Bundesamt für Naturschutz



Professionalizing protected areas management: European input for the 6th World Parks Congress

the European Workshop took place between 3 – 6 June 2013 at the International Academy for Nature Conservation Isle of Vilm

Information on the workshop

Managing a protected area is a complex task, especially since global change effects alter the existing ecosystems, and parks develop from mere conservation sites towards model regions for sustainable development. Thus, the 6th IUCN World Parks Congress, taking place in November 2014 in Australia, will address the professionalization of PA management.

In Europe, already a lot of different qualification measures for PA employees exist. In November 2004, the “Network of European Environmental Training Centres of Excellence (NEETCE)” was launched in order to develop a coherent network of PA training centres in Europe, and to establish a pan-European accreditation and certification system for PA training activities. Quite recently, a comprehensive project aiming at “Coordinating the development of national and regional plans for capacity building for PoWPA implementation in Eastern Europe” was launched by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation. Besides, different universities in Europe offer academic training courses on PA management.

One year ahead of the 6th World Parks Congress several questions remain: What have we achieved in our efforts to join forces, set quality standards, and harmonise curricula for PA trainings? Are the most important issues and future challenges in PA management sufficiently covered by current trainings? And what is our European contribution to IUCN´s discussion and activities on the professionalization of PA training?

Objectives of the workshop

  • To review the training needs for PA stakeholders in Europe
  • To get an overview of existing academic and non-academic training offers
  • To identify existing gaps (geographic, thematic, target audiences, methods, etc.)
  • To achieve a consensus on relevant topics, methods and skills for PA management in Europe
  • To exchange views on training methods
  • To develop ideas for information exchange and joint activities
  • To elaborate a joint European position as input for the IUCN Parks Congress 2014 in Australia