European Newsletter
March 2013
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Dear Members, dear readers,

Natural resources are at the heart of human development and well-being. In today’s globalized world, even more, the protection of these natural resources cannot be perceived in the confines of national boundaries only. 


Transboundary Conservation is IUCN’s response to the need for regional cooperation on nature conservation. A dedicated Specialist Group within IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) has worked for years on defining best approaches to foster cooperation across borders worldwide.


In this newsletter you will learn more about IUCN’s efforts on Transboundary Conservation and about the latest activities of IUCN in the European region. 


Editorial by Boris Erg, Director of IUCN Programme Office for South-Eastern Europe.

> Read more
Boris Erg

INTERVIEW: Understanding Transboundary Conservation and its challenges

We have interviewed Maja Vasilijevic, Chair of the Transboundary Conservation Specialist Group of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA). 


Q: What is Transboundary Conservation? 
Imagine two countries that share a national boundary and both of them recognize important ecosystems adjacent to this boundary in the form of protected areas. When protected area managers and countries decide to work together for the benefit of certain species or a habitat, we call that Transboundary Conservation...

> Read the full interview
> Global Transboundary Conservation Network website
Maja Vasilijevic

Setting a firm base for Transboundary Conservation in the Dinaric Arc

For three years, IUCN worked with SNV-Netherlands Development Organisation and WWF-Mediterranean Programme Office on the implementation of the Environment for People in the Dinaric Arc cooperation programme.


The programme was designed to improve transboundary environmental conservation and governance in the Dinaric Arc – a region of South-Eastern Europe encompassing a large portion of the Western Balkans between the Adriatic Sea and the Pannonian Plain. 

> Read more
Sutjeska NP, BIH

BLOG: Beyond borders in the Balkans – working together for nature

Here in the Balkan Peninsula, transboundary cooperation in nature conservation is a common denominator. The key ingredients are in place. The Western Balkan Peninsula is part of the global Mediterranean biodiversity hotspot. The high mountains host outstanding diversity in plant species, and are one of the last retreats for large European carnivores, such as bear, wolf and lynx. Political arrangements, after relatively recent conflicts, have not made things easy for countries in the Balkan region...


Read this blog post by Tomasz Pezold of IUCN’s Programme Office for South Eastern Europe here.

Prokletije / Bjeshkët a Namuna Mountains on the border between Albania and Montenegro

Diagnostic tool for Transboundary Conservation planners

Is there a need for Transboundary Conservation approach in your region? Are the key stakeholders ready to support and engage in the transboundary initiative? These are some of the key questions the new Diagnostic tool for Transboundary Conservation planners by the IUCN WCPA Transboundary Conservation Specialist Group tries to respond.


The Diagnostic tool was developed as part of the IUCN WCPA publication Initiating effective transboundary conservation: A practitioner’s guideline based on the experience from the Dinaric Arc, edited by Boris Erg, Maja Vasilijević and Matthew McKinney (funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland).

> Read more about the Diagnostic tool
> Read more about the publication "Initiating effective transboundary conservation"
Initiating effective transboundary conservation_cover

Transboundary Conservation in the Caucasus – is the time not ripe yet?

The call for increased and improved transboundary conservation in the Caucasus is loud and clear, says Svenja Fox of IUCN’s Caucasus Cooperation Centre. But are countries in the region ready to pull together to save nature and overcome political and cultural divisions?


Read Svenja's piece here.


European Green Belt: Joint effort for transboundary cooperation

Along the Iron Curtain, which separated the European continent in East and West for nearly 40 years, an outstanding ecological network and living memorial landscape developed. The vision of a Green Belt connecting the very North with the very South of Europe was officially discussed for the first time ten years ago.


Currently there are four sections of activity to be distinguished in the European Green Belt: the Fennoscandian Green Belt, the Baltic Green Belt, the Green Belt Central Europe and the Balkan Green Belt

> Read more
The Greater Prespa Lake in Albania, one of the most valuable natural treasures along the European Green Belt.

Beyond Europe: Transboundary Conservation and Development in the Himalayas

For 29 years, regional cooperation for effective conservation and development has been pursued in the Hindu Kush Himalayas. The Kangchenjunga Landscape, a transboundary mountainous area between Nepal, India and Bhutan, has been the focus of an initiative promoting transboundary biodiversity and cultural conservation, and sustainable development. 


One of the specific objectives has been to strengthen the landscape as a conservation-linked development model. National and regional collaboration has resulted in effective and ecologically managed biodiversity conservation corridors.

> Read more
Kangchenjunga Landscape

Connecting nature and people in Belgium

Transforming old industrial areas into green areas, providing employment to local people and integrating nature with human activities and the urban environment is what IUCN Members strive to do in Belgium. Despite its small size, Belgium hosts lots of species. Recent biodiversity assessments have recorded more than 35,000 species of animals, plants, fungi and bacteria in the country. Read more about Belgium and IUCN Members in the dedicated Country Focus.

> More on Country Focus
Moor Frog

New Director in Brussels

Luc Bas Luc Bas was appointed Director of the IUCN European Union Representative Office. He will join the team on 1 May 2013. 
> Read announcement


Two new colleagues have joined the IUCN team in Brussels. 
> Staff list


Chris Carroll

Chris Carroll Project Officer, EU Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories


James Kemp

James Kemp Biodiversity Conservation Assistant


Invasive alien species: The biodiversity time bomb is ticking!

Biodiversity's Ticking Time Bomb Invasive Alien Species poses a significant threat to native biodiversity in Europe, as well as to our economy and health. They cause some 12.5 billion Euro worth of damage each year in the European Union alone. 
> Read more


Caucasus’ nature can help face climate change and natural hazards

Armenia On 27-28 February 2013, the IUCN Caucasus Cooperation Centre organized a workshop in collaboration with IUCN’s Member organization CENN (Caucasus Environmental NGO Network) on “Nature-based solutions to Climate Change: Global Best Practice and Experiences in the Caucasus Ecoregion”.
> Read more


Nature+ development in South East Europe

IUCN SEE Members' meeting Nature is a resource for people and our well-being. Countries in South East Europe, like elsewhere, have the opportunity to shape a sustainable future where economies grow while protecting natural resources. Will they win the challenge?
> Read more


Peatlands given a major boost by UK Ministers

Blanket bog in the Pennines UK Government Environment Ministers have announced clear and unequivocal support for the UK’s peatland habitats. IUCN National Committee of the United Kingdom has advocated and worked for the protection of peatlands for years. The message by the Ministers is a recognition of the work done by IUCN and its Committee in the country.
> Read more


European Day of Parks 2013

European Day of Parks “My Park. My Passion. My Story.” is the motto of the European Day of Parks 2013 promoted by the EUROPARC Federation, an IUCN Member.
> Read more


Resilient Cities 2013

Logo Resilient Cities 2013 – the 4th Global Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation will take place on 31 May-2 June 2013 in Bonn, Germany.
> Read more


Save the date: European Tree of the Year ceremony

Plane in Eger, Hungary On 5 June, during the European Commission's Green Week, the Hungarian Plane tree which won the 2013 Tree of the Year award will be celebrated at a ceremony in Brussels. The event is organized with the support of IUCN.  
> Read more about the award results


Powered by nature award Only a month is left to participate in the Powered by Nature awards addressed to communication students in Europe. 
> Read more


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IUCN (The International Union for Conservation of Nature) © 2013

IUCN helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. IUCN’s work focuses on valuing and conserving nature, ensuring effective and equitable governance of its use, and deploying nature-based solutions to global challenges in climate, food and development. IUCN’s European region covers the European continent, North and Central Asia, and includes the European Union overseas entities. Representing one third of the global membership, this is IUCN’s largest programmatic region.

Photo credits: Boris Erg, IUCN; Maja Vasilijevic; Sutjeska NP, BIH, IUCN/T.Pezold; Prokletije / Bjeshkët a Namuna Mountains on the border between Albania and Montenegro, IUCN/Tomasz Pezold; Initiating effective transboundary conservation publication, IUCN; IUCN POSC, Plant conservation in the Caucasus; The Greater Prespa Lake in Albania, one of the most valuable natural treasures along the European Green Belt, EuroNatur/ Gabriel Schwaderer;Kangchenjunga Landscape; Moor Frog, Misjel Decleer; Armenia, Flick/Tamara Areshian; IUCN SEE Members' meeting; Blanket bog in the Pennines, Moors for the Future; Chris Carroll; James Kemp; European Day of Parks logo; Resilient Cities logo; Plane in Eger, Hungary, European Tree of the Year contest; Powered by Nature awards.