Today's societies need to reconnect with biodiversity

11 July 2012 | News story

The EUROPARC Conference 2012 in Belgium, 22-25 October 2012, will bring together high profile speakers from around Europe, gathering to join forces for a more consistent and collaborative conservation and protection practice. EUROPARC 2012 marks the twentieth anniversary of Natura 2000 and the LIFE programme. Special focus will be given on effective management of protected areas.

For EUROPARC 2012 a challenging model has been chosen: (re)connecting society with biodiversity. Nature organisations from across Europe will gather in Genk, Belgium, to think beyond the boundaries of their respective protected areas and connect nature beyond national borders.

The conference focus is a truly European one: park managers and practitioners, representatives of the EU institutions, politicians, entrepreneurs, consultants and academics will share their knowledge and approach on how to (re)connect people with nature; business with biodiversity; and policy with practice. 

The European continent is challenged by climate change, degradation of soils, industrialization of agriculture, deforestation, increasing population pressure and infrastructure. Biodiversity is crucial as the basis for a sustainable future for the whole region. Biodiversity protection, thus, must become an integrated element into all activities of European societies. “Society as a whole has to turn around now, change its patterns and paradigms and work in unity toward biodiversity protection as the source of life in Europe”, says Thomas Hansson, president of the EUROPARC Federation. “Protected areas are to play a leading role in this process.” 

EUROPARC is closely working with the Natura 2000 network and the EU LIFE programme, two indispensable instruments for safeguarding European biodiversity. In conjunction with protected areas´ management, those EU programmes clearly show how essential cooperation is for protecting nature.

EARLY BIRD registration is open until 15 July, 2012. For more information click here.


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