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Natura People Workshop 2014

People Engagement Techniques – improving visitor experience and raising awareness of the importance and transnationality of N2000 sites Bruges and Knokke-Heist, Belgium, 2-3 April


NATURA PEOPLE WORKSHOP REPORT 2014

Funding Natura People is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the INTERREG IVA 2Mers Seas ZeeĂŤn Cross-border Programme 2007-2013. The Programme promotes cross-border cooperation between the coastal regions of 4 Member States: France (Nord-Pas de Calais), England (South West, South East, East), Belgium (Flanders) and the Netherlands (South coastal area).

Workshop Organisers

www.naturapeople.eu Project Partners

www.rspb.org.uk www.west-vlaanderen.be www.waterdunen.com www.toekomstgrevelingen.nl

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www.eurosite.org


NATURA PEOPLE WORKSHOP REPORT 2014

Contents Introduction

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Presentation abstracts

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Abstracts of the workshops

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Soapbox presentations

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Field trip

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Evaluation of the workshop’s impact

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Concluding remarks

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NATURA PEOPLE WORKSHOP REPORT 2014

Introduction Under the umbrella of the Interreg IVa-project ‘Natura People’, four Natura 2000 sites: Minsmere in the United Kingdom (RSPB); Zwin Nature Reserve in Belgium; Waterdunen in the Netherlands and Grevelingen in the Netherlands have been working together to share knowledge about People Engagement Techniques, in order to improve the visitor experience and to raise awareness of the importance and transnationality of Natura 2000 sites. This workshop aimed to bring together participants from all over Europe to promote their own experiences and to learn about other techniques of interest through a series of case study presentations, workshops, live demos and field trips. The workshop’s main subjects were: 1. Discussing the economic value of Natura 2000 sites, how to integrate them with local economies and how to achieve the sustainable development of the sites. 2. Innovating People Engagement Techniques and improving the visitor experience. The meeting was held in Bruges and Knokke-Heist, Belgium, 2 and 3 April 2014. 36 people from 10 European countries attended the meeting. The most represented countries were the Netherlands (13), Belgium (9) and the United Kingdom (6). The attendants came mainly (75%) from private institutions. The methods and tools used by the attendants to engage people are very diverse, from the Internet to personal interaction, and a clear trend in tool use does not exist. The attendants work with a diverse array of target groups but some tendencies can be deduced from the poll we conducted: • Most of the attendants work with adults (including senior citizens) or teenagers, but only 25% of them work with children. • For some of the attendants, teenagers (12-18 year olds) are the most difficult group to engage. • Local businesses, farmers and landowners are the target group least worked with by the attendants. While regional and local governments and NGOs are the most worked with target groups. • Farmers and local businesses are also considered the target groups most difficult to engage.

Presentation abstracts Engaging People in a European context. Sylvia Barova, Policy Officer for Nature Conservation at DirectorateGeneral for the Environment (European Commission). Sylvia Barova showcased the idea that positive attitudes towards nature protection are widespread around Europe, but that people do not really know what Natura 2000 is. Despite the centrality of Natura 2000 to the EU’s biodiversity policy, around three quarters of Europeans have never heard of Natura 20001. In western European countries, knowledge of Natura 2000 is lower than in eastern European countries, despite the fact that they joined the EU later. The Directorate-General for the Environment has implemented a series of activities created to improve people’s awareness of Natura 2000 areas: • The Natura 2000 newsletter2 published twice a year. It provides up to date information on activities, events and initiatives related to the EU’s biodiversity policy and the implementation of the Habitats and Birds Directives. • The Natura 2000 page on Facebook, which has 50,000 likes (accurate as of 2 April). • The toolkit of communication tools for LIFE projects3. • The “My Green Spot” initiative, also on Facebook, which promotes green places in Europe. It is an initiative aimed at the general public in order to promote their favourite nature areas or “green spots”. 1 2 3 4

Eurobarometer 2013 Survey: Attitudes of Europeans towards the issue of biodiversity. http://ec.europa.eu/environ ment/nature/info/pubs/biodiversity_en.htm http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/info/pubs/natura2000nl_en.htm http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/toolkit/comtools/index.htm


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• The Natura 2000 Award4, which promotes good practice and celebrates the best nature conservation projects. The 2014 Award received 163 applications, 22 of which were shortlisted.

Ecosystem Services: practical usability in validating Natura 2000 sites. Katrien Van der Biest (replacing Prof. Patrick Meire). Universiteit Antwerpen (UA), Belgium. Can Ecosystem Services be used as a tool to increase support for nature conservation and increase engagement with nature? We define Ecosystem Services as the benefits nature supplies to humans. But benefits are hard to calculate and very different methods have been developed. The Flemish Government developed a tool called the Nature Value Explorer5. This tool is useful to provide arguments to counter the criticism that nature restoration is costly because it demonstrates the societal return on investments in conservation efforts. For example, using the Nature Value Explorer tool it becomes apparent that the restoration of the Grote Nete6 river in Belgium will provide a benefit ranging from €3 to €26 million, with an initial investment of €6 million. Despite the uncertainties of the method, it provides a valuable argument for supporting nature conservation issues. The next step is to translate the complicated scientific language used by the tool to plain language that is accessible for managers, landowners and the general public.

Economic Validation - presentation of the model developed in the Natura People project. Paul Morling, RSPB, United Kingdom. Paul Morling outlined economic arguments for nature conservation and offered a practical guide to using economic tools for nature conservation. One key argument is the counterfactual, that is, you should take into account the value you lose when you make a decision, e.g., if you do not conserve this land, can you earn back the value you will lose when you destroy the natural value of the land? Another argument is the hidden or indirect values of nature. Most of the time, managers and the general public are not aware of the wellbeing produced by natural areas, such as improved air quality. But, why do we need to assess the value of nature? • • • •

It is useful for funding bids to demonstrate the impact of our activities. It is useful to gain local support. To make the case for conservation in local economic plans. To compare nature conservation with other economic activities (e.g. in terms of jobs supported).

Why do we need to estimate Ecosystem Services? • To understand the full array of benefits conservation provides. • To demonstrate the importance of conservation for other sectors, the economy and wellbeing, e.g., nature conservation could improve water quality, which is better for the health of local communities and saves the municipality money. Finally, Paul Morling presented a valuable collection of tools for quantifying ecosystem benefits, increasing revenue from nature based activities, and finding those benefits not quantifiable in money, as well as rapid assessment tools to evaluate benefits provided by different management activities. Detailed information about these tools can be found on the RSPB web pages on employment7, Ecosystem Services8, valuing nature9 and the health benefits of nature10. These 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6

ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/natura2000/awards/ https://www.vito.be/EN/HomepageAdmin/Home/Overheden/mijnomgeving/Natuurwaardeverkenner/Pages/natuur waardeverkenner.aspx http://www.natuurpunt.be/nl/natuurbehoud/life-natura-/life-grote-nete_752.aspx http://www.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/policy/economics/casefornature/Economies/index.aspx http://www.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/policy/economics/casefornature/ecosystemservices.aspx http://www.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/policy/economics/casefornature/wildlifevalue.aspx http://www.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/policy/economics/casefornature/healthywealthywise.asp


NATURA PEOPLE WORKSHOP REPORT 2014

guides are intended for people working at site level who are interested in people engagement and in obtaining support for a wider range of activities.

Waterdunen. Jaap Verherbrugge. Member of the working group ‘Waterdunen-Groede’, The Netherlands. The Waterdunen-Groede working group put forward a proposal to give land back to the sea. However, in the beginning, there was a great deal of opposition. In the Netherlands the sea is considered an enemy that has been fought for generations and giving land back to the sea is considered a step backwards. Jaap Verherbrugge told us how, by means of information dissemination, the working group managed to create a more positive feeling regarding the role of coastal ecosystems. They organised information sessions with experts for the local people in the town market and cafés, using a bottom-up approach to try to convince first the general public and then the managers. During a long teaching period, people became aware of the role of tidal areas as coastal defences. In this case, information was the key to success.

People Engagement Approaches and Techniques - an overview of methods used across Europe. Irene Bouwma & Dana Kamphorst. Alterra and Wageningen University, The Netherlands. Public support for nature conservation has seen a major shift in the last three years. Government ideas have been changing and they have lowered their involvement and investment. Now, the debate is on how to engage people in nature conservation. Irene Bouwma provided some interesting insights into the planning of People Engagement Techniques. It is necessary to set the goals of your engagement campaign. Decide “Who, How, When and What” you want before you begin to involve people because your strategy will be different depending on your target groups and goals. One of the main points about engaging people in conservation is that you must be in touch with people, as Irene Bouwma said, “If you want engagement you need to talk with people and stay away from the Internet.” Irene Bouwma showed examples of how to involve children11, local people, young people, minorities12 and farmers13. She also provided an interesting example of how the interaction between cultural and natural landscapes produces synergies for conservation14. However, the key take away from all these examples is that achieving trust is crucial in order to involve people in nature conservation. There are three possible factors behind people’s involvement in nature conservation: love of nature, scientific and local knowledge, and trust. People who love nature will conserve it, people who know what the utility of nature is will conserve it and people who trust conservationists will help them to conserve nature. A shift from top-down policies to enhance trust (of nature conservationists) and love (for nature) was suggested.

Engaging with families and educational groups. Sarah Woods. RSPB and Minsmere, United Kingdom. RSPB works on engaging families in conservation through safe places for children to play with nature. They use a wide array of techniques like: self-guided activities, safe play areas, combining playing with learning by allowing children to self-learn and organised events to train the children to do tasks in their own gardens. They also use some innovative techniques like the reserve resident artist who works with elements found in the reserve. The sculptures produced by the resident artists attract people who would usually walk past the reserve. To determine the usefulness of such activities, it is important to evaluate them. What did families/schools expect from the visit? When is the best time to do each activity? To answer these questions the RSPB conducted informal interviews with teachers and asked them to fill out a questionnaire after school visits.

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https://www.natuurmonumenten.nl/natuurgebieden/tiengemeten https://www.natuurmonumenten.nl/kinderen/oerrr The Mosaic model - Engaging BME communities in National Parks http://www.burrenlife.com/ http://www.hnp.hu/index_en.php 7


NATURA PEOPLE WORKSHOP REPORT 2014

Abstracts of the workshops Workshop 1: Ecosystem Services. Katrien Van der Biest (replacing Prof. Patrick Meire) from Universiteit Antwerpen (UA), Belgium. Katrien Van der Biest moderated this workshop and implemented it as a series of discussions on questions regarding Ecosystem Services. Do you have examples of cases where the concept of Ecosystem Services has helped to increase people’s engagements with nature? Managers use the Ecosystem Services concept, but they do not use the name Ecosystem Services: • In the Netherlands the protection against flooding provided by natural areas (a Regulation Ecosystem Service) is clear for some people, but they do not call it an Ecosystem Service. • In Slovenia, most protected area managers understand the concept and use it, but do not use the words ‘Ecosystem Services’ because is not good for communication. • Ecosystem Services is an abstract theoretical concept that is useful for internal use within organisations or governments, but it is not a good communication tool. The Scottish Natural Heritage carbon conservation scheme proposed that when people fly they could make a donation to peatland restoration projects. But, is it a good idea to give people the idea that peatland restoration makes up for flying? No, but they are flying anyway, so we might as well use the money for conservation. In any case, this kind of campaign is a good way of increasing the public’s awareness of the Ecosystem Services provided by peatlands. Through this discussion interesting ideas arose: • In the UK and the Netherlands awareness of the relationship between nature and health is increasing. • Natuurpunt – local organic beer started mid-90s, now the best selling organic beer in Belgium. Tiny footprint compared to other beer brewers. • Some attendants felt that Ecosystem Services, if explained correctly, could be more attractive to people than monetising nature. • It is hard to engage people in preventing of the loss of Ecosystem Services. It is one thing to know that something is important, but another thing to actually take action. • Could food production be considered as an Ecosystem Service? Yes, food production is a Provisioning Ecosystem Service and must be considered when looking at alternative land use options. Food production is very easy to evaluate because it is easy to convert it into income. But when evaluating agriculture as an Ecosystem Service the negative impacts of food production must be taken into account. What about the external costs e.g., of water shortages, pollution, nitrates? The evaluation will not be complete until these factors are considered. What are the potential benefits (vs drawbacks) of using Ecosystem Services for awareness raising? The Ecosystem Services concept provides us with language that is useful when talking to people who are not interested in nature conservation per se (policymakers, businessmen), it provides a framework to discuss the fact that nature is helping the economy. For example, business people understand Ecosystem Services better than biodiversity. The Ecosystem Services concept could be used as a starting point for discussions with businesses. For instance, to explain water purification to a company: Where does the water you use come from? Why is the water you use of a good quality? Using this reasoning we could engage the company in land conservation upstream. One of the big questions is: When will supermarkets and food producers change their practices and stocks? Ecosystem Services demonstrate that nature conservation is not only good for nature and nature conservationists but also for people and enterprises. What are the potential drawbacks of using Ecosystem Services for awareness raising? Valuing and monetising nature comes with risks. If we put a price on nature, what happens if nature conservation is not the highest valued land use? 8


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It is possible to misuse Ecosystem Services if it is used as a goal rather than as a tool to assess natural value and make decisions about land management based on scientific criteria. Because of the Ecosystem Services concept, people are turning away from conservation of biodiversity to conservation of Ecosystem Services, which could result in a loss of biodiversity. How do you bring the concept to the wider public? One of the key points is not to mention Ecosystem Services, which is difficult to understand, and instead use examples, like: • Naturpunt15 offered farmers 600 ha of natural, very diverse, grasslands to graze for free. The quality of meat is better than usual, but they (neither farmers nor Naaturpunt) do not communicate the extra value of the meat. • The RSPB used to sell lamb from their Lake Vyrnwy reserve in Wales16, the farm is managed in conjunction with United Utilities to improve the water quality in the reservoir and reduce the need for treatment. • A flood protection site in North-Groevingen saved the city from flooding17. That is a good example of how protected areas provide Ecosystem Services and could be helpful to influence policy makers. • In the Somerset Levels, UK, bad land use planning produced a series of floods18. This example could be used to make people aware of how upstream land management produces floods downstream. Making agreements with big companies that act as sponsors could showcase the examples. An agreement between NABU19 and Volkswagen20 showcased the importance of peat lands as carbon sinks and valuable nature areas. There are lots of projects now focused on kids – is it because they are the future? Or because it is harder to involve adults? The attendants felt that the provision of drinking water and the prevention of flooding are the two easiest Ecosystem Services to explain and to use for people engagement. But as stated in other presentations through the workshop, starting from a rational standpoint (using monetisation or Ecosystem Services) is not always useful. First, we must engage people from an emotional point of view and then talk about Ecosystem Services. How to value the amounts of money that are being mentioned? (Money in the pocket). Some of the Ecosystem Services (hunting, farming, recreation or tourism) have been recognised and used in engaging people for a long time, but the regulation services (carbon sequestration, flooding control, pollination, soil fertility or nutrient retention) have been neglected for a long time. Most of the Provisioning Ecosystem Services are easy to monetise; it is easy to measure the amount of wood or food produced by a habitat. In other cases, it easy to quantify the money saved if the service is provided by nature, for example, pollination: if farmers don’t need to hire a hive, then they save money. But in other cases quantification is difficult, carbon storage and other Regulation Ecosystem Services (soil fertility, erosion control or water purification) do not have a market and hence are very hard to measure and value. Some attendants felt that governments should regulate payment for Regulation Ecosystem Services, but regarding this issue stated that: • People will be willing to pay only if everybody pays their share. But, for example, if paying for emission rights is required but some companies get advantages or exemptions people will not be willing to pay. • It is also hard to regulate, because governments have given away rights e.g. water distribution companies. • In any case it becomes necessary to use government tools to regulate the use and payment of Regulation Ecosystem Services. 15 16 17 18 19 20 10

http://www.natuurpunt.be/default.aspx http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/l/lakevyrnwy/farming.aspx https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrJTPaXSCd0#t=12 http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/17/farmers-uk-flood-maize-soil-protection http://www.nabu.de/en/ http://www.volkswagenag.com/content/vwcorp/info_center/en/news/2011/12/fonds.html


NATURA PEOPLE WORKSHOP REPORT 2014

Workshop 2: Assessing the economic impact of nature based tourism – have a go yourself. Paul Morling, RSPB, United Kingdom. This workshop was an experiment. The purpose of it was to test whether an economic assessment could be undertaken by non-experts who had no previous familiarity with economic methods. The workshop began with a presentation by Donal McCarthy, who outlined the logic of local economic impact analysis. He explained how to quantify the number of visitors, how to quantify the economic impact of these visitors, where the money provided by visitors goes and what these data are useful for. He also talked about two interesting documents. The first about a study carried out using these methods21, which includes some astounding figures. For instance, the RSPB’s nature reserves support almost 2000 FTE jobs. The second document was about estimating the economic impact of the presence of the White-tailed eagle on a small Scottish island22. Participants were then given a handout and had to work through a calculation of visitor spend based on a reserve they were familiar with. The experiment met with mixed success. While half the participants were able to follow the handout and work through the example, half had difficulty at some point. From that we can conclude that, whilst reserve or nature site staff can organise and collect data for an economic analysis, it is probably important to involve someone with expertise in the field when it comes to analysing the data. Following the exercise, the group discussed the merits of doing local economic impact type assessments. Most felt it could produce useful evidence to gain support for conservation. Others noted that there were other forms of analysis that could be done to help support development and investment decisions.

Workshop 3: Adding value to local products from Natura 2000 sites; communicating the benefits provided by Natura 2000. Jaume Tormo, Eurosite, The Netherlands. This workshop discussed the added value that products from Natura 2000 areas have because they were produced in a protected area. These products also act as ambassadors for the Natura 2000 areas, showing that nature conservation is not contrary to economic development. The workshop included a presentation by Mirjam Dular (Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation): “Project ALPA (SI-AT 2007-2013): Helping locals at the Pohorje Natura 2000 site & alpine pasture to develop attractive products to improve their economy and to build networks” Mirjam Dular told us how alpine pastures are being lost in Slovenia due to the low income they produce. In collaboration with Austrian partners, the project tried to increase income from these areas in order to reduce abandonment rates. The project concluded that: • EU money should not be the trigger for conservation initiatives. If initiatives come from local people there is more guarantee of continuity after the European funding finishes. • To increase the possibility of gaining a profit from the Natura 2000 products, networks have to be improved. Sometimes local sellers and local producers are not in contact. • People in Slovenia are not aware of the value of their products, which are handmade and respect nature, and charge less than the products are worth. Before starting to sell products, it is important to build trust in the products. • Natura 2000 does not yet add value to the products produced in protected areas. One of the conclusions of the talk was that Natura 2000 does not add value to products. This idea was supported by Oliviero Spinelli (Communita Ambiente, Italy). He stated that for farmers, working in a Natura 2000 area is not an advantage because they have to meet a series of regulations that reduce their income without giving them any advantages. He stated that farmers are paying for the common good, but the European Commission is not compensating them. Oliviero Spinelli pointed out the key role of farmers in Natura 2000 areas – 40% of the land within Natura 2000 is agricultural. Moreover, customers are unaware of what Natura 2000 is. Only when people know what the implications are for farmers in Natura 2000 areas, will they begin to choose these products. 21 22

www.rspb.org.uk/Images/naturalfoundations_tcm9-291148.pdf www.rspb.org.uk/Images/naturalfoundations_tcm9-291148.pdf 11


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Sylvia Barova (EC) stated that regulations for farmers in Natura 2000 sites come from national governments, not from the EC, so each national government has to provide the compensation to the farmers. The idea of creating a trademark for Natura 2000 was discussed and several examples of branding were put foward: • Jaap Verherbrugge (Waterdunen-Groede working group) gave the example of FSC23. People know the label and are willing to pay for it. Regarding it, Sylvia Barova stated that FSC is not about the quality but about sustainability and that this kind of feeling must be built for Natura 2000 areas. • Another example, provided by Sarah Green (RSPB), is farmers in the UK that farm in a way that is beneficial to wildlife24. People are willing to pay more for their products. • Pauline van der Staaij from HZL, proposed that the region could be the brand. In the Netherlands people know that milk from Nationaal Park Weerribben-Wieden is good and it helps to promote the protected area25. Finally, the idea arose of approaching the branding from the opposite angle. Since most products in natural areas already have an added value it was proposed that those products could be used as ambassadors for the Natura 2000 network.

Soapbox presentations Natura 2000 in Italy: promoting communications between farmers and public administrations. Oliviero Spinelli, Comunità Ambiente, Italy. Oliviero Spinelli talked about the “La Mia Terra Vale” initiative to increase awareness of conservation issues among farmers and increase communication between actors (farmers, public bodies and conservationists). Farmers are interested in nature conservation, but either they do not know about Natura 2000 or they know about it, but consider it an obstacle to working and earning money. In particular, in Italy they have problems due to the lack of communication between the agricultural administration and the environmental administration.

Odra Delta Nature Park - Natura 2000 Destination. Kazimierz Rabski & Malgorzata Torbé, Society for the Coast (EUCC-Poland), Poland. As a result of an agreement between coastal authorities, regional and local authorities, and land owners, in 2005 4000 ha were protected. They used a local horse species (Konik horses) and Scottish Highland cattle as tools for nature conservation, but also as a tourist attraction and, in the case of the cattle, as an agricultural product. The presentation described a wide array of arrangements for visitors, from a visitor centre to bird watching facilities.

The start of a new era at the Zwin: building a new visitor centre. Kris Struyf, Provincie West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Kris Struyf presented the project for the new Zwin visitor centre, to be finished in the second half of 2015. It will be integrated into the landscape and BREEAM26 certified. It is intended mainly for educational purposes. Currently, the Zwin nature reserve is organising a new course on hospitality, supporting research projects on big grazers (Konik horses and Scottish Highland cattle) and wetlands birds (Little egret, Common shelduck), and carrying out an ethnoecological study of the Zwin Region.

LandLife: boosting Land Stewardship in Europe. Pilar Rodríguez, Xarxa de Custòdia del Territori, Spain. Land stewardship is a useful tool to involve landowners in nature conservation, with support from environmental conservation organisations. Within the framework of the LandLife project27, a series of communication and training actions are being implemented: a European manual on land stewardship, workshops, the European Congress28, 23 24 25 26 27 28 12

https://ic.fsc.org/index.htm http://www.conservationgrade.org/ http://www.np-weerribbenwieden.nl/ http://blog.stepfive.nl/?p=381 http://www.breeam.nl/breeam/breeam-nl_english http://landstewardship.eu/ http://landstewardship.eu/congress


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European Land Stewardship Week29, a Helpdesk30 and an online course31.

Playing in and with nature in Waterdunen. Lies Dekker and Leonard van den Verge, Provincie Zeeland, The Netherlands. A new nature reserve is to be created in West Zeeuws-Vlanderen in the Waterdunen area. Two areas will be designed as areas for nature play where children and adults will have the opportunity to play with natural elements and learn how tides work. Playing in nature is important for children’s development and that is the aim of the area. The area is intended to be appealing and useful for everybody, young and old, tourists and locals, as well as people with handicaps.

Biodiverse me: local biodiversity action planning. Aysegul Cil, ECNC, The Netherlands. A Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) is a document that sets out the things that should be done by a municipality to protect, manage and make use of its local nature and wildlife, now and in the future. Since LBAPs are made by the municipality, they arise from a thorough understanding of the needs and desires of the local communities and are coordinated with other municipal actions. Also, since they are local agreements, people have a sense of ownership. Action plans have been tested in 18 partner municipalities in the Balkans. As a result, ECNC published a handbook entitled “Local Biodiversity Action Planning for Southeastern Europe”32, which was presented during this speech.

Field trip During the workshop we visited the Zwin, a nature reserve on the North Sea coast, straddling the Belgian-Dutch border. It consists of the entrance area of a former tidal inlet, which was originally formed by a storm that broke through the Flemish coast in 1134, creating a channel that reached some 15 km inland. The new waterway offered access from the sea to the inland city of Bruges, which consequently rose to become one of the foremost medieval port cities of Europe. However, from the late 13th century onwards, the channel was affected by progressive silting, which ultimately caused the waterway to become unusable and cut off the harbour of Bruges from the sea. The present-day nature reserve was founded in 1952, and the intertidal area is notable for its mudflats, salt marshes and coastal dunes. It covers an area of 1.25 square kilometres in Knokke-Heist, Belgium, and 0.33 square kilometres in Sluis, the Netherlands. It is famous for its large variety of salt-resistant flora, such as Sea Lavender. It is also popular amongst bird watchers who come to view Avocets, Redshanks, Oystercatchers and Little white egrets, and it is one of the few places in Belgium with a population of White storks. During the visit we had the opportunity to share our knowledge of tools for improving the experience of visitors to Natura 2000 areas. From simple tools like a mobile microscopy laboratory in a pedal car and telescopes for bird watching, to the most advanced tools, such as tablets amd mobile phones. Two talks were presented in the visitor centre: • Ecosim tool, a game that gives the player the opportunity to become a Land Manager. • Michel Gabriels presented several tools, developed by the West Vlaanderen administration, most of which are used on tablets in the natural areas. These tools increase the possibility of interaction between the visitors and the natural area and can be used as guides, but also as tools to implement lessons or games for children and teenagers. • Irene Bouwma presented two tools for smart phones: Natura 2000 App33 and Nature in the Netherlands34. Such tools inform citizens about Natura 2000 areas and nature in general using augmented reality.

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http://www.landlifeweek.eu/?lang=en http://landstewardship.eu/support/helpdesk http://www.landstewardship.eu/support/online-course http://www.ecnc.org/publications/technicalreports/local-biodiversity-action-planning/ http://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2011/02/17/natura-2000-app-natuurbeleving-2-0/ https://www.wageningenur.nl/en/show/App-Nature-in-the-Netherlands.htm


NATURA PEOPLE WORKSHOP REPORT 2014

Evaluation of the workshop’s impact Before the workshop, most of the attendants were aware of the concept of Ecosystem Services and were already using the concept in their work, so the workshop did not improve their awareness of Ecosystem Services. Most of the attendants (80%) plan to use the concept of Ecosystem Services in their future projects. Regarding People Engagement Techniques, most of the attendants stated that they were familiar with it (they had read about it and knew some examples, but they were not using it in their work). The workshop was useful for most of the attendants because it increased their awareness of People Engagement Techniques (80% of the attendants) and provided them with new tools or ideas that will be useful for future work (90% of the attendants). Regarding the different activities during the workshop, the most useful for the attendants were the field trip and the presentations at the visitor centre, and the least useful were the soapbox presentations. Overall, the workshop fulfilled the expectations of two-thirds of the attendants and they found the information on People Engagement Techniques more useful than the information on Economic Validation or Ecosystem Services.

Concluding remarks • Despite the fact that in most countries awareness of nature conservation is widespread, most people do not know what the Natura 2000 network is. • Ecosystem Services and monetisation of Ecosystem Services could be a tool for engaging some target groups and gaining support for conservation. • Face-to-face interaction and bottom-up approaches that build trust are a must to engage people. • Information is important, a pedagogical orientation is needed to inform people in understandable language about the benefits of nature conservation. • When working with children, hands on education is one of the best tools. • Planning and setting goals: Who do we want to engage? How are we going to do it? These questions must be answered before any engagement activity. • Evaluation is of capital importance. It provides data about what activities work and whether goals are being reached. • When working with Economic Validation tools it is useful to involve experts in economics. • Customers do not value products from Natura 2000 areas more than others due to low awareness of what Natura 2000 is. This means that products produced in Natura 2000 areas do not have an added value. In fact, in some countries producers in Natura 2000 areas are harmed because of the restrictions to cultivation techniques.

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Natura People Workshop 2014