320 experts responsible for managing europe's natural resources met in the swabian alb biosphere reserve, germany last week to plan for the future and seek solutions for the quality management and sustainable use of nature. the event that brought them together, the europarc conference 2011, is the largest networking opportunity europe of its kind.
In this climate of financial insecurity and stagnation across europe the europarc conference 2011 from 21st – 24th september was in contrast a hotbed of ideas and innovation. conference delegates, the shareholders of our natural parks, presented innovative new ideas for increasing the quality in management of the natural environment, that will bring benefits for nature and for people.
Keynote speakers such as ed gillespie from futerra; dr. miranda schreurs, chair of the european environment and sustainable development advisory councils; and trevor sandwith, director global protected areas programme iucn talked about the many assets that nature has to offer society and the great work of protected areas. an investment in natural infrastructure not only reduces the loss of biodiversity, it creates jobs and businesses; brings capital and people into rural regions creates sustainable development; and improves the health and wellbeing of people. europes nature is an insurance policy for the future generations who will rely even more upon the wealth of our natural heritage.
The conference agreed the bad urach declaration, which calls upon europe's politicians to acknowledge the long-term values and benefits of our protected natural areas and to recognise the need to invest wisely in their management. without this investment the fundamental needs of our society are threatened.
Technical innovation and the trend to live in urban environments results in people losing their connection to the natural environment. this often means the awe inspiring beauty of a landscape and the positive feelings gained by going for a walk in these special green places are lost or forgotten. europe's protected area managers, enourage all to rediscover the value of nature, experience the joy of open space and fresh air and to recogise the immediate benefits that the quality management of and investment in nature can bring.
The europarc conference is an annual event of the europarc federation, the voice of europe's protected areas. this year it was hosted by the swabian alb biosphere reserve and the ministry for rural spaces and consumer protection of baden-württemberg. it was organised by europarc germany.
More information is available at http://www.europarc2011.com/.
pictures and further information available from:
morwenna parkyn, communications officer, firstname.lastname@example.org
europarc federation, waffnergasse 6, 93047 regensburg, germany
direct line: +49 (0)941 599 35 98-3, office tel: +49 (0)941 599 35 98-0