May 24th, 2017
The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we crop (the so called “ecosystem services”) they all depend on the quality of our ecosystems. From the mountain tops to the deep seas, there is a huge variety of habitats protected by National, Nature, Regional, Natura2000, Marine or Periurban Parks. In Europe, nature has a level of protection thanks to the work of our Parks: they preserve our natural resources and authentic hubs of biodiversity. They are our life support system, and this is the reason why ECOPOTENTIAL researchers decided to focus their activities on protected areas. Every year all Parks and Protected Areas celebrate their successes during the European Day of Parks, which took place on Wednesday May 24th 2017. It aimed to bring people closer to nature and raise public awareness on the importance of the natural beauty preserved in Protected Areas and the importance of conservation and sustainable management of those places.
The European Day of Parks is a commemorative day for Protected Areas across Europe that was launched in 1999 by the EUROPARC Federation to celebrate Protected Areas throughout Europe. It celebrates the creation of the first National Parks in Europe – a set of nine parks created in Sweden in 1909.
This year the celebration had the subtitle “Changing climate – changing parks”. The climate in fact is changing, bringing changes that affect the life of every being on earth. The EUROPARC Federation invited all protected areas to organize an event (guided tours, seminars, workshops) and hundreds of them responded positively. They showed the importance of healthy ecosystems and the measures each protected area is implementing for preserving biodiversity and fighting against invasive species. The Parks are changing too, trying to face the effects of climate change and to minimise its impacts. Finally, they inspire people, finding new ways to reduce our footprint and promoting sustainability in local communities, through e.g. actions in favour of sustainable farming or sustainable energy sources.
For more information about events organised by Protected Areas from across Europe, visit: www.europarc.org/nature/european-day-parks.