The TransParcNet meeting of European cross-border protected areas

June 2014

The TransParcNet meeting of European cross-border protected areas

The TransParcNet meeting of European cross-border protected areas took place this year on the French-Belgian border. An initiative of the EUROPARC Federation, this annual gathering brings together managers of protected areas from across the whole of Europe all of whom are faced with cross-border issues.

This year, it was the Scarpe-Escaut Regional Nature Park (France) and the Plaines de l’Escaut Nature Park (Belgium), linked together as the Hainaut Cross-Border Nature Park, who hosted the sixth TransParcNet meeting.

More than 60 participants from 15 European countries gathered from 3 to 6 June in the French-Belgian nature park. Traditionally bringing together parks that have received EUROPARC’s “Transboundary Parks” certificate of quality, this year the meeting was opened up to French and Walloon regional nature parks, which hitherto had been absent from this network.

The topics that were addressed during the four days of exchanges related to the prospects offered by the new INTERREG V programmes, the suitability of the EGTC structure to structure cross-border protected areas and the role of international certification schemes such as the “Biosphere Reserve” to link parks separated by a national border.

Thematic workshops looking at cross-border actions in areas such as tourism development and habitat management gave participants, some of whom are in the middle of designing projects liable to be financed by INTERREG, valuable ideas.

The MOT took part in the TransParcNet meeting, where it notably helped to reactivate the cross-border working group of the Fédération des Parcs naturels régionaux de France.

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