NewsJune 1, 2016

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Green Week 2017: Green jobs for a greener future

New issue of ECNC Update published

Conference on the EU Action Plan for nature

Connecting Nature officially launched

NATURE@work - EEA photography competition

Let’s Talk About Data - Wildlife recording

Oppla insight event: making nature-based solutions work for business

European Natura 2000 Award 2018: Calls are open!

Applications open for 2020 European Green Capital and 2019 European Green Leaf Awards

Celebrate nature on 5 June!

Today is International Day for Biological Diversity

EU Action Plan for nature, people and the economy

Bank On Nature

New issue of ECNC Update published

New report on the state of the UK's birds

Green Week 2017 – The transition towards a circular economy

25th anniversary of LIFE and the Habitats Directive

OpenNESS partners reflect on progress and impact

ECNC welcomes a new Network partner

Sea turtles and ‘plastic soup’ in the classroom

New issue of ECNC Update published

Nature Outlook report to be presented in Brussels

Healthy Seas in 2016 - more nets collected and exciting new activities

Ecosystem services and EU regulatory frameworks: How can Oppla help?

European Commission adopts the Environmental Implementation Review

EC launches public consultation on the Common Agricultural Policy

Today is World Wetlands Day

Successful Healthy Seas beach clean-up with schoolkids

New EEA report on climate change in Europe

PISCO/UNS publication on the science of marine protected areas

New issue of ECNC Update published

2017 - International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

EU guide to environmental directives

Video message by Commissioner Vella in support of Healthy Seas

Ecosystem services seminar presentations available online

ALTER-Net team publishes paper on nature-based solutions

UN Biodiversity Conference: commitments for action on biodiversity

New French Agency for Biodiversity

New issue of ECNC Update published

Healthy Seas fashion exhibition in the Netherlands

IAGC and Healthy Seas announce ocean ghostnet clean-up partnership

Statement by Commissioner Vella on the Nature Directives Fitness Check

Oppla all set to serve European projects

New issue of ECNC Update published

Fruit and biodiversity in the Euregio Rhine-Waal

OpenNESS at the third EU Business and Biodiversity annual meeting

Sustainable Development: EU sets out its priorities

Users very enthusiastic about Oppla

Record number of cities apply for European Green Capital 2019 and European Green Leaf 2018 Awards

Second Atlantic Seminar: Knowledge exchange and roadmap for future cooperation

OpenNESS case studies to inspire European site managers

European companies awarded for their green business solutions

New issue of ECNC Update published

Bosland conference - increasing opportunities for nature and society

Stakeholders discuss actions and cooperation at Second Boreal Seminar

Draft results of restoration study presented at workshop

Embracing Estuaries – workshop results published

The 'umbrella effect' of Natura 2000

Bracenet develops fashion bracelets from ghost nets

Support the People4Soil initiative

Ecosystem services: We must now deliver societal impact

What the EU should do to better protect nature in Europe

Best practice in restoration

EEA ‘My City’ photo competition: public vote now open

Nature lends a hand

Launching Oppla: a global platform for nature-based solutions

European Commission adopts first EU list of invasive species

Enter the Green-Go short film contest 2016!

Registration now open for conference ‘Bosland 10 years – Passion for Nature’

New issue of ECNC Update published

Registration open for study workshop on restoration and the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020

Sharing knowledge and experience for regions and biodiversity

New issue of ECNC Update published

LIFE Platform meeting on restoration of sand dune habitats

Implementing ecosystem restoration and green infrastructure in Europe

Nature supports Europe’s sustainable cities

Food and health the focus of Tilburg Nature Market 2016

New issue of ECNC Update published

2016 Natura 2000 Award winners announced

Workshop on Mediterranean forest management and Natura 2000

OpenNESS annual meeting reflects on four years of work

New issue of ECNC Update published

ECNC and Lithuanian Government preparing the Second Boreal Natura 2000 Seminar

People 4 Soil initiative

Symposium 'Biodiversity in the Netherlands, one step beyond'

Odra Delta Nature Park - testing new business models

Finalists of the 2016 Natura 2000 Award announced

New issue of ECNC Update published

Call for practical restoration evidence for new EU study on ecosystem restoration

Vote for the European Natura 2000 Citizens’ Award!

Research to support innovating with nature

Department of Landscape Architecture, Ankara University, joins ECNC Network

New issue of ECNC Update published

Integrating nature into circular economy

Quality Destination in action!

New project to promote ecosystem restoration

European Ecosystem Services Conference: call for sessions open!

New issue of ECNC Update published

Land and Soil Management Award – Apply now!

Alpine Grassland Management Workshop addresses long-term protection of grasslands

Nature supports Europe’s sustainable cities


Nature offers many benefits to support Europe’s urban agenda and supports the move of many cities to become more sustainable and innovative. Evidence of such ‘nature-based solutions’ was presented at an EU conference on 31 May 2016.

The conference, as part of the Dutch EU Presidency, focused on how evidence supports policy for sustainable cities and what tools are available to help cities in this process. This was kicked off by a short panel interview with representatives of the Province of Utrecht, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, and the Netherlands Ministry for Infrastructure and Environment, who gave their views on nature-based solutions.

Humberto Delgado Rosa, Director for Natural Capital at the European Commission DG Environment, presented an overview of the European policy context, including the urban agenda, the EU Biodiversity Strategy, Green Infrastructure Strategy and funding possibilities for nature-based solutions in cities. This was complemented by Marco Fritz, Policy Officer at EC DG Research & Innovation, who shared the results of a recent survey among EU citizens, showing that 60% of citizens prefer nature-based solutions to technical ones.

Examples were presented from experiences in about ten European cities. Most of the examples also feature in a new report that was launched during the conference, referred to as the MAES urban pilot, or in full Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services: Urban ecosystems. The report, produced by the European Commission with the European Environment Agency, volunteering EU Member States and cities, and stakeholders, presents guidance for mapping urban ecosystems and includes an indicator framework to assess the condition of urban ecosystems and the services they provide.

During breakout sessions participants discussed topics such as how to deal with governance barriers in an urban context, mapping and decision support tools, the link between green infrastructure and health, circular economy, and innovative governance and finance.

In many presentations as well as in the day’s conclusions Oppla was referred to as a key platform to share the many experiences that were presented, as well as the tools that are available to support cities in their efforts to use nature-based solutions instead of technical ones.

The one-day conference, held in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and attended by some 150 participants, was closed with a short ceremony in which a number of stakeholders from cities, business, research, and government, signed a City Deal to support their commitment to better value green and blue in cities.

ECNC participated in the conference to share experiences from the OpenNESS urban case studies and to promote Oppla.