NewsOctober 4, 2016

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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

European biodiversity indicator process revitalized

Promoting sustainable tourism in Uzundere through the QualityDestination programme

Ecosystem services: We must now deliver societal impact


Helping nature to help us: that was the main idea behind the joint OpenNESS, OPERAs, ECOPLAN and ESP conference on ecosystem services. Between 19 and 23 September 2016, more than 600 participants from all over the world made their way to the University of Antwerp to debate and learn more about how nature contributes to human well-being and vice versa. The conference resulted in the Antwerp Declaration, a call to integrate ecosystem services into policy and business operation.

In the Antwerp Declaration the signatories call for action to realize the transformative potential of the ecosystem services framework. There is a need to refocus on principles of sustainability, reclaim the notion of value and expand collaborations. You can show your support by signing the Antwerp Declaration

The Antwerp Declaration was drafted through an innovative and iterative process with the involvement of the conference participants. For instance, prior to the conference over 120 participants replied to the Antwerp Declaration survey, on which the final declaration text was based. The conference itself offered a platform for further discussion and a place to provide more comments and input.

On Tuesday 20 September, an ecosystem services fair comprising 40 stands related to the practice of ecosystem services (projects, initiatives, companies) resulted in great networking and exchange of practical experiences and initiatives. During the fair, the new online platform Oppla was launched. This website – a result from both OpenNESS and OPERAs – is an interactive tools, methods and knowledge hub and a community for helping to put ecosystem services into practice and for supporting nature-based solutions.

The conference programme also offered an attractive mix of:

  • keynote presentations from policy, practice and science;
  • a networking day (the ecosystem services fair) where businesses, practitioners, policymakers and researchers met and showcased their work;
  • interactive sessions to demonstrate working examples of ecosystem services and natural capital;
  • field excursions to see ecosystem services in action; and
  • scientific sessions.

A conference book of abstracts was prepared for each session; these are now available online. Each book of abstracts also contains the session programme. Due to the large number of pages the document is only distributed digitally.

Photos and a video of the conference will soon be published on the conference website.