NewsDecember 14, 2015

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Support the People4Soil initiative

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Alpine Grassland Management Workshop addresses long-term protection of grasslands

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Alpine Grassland Management Workshop addresses long-term protection of grasslands


Fifty-eight experts and practitioners from 16 European countries gathered to discuss matters of common concern in the management and conservation of grasslands in the Alpine biogeographical region in the EU and wider. The meeting was organized as a follow-up event to the Graz Alpine Seminar (November 2013) in the context of the Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process, and held in Laufen, Germany, from 9 to 11 December 2015.

Its objectives were to provide a platform for the exchange of knowledge and experience and to identify challenges, issues and solutions specific to the conservation of grasslands. The participants’ experience and observations confirmed the results of the recently published State of Europe’s Nature report that describes the poor and deteriorating state of conservation of grasslands and their characteristic species, especially invertebrates.

They noted the vital protection afforded by the Habitats Directive to these habitats but underlined the need for better management to secure improved status. They drew special attention to the prevailing pressures and threats to habitats and species in the Alpine biogeographical region and the crucial role of sustainable farming in maintaining and restoring them.

While recognizing the overall and sustained grassland decline, participants were encouraged to note the wide range of successful initiatives that are being deployed throughout Europe, especially at local and regional levels, to revitalize mountain communities and restore the grasslands.

In addition to sharing experiences at the workshop, the participants agreed to continue networking and to share guidance, examples of good practice and further resources to promote better grassland conservation, through the Natura 2000 Communication Platform.

More information on the workshop can be found on the event page on the Natura 2000 Communication Platform.

The Alpine Grassland Management Workshop was organized by the Bavarian Academy for Nature Conservation and Landscape Management (ANL) and Butterfly Conservation Europe (BCE) with the support of ECNC-European Centre for Nature Conservation as part of the Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process, an initiative of the European Commission. ECNC is the lead contractor to support the EC in the development and implementation of the Process. ECNC does this with support from our sub-contracted consortium partners (CEEweb for Biodiversity, Eurosite, the European Landowners Organization, the EUROPARC Federation, and ILE SAS).