Eurosite Management Planning Expert Group

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Networking for Europe’s nature



Eurosite works to facilitate, support, inspire and unite its members in the common goal of caring for Europe’s nature. One of Eurosite’s main missions is to share ideas and good practice on subjects that are of interest to its members.


Eurosite believes that a management plan for a protected area is important because it helps to hold managers accountable for their work and interventions and it is an important tool for setting priorities for allocating funds. A fair share of protected areas, however, are lacking up-to-date management plans. The Fitness Check of the Birds and Habitats Directives revealed that around 50% of the sites designated under Natura 2000 legislation lack a comprehensive management plan. Reasons for the lack of up-to-date management plans might stem from the fact that managers are struggling

Eurosite’s mission is to provide opportunities for practitioners to network and exchange experience on practical nature management. with such issues as: a) how to work with stakeholders and reconcile their interests, b) how to set clear objectives for habitats and species maintenance and restoration, c) forecasting the impact of climate change, d) how to use scientific knowledge in decision making, e) how to assess the ecosystem services and how to include it in management planning and f) how to translate the objectives imposed by the EU Directives. Addressing these issues will greatly help in delivering EU 2030 Biodiversity and Climate targets, as well as in strengthening of Natura 2000 network.

© Henk Zingstra

© Clive Hurford


The group was established in 2018 and its first task has been to create and launch the Eurosite Management Planning Toolkit which provides information for site managers and others on a number of topics related to the elaboration of management plans. The portal is available online: “Our group recognises that there are many valid ways of writing a management plan which is why we’ve tried to look beyond their structure and into the management principles common to a wide range of protected areas. But we’re practical people, not just theorists, so we’re keen to see those principles reflected in the management plan portal in ways that fellow site managers from across Europe will find easy to understand and apply to their own plans” Henk Zingstra EMPEG Chair (2018-present)

The main objectives of EMPEG are: • Maintain and update the Management Planning Toolkit with new information and promote its use. • Increase the competences and skills of site managers in elaborating effective, transparent and science-based management plans through training and workshops. • On the request of site managers, EMPEG will make its expertise available in various topics relevant for site management including stakeholder involvement, climate change adaptation, evaluation and monitoring and assessment of ecosystem services. • Keep track of the implementation of the Natura 2000 network and promote effective management of Natura 2000 sites. • Identify funding opportunities to further enhance protected areas management planning. EMPEG meets on regularly bases either face to face or through the internet.

“It’s rather easy to fall into the trap of just focussing on your own organisation, your own way of doing things. I’ve found it really refreshing to discuss that fundamental bit of site management – how we decide our objectives and how to achieve them – with colleagues from around Europe.” Ben Le Bas Natural England Eurosite Member


Eurosite membership is ideal for individuals and organisations working to conserve Europe’s nature, and wanting to: • optimise their site management practices and achieve their nature conservation goals; • share information and experiences in order to learn from each other; • understand EU policies impacting on nature and their work; and • network with other members leading to financial and environmental gains.

Interested in becoming a Eurosite member or want to find out more? Don’t hesitate and visit our website or contact us directly. I +31 (0)85 086 13 63 I

© Henkjan This leaflet is financially supported by the European Union. The sole responsibility lies with the author - the Agency is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.

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