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16 October 2018

The Hanging Gardens of the Future

Green roofs can provide storm water retention, urban wildlife habitat provision, better insulation and decrease the urban heat island effect, among other benefits. (Credit: pixabay.com)

Not only are green roofs not a new thing in humankind’s history, but they represent one of the critical solutions for our present and future environmental struggles.


15 October 2018

Expanding the INSiGHTS

5th European Ecotourism Conference

An international attendance of experts gathered in Tbilisi to approach the advancement of sustainability goals in the tourism industry worldwide. (Credit: http://hosting.iliauni.edu.ge/ecoturism)

CEEweb presented the State-of-the-art Good Practices booklet and results of the INSiGHTS project in Tbilisi, Georgia.


12 October 2018

20,000 leagues of sea

Iroise Sea right off the coast of Brittany, Northern France (Credit: www.parc-marin-iroise.com)

Meet the Iroise Marine Nature Park, the first marine protected area in France and a Natura 2000 site which combines the preservation of both nature and cultural heritage.


5 October 2018

A Carpathian eco-connectivity

Overblown development plans on infrastructure are threatening one of the brown bears last remaining strongholds: the Danube-Carpathian region. (Credit: Vittorio Ricci)

The ConnectGREEN project just launched to tackle the conflicts between infrastructure development and wildlife conservation in the Carpathian ecoregion.


13 September 2018

Natura 2000 in Croatia and Slovenia

sloveniaCroatia is the EU’s newest member state, and is also one of the countries with the greatest number of Natura 2000 sites, with over a third of its land included in the network. Croatia experiences such a diverse range of flora and fauna because of the varied biogeographical regions it contains. The inland region’s grasslands and forests contains one of Europe’s few remaining intact wetlands, and is home to 297 bird species. Close to 400 species of new invertebrates have been discovered this decade alone in Croatia’s complex coastal cave system, while many mammals, amphibians and reptiles make their homes along the coastline and in Croatia’s islands and islets. The Biokovo bellflower is one species which is unique to Croatia, while two-thirds of known Mediterranean fish species and half of European birds can be found in the country. Slovenia is the only country with more land included in the Natura 2000 network than Croatia. This increased access to nature is also reflected in cultural attitudes; 62% of Slovenians have heard of Natura 2000, and 32% know what it stands for, making Slovenia the fifth most informed country. The importance of nature can be seen in the attitude of 54% of Slovenians who believe economic interventions that destroy protected areas should be prohibited. You can shift cultural attitudes towards nature by taking part in our Go Wild! Stay Cultured photo contest, and bring awareness of the biodiversity we are protecting to people and decision-makers across Europe.

5 September 2018

Autumn: a time of change

Autumn is coming, with its beautiful burning colours and hints of winter. This season is one of great natural change, an important time for the biodiversity in many of Europe’s Natura 2000 sites. The Black Sea Biogeographical Region sees an awesome migration every autumn. Each year, more than 90,000 raptors, 30,000 pelicans, 240,000 storks and thousands of waders and passerines travel through the western Black Sea Region as they head towards their winter homes. Autumn is a time of change, with the leaves turning and the nights lengthening, but for no-one is it more a time of change than for these animals!   In the Ambroz Valley, Spain, autumn is a very special time. The district holds a traditional “calbota” (roasted chestnut party) every autumn where hundreds of people come to the forest and enjoy chestnuts and sangria together while traditional music plays. Stage productions are also held, along with fungi events and nature days. Ambroz Valley’s Magic Autumn perfectly combines nature and culture, just like our Go Wild! Stay Cultured photo contest.   Why not visit a Natura 2000 site near you this autumn and take a photo capturing this season to enter into our competition and promote our beautiful biodiversity? Autumn

28 August 2018

“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.”

“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.” Dorothea Langephotography takes an instant improved As biodiversity across Europe and the world comes increasingly under threat, photography can seem like a way to preserve it, to “hold it still”, and keep the memory of the disappearing plant and animal species of our time alive. But this is not the only purpose nature photography can serve. Photographs of our beautiful natural world also have an important role to play in “altering” the course of biodiversity loss, in raising awareness about our beautiful planet, and  in encouraging our communities to become passionate about its protection. This is a purpose the Go Wild! Stay Cultured photo contest can serve. We’re gathering photos of Natura 2000 sites across Europe, celebrating the intersection of nature and culture. Get involved and take photographs that help preserve not only one instant but our biodiversity as well!

22 August 2018

“Come forth into the light of things. Let nature be your teacher.”

come forth into the light good “Come forth into the light of things. Let nature be your teacher.” – William Wordsworth While Wordsworth was writing just before the advent of photography, the thoughts of this poet are highly applicable to photography as a creative medium. Photography is the capture and manipulation of light, be that sunlight on a stream, the shine reflected from a wild bird’s eye, or the gleaming of the moon over a snowy mountainscape. One of the wondrous things about photographing nature is that nature cannot ever be fully controlled. As you explore one of the protected Natura 2000 sites in search of a great photograph, some rustle of the wind or movement of an animal may create the perfect shot before you. There is so much we can learn from nature, as soon as we enter into the world around us.  Did you know that 20% of the land in the EU is covered by Natura 2000? Let the natural world provide inspiration as you search for photos to enter into our Go Wild! Stay Cultured photo contest!

21 August 2018

The custodians of the protected areas – Guardians of nature removed by the Romanian Government

The NGO Federation „Coalition Natura 2000” Romania alarmed about the changes by the Romanian Government recent adoption of the Governmental Ordinance 75/2018 of the environmental legislation removing the custodians from 530 protected areas. The ordinance was issued over-night, without any prior consultation with the stakeholders. The cause for the change is the simplification of the process to grant permits for the infrastructure projects, centralizing the process to approve investments in protected areas. The Ministry of Environment, the institution in charge of nature conservation, unfairly blames the custodians for the delay or failure of some infrastructure projects, without considering that these delays were usually a direct consequence of the poor quality of the environmental impact studies. According to the Coalition Natura 2000 says the EGO 75/2018 also represents a discrimination of the environmental NGOs, 60 organizations being removed from the custodian position, without allowing them to take part in the management of the protected areas which requires special teams, with high capabilities and expertise. Hence, the GO proves the intention of the ministry not only to cancel the custody but also to discriminatorily eliminate the NGOs from the management of the protected areas. By eliminating the custodians, those who protected the environmental values have no possibility to advocate for nature when the planned investments will destroy the biodiversity of the protected areas. CEEweb strongly opposes any legislative changes that will lead to deterioration of biodiversity, standing against truly sustainable development and cutting off the society from decision making and nature management. Read the full press release: Comunicat Conferinta presa OUG 75_ ENG and the background material: Info complementare.

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!   jack-douglass-356243-unsplash