Completion of a webinar series on the management of protected areas in practice

April 23, 2024
Categories: Announcements

Another round of LIFE-IP 4 NATURA online seminars has been successfully completed, in the framework of the project’s capacity building programme. The webinar “Management of protected areas in practice” is the follow-up event of the “Management of protected areas in Greece” webinar that was held in December 2023.

The two-hour seminar targeted all interested citizens groups related to Natura 2000 sites, either through their professional activity or as members of civil society.

Participation exceeded two hundred individuals, who stem from various groups and agencies such as professional chambers, environmental NGOs, scientific organisations, and universities. Many of the participants had also attended earlier capacity building seminars.

The topics presented in the seminar included how the management of Natura 2000 sites concerns local communities, what are the general and specific regulations in the network’s sites, as well as how new projects and activities are developed. The second part of the presentation focused on the participation of citizens and stakeholders in decision-making and how local communities can participate in the management of protected areas.

The seminar -with the use of interactive tools and via the questions that the project team asked the participants- delivered an interesting mapping of perceptions about the role and interactions of the stakeholders in the context of the management of protected areas, but also about what needs to be done in order to strengthen the role and participation of interested parties.

For example, in the question “tell us the first word that comes to mind when you hear ‘protected area management and local community’”, words such as conservation, biodiversity, environment, sustainability and balance were the ones mentioned most frequently, while other concepts also appeared such as cooperation, respect, dialogue, coexistence. In addition, when answering the question “tell us the necessary ingredient for an effective collaboration between the local community and stakeholders in management”, the participants emphasized the importance of trust, communication, cooperation, dialogue and information as well as respect, teamwork and honesty.

The LIFE-IP 4 NATURA capacity building programme, designed and implemented by WWF Greece, aims to increase knowledge and improve understanding on issues such as biodiversity protection, the implementation of European nature directives, regulations for projects and activities in Natura 2000 sites, the management of protected areas, and the role of stakeholders.