European Learning Network for Regions and Biodiversity
In most European countries, biodiversity policy and its implementation at the regional and local levels are left to the regional and local authorities to develop with very little support or guidance, including on how to translate global and European biodiversity policies and targets into regional and local actions. Nevertheless, many regions and local authorities have already taken up the challenge to integrate biodiversity into their policies and have started programmes and projects to implement these. So the efforts to develop a strategy, as well as the tools and capacity building to implement it, are duplicated many times across Europe.
At European level, a large-scale and structured platform to exchange biodiversity information and experience at regional level does not exist – only national CBD Clearing House Mechanisms. There is no formal way for regions to be informed about existing practices, sharing knowledge and experiences, building partnerships, etc.
The aim of the Learning Network for Regions & Biodiversity is to contribute – in a demand-driven and tailor-made way – to better conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services at local and regional levels in the pan-European region for the benefit of sustainable development of the local and regional communities.
It should empower regions and municipalities, and allow regional and local stakeholders to exchange experience and expertise and to join forces in meeting biodiversity targets and commitments, while contributing to sustainable development, including the maintenance of vital ecosystem services.
The main focus of the European Learning Network for Regions & Biodiversity follows the demand of its partners, initially pursuing the following main objectives:
- Creating a platform for providing and exchanging expertise and know-how to the regional and local levels, and for creating bridges between regions in Europe on issues relevant for biodiversity and ecosystem services.
- Providing capacity building focusing on long-term sharing of knowledge and building of relationships amongst local and regional authorities.
- Facilitating biodiversity expertise in international cooperation issues as part of integrated territorial or regional planning.
- Functioning as a “network of networks” by interacting with relevant regional networks on biodiversity.
- Improving the exchange of best practice and lessons learned through effective communication.
- Translating international and EU decisions and expertise into a format and language accessible to local and regional levels, including to citizens.
ECNC together with UNEP are the founders of the European Learning Network for Regions & Biodiversity initiative.
The network is constituted by a partnership of interested regions and municipalities that wish to cooperate on biodiversity issues. National and international associations of regions and/or municipalities will also be invited to join. Partners in the network may be either offering to share their experience, know-how and expertise or requesting expertise and intellectual support. The network will act as a marketplace for ideas on biodiversity action at the local and regional levels.
This project is funded by the European Commission LIFE+ programme.