Federation of Nature and National Parks of Europe (EUROPARC)

The Federation of Nature and National Parks of Europe (known also as EUROPARC Federation) is a politically independent, pan-European organisation, which was created in 1972 with the prime purpose of supporting and encouraging the full range of the major protected areas.

Its members currently total 300 in 34 Western and Eastern European countries; they include national parks, nature parks, biosphere reserves and other protected areas, both on the national and provincial level, together with non-governmental organisations and specialist academic institutions concerned with protected areas. EUROPARC is administered by a multi-national council, and its administrative office is in Grafenau, Germany, in the geographical centre of Europe. It has founded national sections in Germany, Britain, Spain, Italy and Yugoslavia. The official languages are English, French and German.

Among the specific objectives of EUROPARC, which all aim to promote 'Conservation without frontiers', a major one is furthering the appropriate use of the parks within the trend towards sustainable tourism, helping to stabilise the economic health of respective regions. Expertise has been developed on the fields of visitor management, promotion of the regional cultural identity etc. The Federation realises its goals in a number of ways:

The Federation publishes a trilingual magazine - "European Bulletin" - four times a year, open to contributions from all members. Each year it organises a General Assembly and Conference in a different European country. The conference involves lectures, discussions and tours focused on a practical theme, the results are published in proceedings.

Analysis and advice
The managers and specialist staff of the membership constitute a comprehensive network of experts which offer their knowledge and experience to individual parks as well as to countries. Working groups are sometimes constituted to study a specific theme and come up with new ideas, as was the case in 1993 with the realisation of the publication " Loving them to death? Sustainable Tourism in Europe's Nature and National Parks".

The Federation arranges contacts and supports scientific and technical exchanges between protected areas. It has extended its sphere of influence beyond Europe through a practical partnership project, the 'Partnership & Exchange Programme' for technical co-operation with protected areas in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Within Europe it is running a major project of technical assistance for protected areas in Central and Eastern Europe, the 'EUROPARC Expertise Exchange'. This project provides training activities for the staff working at protected areas, as well as promoting co-operation and partnership with colleagues in Western Europe. In addition, the Federation organises regular youth camps for conservation.

EUROPARC is committed to working in partnership with other organisations, and runs many projects together with the European Commission, the IUCN and other NGOs. For further information, please contact the office in Grafenau

Information Source

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Federation of Nature and National Parks of Europe (EUROPARC)
PO Box 1153, Grafenau, Germany, 94475
Telephone +49 8552 96 100 Facsimile +49 8552 96 1019
E-Mail [email protected] Web URL http://www.greenchannel.com/fnnpe