The First European Summit of Regional Nature Parks
"Regional Nature Parks – strong partners for nature conservation and sustainable rural development"

June 2017

Wednesday, 21 June 2017
at the Representation of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia to the European Union, Brussels.

The results of the project „Europe’s Nature, Regional, and Landscape Parks” and the book on the work of these parks with the title Living Landscapes were presented at the First European Summit of Regional Nature Parks on the 21 June 2017 in Brussels. At the summit, a distinguished panel of experts and political actors debated about the more efficient use of these parks for achieving the objectives of the EU in the field of nature conservation and sustainable development.

In the end of the event, Regional Nature Park representatives signed a declaration, emphasizing the value of their parks for the building of a sustainable and social Europe, the development of rural areas and the implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives.

You can download the press release in English and German at

European summit of regional nature parks 2017

Group picture with the signees of the European Regional Nature Parks Declaration, speakers and panelists (from left to right): Dr. Martin Scheele (Head of Unit for Conception and Consistency of Rural Development at the DG Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission), Dr. Christiane Paulus (Deputy Director General for Nature Conservation of the German Environment Ministry), Béla Básthy (President of the Association of Hungarian Nature Parks), Helle Stuart (Vice Chairman of The Danish Outdoor Council), Ignace Schops (President of the EUROPARC Federation), Françine Keiser (Federation de Parcs Naturels du Luxembourg), Ulrich Köster (Director of the Association of German Nature Parks), Françoise Erneux (President of the Federation of Nature Parks of Wallonia), Dr. Michael Arndt (President of the Association of German Nature Parks), Mag. Wolfgang Mair (President of the Association of Austrian Nature Parks), Michaël Weber (President of the French Federation of Regional Nature Parks), Nicola Notaro (Head of Unit for Nature Protection at the DG Environment, European Commission), Stefan Müller-Altermatt (President of the Swiss Parcs Network), Jekabs Dzenis (Head of CITES division, Nature Conservation Agency of Latvia), Kristian Bjornstad (Director of Norske Parker), Katharina Denkinger (Project Coordinator, Association of German Nature Parks), Rainer Steffens (Director of the Representation of the State of North-Rhine-Westphalia to the European Union in Brussels).

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