the pilot area: the content and structure of the in-depth analysis, the stakeholder involvement scheme presented by SPECTRA, and an updated version of the work plan for the pilot area.

More information: http://www.ceeweb.org/work-areas/priority-areas/green-infrastructure/transgreen-project/

19 April 2017

One Site, One Plan: Integrated Conservation Management

This international conference, organised by Eurosite members Natuurmonumenten, Staatsbosbeheer and Natural England, takes place in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, on 7-8 June 2017.

Dutch and UK national conservation organisations have been working closely together on a new approach to the management of conservation sites.

It is adaptive and integrates planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation;
It is scalable, integrating the management of individual sites with the management of site networks;
It harmonises conflicting interests by integrating all land interests into a single, dynamic site plan;
It is software supported, integrating mapping, data and documents to create a one-stop information system;
It shares learning enabling organisations to integrate information from other sites and into their site management.

Who should attend?

Anyone with an interest in how we achieve better conservation outcomes through better planning and better management, but in particular: site managers, site planners, responsible conservation staff members, habitat and species surveyors, information management specialists and ICT managers.

Registration is now open and will close on 19 May 2017. Early-bird bookings close on 28 April.

For more information on programme, registration and practical information, click here.