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Newsletter 2016/1

Dear Reader,

Couple of days after the Green Week, the key green event in the European Union, we see with more clarity where we are heading. Innovation and inter-sectorial exchange can be the key to keep environment on the agenda along with emphasising the need that environment contributes to jobs and growth. We might also need to prepare for diminishing public funds, while turning into the private sector to show the business opportunities in natural resources and the public support for green choices.

In CEEweb, we are following up on such trends. This year, our big focus is rolling out restoration and Green Infrastructure by integrating it into cities’ spatial plannings, the operation of the water, agriculture and health sectors, while also emphasising how much ecosystem services, small-scale agriculture and nature, especially the Nature Directives, contribute to the jobs and growth agenda. We as well stress how much damages it can costs, if we ignore issues like invasive alien species. We also advocate for that public money should be spent for public goods within the frame for the new EU budget 2021-2027, while turning to businesses to change their resource use. And of course, EU citizens, being an important engine aiding decision-making, are addressed too by our call for short films on nature, small scale agriculture and circular economy and photo contest on Green Roofs.

Wish you all a very green summer,

Agnes Zolyomi
General Secretary of CEEweb for Biodiversity

Managing invasive alien species with the contribution of the biogeographic follow-up event

in Romania



on Building a More Profiting Agriculture
with Green Infrastructure


Get creative again with Green-Go

With our Michael Otto Building BlueGreen Infrastructure project, we restored three wetland sites in Estonia with Estonian Fund for Nature, Slovakia with BROZ and Romania with Milvus Group, which did not only have impacts on biodiversity, but also provided socio-economic benefits. Diminishing floods, boosting tourism, contributing to the jobs and growth agenda are all part of restoring wetlands – at least this is what our report shows, where 16 wetland restoration projects and their associated ecosystem services were surveyed from Central and Eastern Europe. The report also included policy recommendations on how to scale up local restoration effort to national and EU level in view of the EU restoration objectives. Now, that the project is finalised, CEEweb is looking to expand restoration effort across the region. We have identified 30+ sites in East and South East Europe that are our candidates for the next round of restoration projects and look for funding the project. Contact Sarolta Tripolszky if you are interested to learn more! Read the report here.


More than 15 countries’ 100 experts participated in mid-April in the biogeographical follow-up event and event of the Turjanvidek LIFE project, which focused on invasive alien species. In the workshop, organized by Duna-Ipoly National Park and WWF Hungary with the contribution of CEEweb, management, land users, researchers and plant protection experts exchanged views on experience. It was concluded that the management of invasive alien species means a significant challenge for the conservation sector and relevant authorities. Sharing knowledge in a cross-border manner is extremely important as these invasive species signify one of the biggest threats to biodiversity and Natura 2000. Therefore, our joint, inter sectorial and efficient efforts are crucial – not only to save biodiversity but to avoid severe economic losses too.
Presentations and the final recommendations of the event are available here.


With our final conference in February in Belgrade, Serbia on small scale agriculture opportunities and experience, we concluded our two years International Visegrad Fund project on small scale farmers’ training. Through our training events and field visit, we reached more than 200 Serbian farmers and stakeholders in Serbia, who received a tailor-made curriculum to learn about the EU Agriculture Policy, cooperation and financial options and viability of small scale agriculture. The training included showcasing EU experience from the Visegrad countries for instance on eco-labelling, sustainable tourism practices and bio-gardening and were included to a guidance material for small scale farmers. Both Serbian NGOs (Young Researchers of Serbia and Eko-Centar) as well as partners from the Visegrad countries Juniperia, Daphne – Institute of Applied Ecology and Naturalists Club Poland along with other experts contributed to make sure farmers receive interesting and adequate information. Find more information on the project and its materials here.


Nature provided goods, the so called ecosystem services are essential for the healthy operation of the economy and society. The natural heritage of the Niraj-Tarnava Mica region, like the lesser spotted eagle, the corn crake, the European otter, the different Orchidaceae species, the pastures and meadows rich in fauna and flora are just some examples of the area’s natural capital. Certainly worth protecting. For this reason, Milvus Group, MTA ÖK and CEEweb joined forces to map 91 thousand hectares of Natura 2000 areas along the rivers Niraj and Tarnava Mica in Romania. The goal of the project is to quantify the most important ecosystem services with the involvement of the local people so that their views can be accurately taken into consideration in the decision-making process. More than half-way through, we already know that locals value mostly water retention, soil, tourism and local identity, honey, berries, mushrooms, hay and wood and climate mitigation services and they deem CAP, demographic and climate changes as key factors in the formulation of the landscape. We also know that in 40 years, these people want to see a world with a stronger community and with environmental laws that are clear and fair. If these two objectives fulfilled, life can be better and almost idyllic: protected forests, proper water management, happy farmers, prosperous tourism industry and a quality life for everyone. Our next step will be to tell these results to decision-makers to change policies and strategies accordingly! Read more on the project here.


We handed over your 41,675 signatures against the trade in conflict minerals and for a binding EU regulation to EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, which was achieved during the STOP MAD MINING awareness raising campaign. The campaign activists also met the Dutch Presidency of the Council and MEPs to present the NGO views for the ongoing trialogue negotiations about the future EU regulation.
The campaign is part of the  the project “Time for change: Promoting sustainable production and consumption of raw materials in the context of EYD 2015 and beyond” that builds up from the efforts of 13 partners aiming for creating the link between (over-) consumption of raw materials in Europe on the one hand, and poverty, human right violations, and environmental destruction in resource rich countries on the other hand. See more 


At the moment, most of the EU budget is locked in resource intensive, high carbon and short-term job creation measures. Only 0,4% of the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2014-2020 is directed to LIFE projects on environment and climate action. This is despite the fact that most Europeans do not only consider that biodiversity loss is a serious issue in the EU, but they also think the EU should allocate more money to nature protection. Also, the majority of Europeans believe that a better integration of policies in sectors like agriculture and fisheries need to take into account the impact of these sectors on European biodiversity.

CEEweb for Biodiversity this year wants to find out what experts and stakeholders think how the EU Budget should look like from 2021 on and advocate for a more sustainable funding and future of the EU. For more information on what the EU could do consult our new infograph, where CEEweb stresses the need for allocation of taxpayer money to public goods with overarching benefits!


CEEweb for Biodiversity is pleased to invite you to its upcoming renowned CEEweb Academy on 18th-19th October, Budapest, Hungary where the focus will be on European policy and practice on agriculture and building green infrastructure.
Taking into account the importance and size of the Common Agriculture Policy budget as well as the already started discussions on the next EU budget from 2021, it is important that landowners and conservation experts also start talks on how to use the current CAP at the most possible green way, while kicking off dialogues on a future, more result-based common policy that delivers for the economy, society and environment.
High level policy makers and experts from Europe will share their views on integrating conservation and agriculture, while farmers and practitioners of different countries will show how to make agriculture both profitable and green. We will also take time for networking and visiting local farms that already have sustainable practice and use all the gained knowledge for a common brainstorming for next steps.
Mark the date in your calendar and find further information soon


Green roofs not only provide benefits like reducing heat waves and urban flooding and increasing the cooling effects in the scorching summer, they also provide an urban escape from the concrete jungles. Fortunately, there are more progressive legislation as well as a social desire to boost the creation of Green Roofs. Our question is though “do we know where the most funky Green Roof is in Central and Eastern Europe”? Our brand new photo contest very well just tracks the answer for this question! We ask citizens to go out for a summer drink and relax at a Green Roof place in one of the metropolises and show us which and where the best one is! Even more, the best Green Roof shooter can even win with it! Soon more details are coming up. Interested to partner up? Contact us here.


After 5 years of success and at least 500 great shorts, CEEweb for Biodiversity organizes the 6th Green-Go Short film Contest in 2016. Just like in the last year, we are waiting for attention grabbing short films that raise awareness about specific problem or show a solution. As always, our categories follow the current issues on the field of nature and environment and looking for the thoughts and answers of the world citizens. The three topics for this year are the intensive agriculture vs. small scale farming, the circular economy and at last but not least, the importance and benefits of Europe’s natural wonders. We want to hear your voice! Make a film and have a big impact on citizens and decision makers and call them to act so our world becomes a better place to live. The best shorts will not only win valuable prizes but will be showed at international events that affect our future! For more information on the deadlines, requirements and application, please visit the Green-Go website!

THANK YOU for reading about us

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