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23 November 2013

Alpine Natura 2000 Seminar

The Alpine Natura 2000 Seminar was held in Graz, Austria from 25 to 26 November 2013.

The Alpine Seminar, organised by the European Commission and Austria, is part of the continuing Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process. Launched by the European Commission at the end of 2011, the aim of this process is to improve and strengthen the implementation of Natura 2000 and ensure progress towards key EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy targets. With this Seminar, the Biogeographic Process has arrived to its mid-term having completed the two main events (Preparatory Workshop and Seminar) for already three regions, Boreal, Atlantic and Alpine.

Over the course of this two-day Alpine Seminar, the organizers aimed to:

– Identify and agree concrete actions to be taken forward by various actors in the Alpine Region.
– Seek to develop synergies and co-operations required.
– Confirm opportunities to commit to implementing collaborative actions and, where possible, propose a firm timetable for future development.

The Seminar was organized in four parallel thematic working groups discussing forests, grasslands, freshwater habitats and wetlands. The Alpine process is not ending with the Seminar, a lot of work is actually has just been started with it. There will be couple of thematic workshops organized and guidances prepared during 2014 and 2015 as follow-up of all four working groups, concerning a number of issues such as assessing Favourable Conservation Status, defining Conservation Objectives, discussing the possible management options and their contribution to the goals of Natura 2000, improving uptake of existing funding as well as exploring innovative funding, enhancing knowledge and awareness, and many more.

CEEweb played an active role in the process, coordinating, on behalf of the European Habitats Forum, NGO input. Some of CEEweb’s member organizations were participating in the discussions and providing good management examples especially regarding forest management in the Alpine region of CEE countries. These examples were published in the form of a brochure, too.
The agenda of the Seminar and the Seminar Document are available on the Natura 2000 Communication Platform.

In parallel, the process is going to be started soon in the remaining biogeographic regions, the Mediterranean, Continental, Pannonian, Black See and Steppic, as well. CEEweb will continue coordinating EHF input into these discussions, too.