This year’s EUROPARC Transboundary Parks Network (TransParcNet) meeting took place between 11-14 June 2012 in one of the most exceptional transboundary protected areas in Europe – the Trilateral Pasvik-Inari Park formed by the Inari-Vätsäri Wilderness Area (Finland), Øvre-Pasvik National Park (Norway), and Pasvik Zapovednik (Russia). The meeting marked progress in cooperation between IUCN and the EUROPARC Federation, organizer of the event and an IUCN Member.
Boris Erg, member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Transboundary Conservation Specialist Group (IUCN WCPA TBC SG) and Director of the IUCN Programme Office for South-Eastern Europe, presented the work of the Specialist Group and noted that “IUCN WCPA and EUROPARC are the largest networks and pools of expertise on transboundary cooperation in Europe. Only by working together we will be able to bring the transboundary agenda forward and apply its principles on the ground”.
As part of his presentation, Boris Erg described the current activities implemented by the Specialist Group, such as creating a transboundary database, developing guidelines for assessing the feasibility of transboundary conservation and a number of communication activities as well as publications. On future plans, he stressed the need to work on further guidelines on transboundary conservation with particular emphasis on legal aspects, governance and marine transboundary protected areas.
“This year´s meeting gave us once again a chance to re-connect and identify the way forward in transboundary management issues. Our network shows that effective protected areas management is needed and can be achieved when people and parks cooperate beyond boundaries. The knowledge transfer at our international meetings is crucial to further the reconnection work of the EUROPARC Federation,” said Carol Richie, Director of the EUROPARC Federation.
After the working session the participants had the opportunity to visit the unique Trilateral Pasvik-Inari Park and learn about its natural and cultural values, management practices, and the history of joint transboundary cooperation endeavours.
The meeting brought together about 40 participants from 16 countries, park managers and experts. It was organized by Metsähallitus - the Finnish Natural Heritage Services with the support of Norwegian and Russian experts.
For further information please contact Boris Erg, IUCN Programme Office for South-Eastern Europe.