European Newsletter
May 2012
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Dear Members, dear readers,

It is 20 years since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. In just a few weeks, world leaders, governments, NGOs, the private sector and many more will meet in Rio de Janeiro again to take stock of the progress made globally on sustainable development and address emerging challenges.


The road to sustainable development is not an easy one and there is still more to do, as highlighted by the recent report on the green economy by the European Environment Agency. Society needs to concentrate efforts to make sustainability happen.

> Read more
> IUCN Global Focus on Rio+20
Hans Friederich

IUCN at Rio+20: Steering it up in the right direction

The Rio+20 Conference is expected to bring more than 60,000 participants from governments, civil society and business. Whether Rio can deliver substantial outcomes on the themes of Green Economy, Governance for Sustainable Development and sectoral issues is subject to increasing skepticism. Despite the general context, IUCN thinks that Rio+20 remains a major opportunity to tackle the unsustainable way we manage the Earth’s natural wealth.

> Read more
> Video: IUCN's expectations ahead of Rio+20
> IUCN@Rio+20 website
Rio+20: UN Conference on Sustainable Development

Going beyond GDP and adopting an inclusive Green Economy roadmap in Rio

A high-level conference entitled “Towards Rio+20” chaired by MEP Vittorio Prodi was held in the European Parliament on 24 April 2012. The event brought together over 100 participants, including policy makers, International Organisations’ representatives, and stakeholders.

> Read more
> EP Intergroup on IUCN website

IUCN and European Aggregates Association together to foster biodiversity

On 25 May at its Delegates Assembly, UEPG, the European Aggregates Association, signed a Letter of Intent with the Regional Office for Europe of IUCN towards the goal of working together to further foster biodiversity in quarries and pits across Europe. The Letter of Intent commits both parties to organize a high-level meeting twice a year over the next three years to explore and develop joint projects in several specific areas of common interest which have already been identified.

> Read more

Slovakian company wins the European Business and Biodiversity Award

On 24 May 2012, Slovenskéelektrárne, a.s. Slovakia, with the project "Energy for Nature: Saving most precious animal species in Slovak mountains" was awarded the prestigious European Business Award for the Environment (EBAE) 2012 in the new category Business and Biodiversity for its outstanding achievements in halting biodiversity loss and supporting natural ecosystems.

> Read more
> The EU Business @ Biodiversity Platform

Interview with Willem Ferwerda, new Special Advisor Business & Ecosystems

Willem Ferwerda, tropical ecologist, was director of the IUCN National Committee of The Netherlands from 2000 until March 2012. In his new role Ferwerda will support the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management in making businesses and investors work for ecosystem restoration and management. As Chair of the Board of Patrons he will be actively involved in rolling out Leaders for Nature internationally.

> Read more
> IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management
> Leaders for Nature
Willem Ferwerda, General Director of IUCN NL

Connecting nature and tourism for Albania’s economic development

More than 10,000 people will participate in the opening of the 2012 tourist season in Velipojë on Friday 1 June. IUCN, with a project funded by the Italian Cooperation, will participate to promote the importance of protecting the natural beauty of the area which every year attracts thousands of tourists.

> Read more
> Institutional Support to the management of Protected Areas in Albania project
Buna River Protected Lanscape

Ecotourism secures Russia's forests

Bezhanitsky district in North-Western Russia is just a three-hour drive from the EU border. It hosts the largest peat bog in Europe and many unique forest and wetland landscapes. Following the introduction of new regional forest legislation in 2006, legal timber harvesting became unprofitable here and the incomes of local people dropped. IUCN was then approached by the local authorities to help identify alternative income sources that would safeguard the rights of local people to access forest resources.

> Read more
> ENPI FLEG project
Visitors in the Polistovsky reserve, Russia

Towards sustainable urban planning in Jerusalem

International experts in ecology, biodiversity management and community engagement gathered in Jerusalem with key Israeli specialists to produce strategies for URBIS – an emerging urban biosphere concept. URBIS aims to promote sustainability in city planning transcending municipal boundaries and fostering regional cooperation.

> Read more
> URBES project for cities and biodiversity

Making the economic case for biodiversity conservation in the Caucasus

The Caucasus ecoregion is listed as one of 34 global biodiversity hotspots. Unfortunately, this region’s diverse and relatively healthy ecosystems are threatened by multiple forms of unsustainable exploitation which may be further aggravated by climate change.

> Read more
> IUCN Caucasus Cooperation Centre
Lagodekhi Nature Reserve, Georgia

IUCN Director General calls for women’s access to energy at the EU Sustainable Energy for All Summit

IUCN Director General Julia Marton-Lefèvre called for education and career opportunities for women in the energy sector during the “EU Sustainable Energy for All Summit”, which brought together high-profile speakers including European Commission’s President José Manuel Barroso and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

> Read more
Julia Marton-Lefèvre at the Summit

European Parliament voices concern over Virunga National Park thanks to IUCN encouragement

The Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has recently been the subject of actions by European Parliamentarians encouraged by IUCN.

> Read more
Guards in Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo

IUCN Congress: the common denominator

International Women Entrepreneurs Fair at the IUCN World Conservation Congress The IUCN World Conservation Congress is a unique platform gathering people from all ranks of society under the same roof. Encompassing a wide range of viewpoints, the Forum is the perfect environment to share knowledge and reach a rounded vision on conservation.
> Read more
> World Conservation Congress website


Europe at IUCN Congress

Jeju Seongsan Illchubong Lots of workshops and other events during the Congress will address biodiversity and related issues from a European perspective. IUCN Regional Office for Europe, European Members, Committees and Commissions will organize debates, presentations and other events giving the opportunity to learn more about current activities.
> Read more
> European activities at Congress


IUCN European Councillors discuss Congress

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia Most of the IUCN European Councillors attended the last IUCN Council meetings in November 2011 and in February 2012. The latest Council meeting was entirely devoted to the preparations of the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Jeju, September 2012.
> Read more


Don't miss your chance!

2012 World Conservation Congress logo Register now for the IUCN World Conservation Congress which will take place from 6 to 15 September 2012 in Jeju, Korea.
> Register



Constantine Makris Constantine (Kostas) Makris is the new IUCN Membership Relations Officer for Europe and North and Central Asia. He is from Greece/UK and is based at the IUCN Programme Office for South-Eastern Europe (IUCN SEE) in Belgrade, Serbia. Kostas can be reached at .


Albania and Montenegro join for local action

MoU signing in Plav, MNE Common understanding for sustainable development in the border region of Prokletije/Bjeshkët e Namuna Mountains was officially announced on 8 May 2012, when Local Action Groups (LAGs) of Albania and Montenegro signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), agreeing to strengthen the cooperation in environmental protection, tourism and recreation.
> Read more


Roundtable on “Protected areas’ role in regard to climate change mitigation and adaptation"

Mtirala National Park, Georgia On May 11, 2012 policy makers and experts came together for a Roundtable on the Protected Areas’ role in regard to climate change mitigation and adaptation. The meeting was organized by the IUCN Caucasus Cooperation Center.
> Read more


The Caucasus Environmental NGO Network presents the Atlas of Natural Hazards and Risks in Georgia

Atlas of natural hazards and risks in Georgia The Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN), an IUCN member, together with the University of Twente presented the Atlas of Natural Hazards and Disaster Risks in Georgia during an international conference titled “Disaster Risk Management – Challenges for Development”, held in Tbilisi, Georgia.
> Read more



Jura Regional Park The joys of spring (and sustainability) in the Swiss Jura, by Dr Hans Friederich.
> Read more


Country Focus

Kaçkar Mountains Turkish biodiversity and conservation efforts are in the spotlight of the European Country Focus.
> Turkey Focus
> Previous Focus issues


New publication

Sites naturels sacrés - IUCN Best Practice Guideline no. 16, French French Language Sacred Natural Sites Guidelines Launched
> Read more


New publication

Cover page Guidelines for drawing up and implementing regional biodiversity strategies
> Read more


IUCN (The International Union for Conservation of Nature) © 2012

IUCN helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. It supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the world and brings governments, non-government organizations, United Nations agencies, companies and local communities together to develop and implement policy, laws and best practice. IUCN’s European region covers the European continent, Russia 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: Hans Friederich, IUCN; International Women Entrepreneurs Fair at the IUCN World Conservation Congress, IUCN/Group J. Muntaner; Jeju Seongsan Illchubong, Jeju; Rio+20: UN Conference on Sustainable Development, United Nations; Plitvice Lakes National Park Croatia, Sergiu Bacioiu/Flickr; Conference, IUCN/Monica Jacobs; 2012 World Conservation Congress logo, IUCN; Signatories, IUCN/Monica Jacobs; Winner, EBAE; Constantine Makris, IUCN; Willem Ferwerda, IUCN NL; MoU signing in Plav MNE, IUCN/ T. Pezold; Buna River Protected Lanscape, IUCN/Aleksandra Nesic; Mtirala National Park Georgia, A. Wittich; Visitors in the Polistovsky Reserve Russia, Andrian Kolotilin; Atlas of natural hazards and risks in Georgia, Caucasus Environmental NGO Network; Jerusalem, Chantal van Ham/IUCN; Jura Regional Park, Hans Friederich; Julia Marton-Lefèvre at the Summit, IUCN/Monica Jacobs; Guards in Virunga National Park Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jim Thorsell; Kaçkar Mountains, Yıldırım Güngör; Sites naturels sacrés - IUCN Best Practice Guideline no. 16, French, Robert Wild; Cover page, IUCN French Committee.