A review of EUROPARC 2014 in Killarney

30th October, 2014

Killarney National Park from Muckross

Killarney National Park from Muckross

Inspiring networking

More than 250 protected area professionals from across Europe converged on Killarney at the end of September for three and a half very full days of networking, presentations, workshops, field trips and determining the future work of the EUROPARC Federation. The subject of this year’s conference was Understanding the Value of Nature. As ever, the annual EUROPARC conference proved to be an inspiring few days meeting old and new friends, sharing thoughts and experiences, and developing new ideas and projects.

All the presentations from a very informative plenary session and twelve engaging workshops can be found here. Particular highlights for your reviewer included Patrick ten Brink (Head of Brussels Office at IEEP) on “Nature and its role in the transition to a Green Economy” and Liisa Kajala (Senior Advisor at Metsähallitus in Finland) on “The Economic Value of a National Park“.

A range of photographs from the conference can be viewed here.

There were a number of important developments in Killarney in terms of the business of the EUROPARC Federation:

On the field trip to Glantanesseig, Dingle Peninsula

On the field trip to Glantanesseig, Dingle Peninsula

New EUROPARC strategy

The Federation’s General Assembly approved a new strategy for 2015-21. With this now in place, focus moves towards implementation, with member organisations as well as Sections all contributing to its fulfilment. EAI has agreed, for example, to lead in the area of coastal and marine conservation for the Federation.

New EUROPARC President

Ignace Schops, Director of the Hoge Kempen National Park and the Kempen & Maasland Regional Landscape in Belgium, and Goldman Prize winner, was elected as the new President of the EUROPARC Federation.

New EUROPARC Council

The following candidates were elected to the Council: Paulo Castro (P), Olaf Ostermann (D), Kaja Lotman (EE), Michael Hošek (CZ), Vittorio Alessandro (I). They join Dominique Leveque (F), whose term of office expires next year.

New internal auditor

NGO expert Roger de Freitas, who conducted a governance review of the Federation in 2008, was elected as internal auditor for 2014-15. He succeeds David Cameron of the Cairngorms National Park, who stepped down after six years in the role.

Discussion points for landscape assessment on the field trip

Discussion points for landscape assessment on the field trip


Very many thanks to our colleagues in the National Parks and Wildlife Service of Ireland, the Heritage Council, Coillte and the EUROPARC Federation for all their hard work in hosting and organising a very successful conference.