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Natura 2000 Monitoring workshop a success!


As part of the Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process, an initiative from the European Commission, we organised a three day workshop on ‘Natura 2000 Monitoring: Integrating conservation management and monitoring’, with the support of xct and Clive Hurford.

The workshop took place on 19-21 October in Barcelona, Spain and was attended by more than 50 people from many different nature conservation organisations, local authorities and other land trusts from all around Europe (UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Romania, Poland, Finland, Sweden, Germany, and Czech Republic).

During the first two days, the workshop addressed three main topics regarding conservation management and monitoring of Natura 2000 sites: the roles of new technologies in informing site management, species monitoring projects and habitat monitoring projects. The workshop kicked off with an introduction from Eurosite’s President, Stefan Versweyveld, followed by contributions from Neil McIntosh, Deputy Executive Director, ECNC, and Angelika Rubin from the European Commission.

The session on the role of new technologies in informing site management began with five 20 minute presentations by Palma Blonda (CNR ISSIA, Italy); Zoe Russell (Scotland, UK); Anna Allard (SLU, Sweden); Ricardo Díaz-Delgado (Estación Biológica de Doñana, Spain); and Pete Bunting (University of Aberystwyth, UK). Some experiences in mobile device apps and remote sensing for monitoring were shared.

On the second day the workshops continued with presentations on species and habitat monitoring experiences from Jonas Grahn (Länsstyrelsen Västerbotten, Sweden), Tom Bereton (Butterfly Conservation, UK), Oscar Gordo (Estación Biológica de Doñana, Spain), Phil Wilson (the Species Recovery Trust, UK), Rienk Jan Bijlsma (Alterra, the Netherlands), Karen Wilkinson (Natural Resources Wales, UK), Stanislav Brezina (Krkonose NPA, Czech Republic) and Wojciech Mroz (Ecological Consultant, Poland). The session was introduced by David Parker (Eurosite Secretary) and Clive Hurford.

During the coffee breaks, the attendees had the chance to visit the Knowledge Market where posters, books and leaflets on various projects were available to browse. The Knowledge Market was also a meeting point where experiences were shared and where opportunities for networking were found.

The three-day workshop finished with a trip to the Museu del Ter (Manlleu, Spain). There, the session was introduced by Phil Wilson (UK), followed by presentations from Clive Hurford and Lydia Alvanou (Axios Delta, Greece). Afterwards the attendees spread out in four groups to discuss and develop recommendations for the integration of conservation management and monitoring.

After a delicious lunch, the attendees visited the Ter River, accompanied by Marc Ordeix and Núria Sellarés (CERM, Center for the Study of Mediterranean Rivers), who explained how they monitor plants, invertebrates and fish in the “Illa del Sorral”. The attendees had the opportunity to see some of the invertebrates of the Ter River (most of them indicating the low quality of its water) and also saw how electric fishing was conducted in the river to monitor fish species.

The journey ended with a EuroCocktail back in Barcelona, where many people brought typical food from their countries – it was a tasty experience!

In conclusion, it was a a very interesting workshop, with different experiences from around Europe shared, and a series of recommendations for integrating monitoring and conservation management developed, for further debate within the appropriate working parties of the European Commission.

The workshop presentations and final report will be available to download soon from the Natura 2000 Communication Platform. See photos from the workshop on our Facebook page.

ECNC (European Centre for Nature Conservation) is the lead contractor to support the EC in the development and implementation of the Process, which includes a series of networking events (seminars, conferences, workshops, ad hoc expert meetings, study visits, etc.). ECNC does this with support from our sub-contracted consortium partners (CEEweb for Biodiversity, Eurosite, the European Landowners Organisation, the EUROPARC Federation and ILE-SAS).