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New publication: NFI Biodiversity Info

Almost eight years ago, in August 2003, the first Campaign Info Sheet signalled the official beginning of our “Preserving Landscapes – Experiencing Europe” campaign. Patterned on “Blue Rivers for Europe” and “Green Paths”, the objective was once again to motivate the greatest possible number of Naturefriends (groups) to stand up for our environment, to network as many isolated local activities as possible and to endow them with a European dimension.

The campaign was to become a major success – though not under its original designation: Over the years, what had started off as a pilot project comprising three Austrian Natura Trails, developed into a Europe-wide network of over 100 Natura Trails, extending from the North Sea to the Black Sea. Having on top of numerous national awards received the accolade of Official Decade Project under the heading of Education for Sustainable Development from the German and the Austrian Commission for UNESCO, Natura Trails became a brand name of the Naturefriends movement that signifies environmentally benign leisure activities and live experience of biodiversity.

An important step towards spreading the word about Naturefriends concerns at the European level and towards getting a say in the Community’s environmental and social policies was taken by setting up an NFI European Policy Office in Brussels. In this context biodiversity is one of the key topics, which figures prominently in the activities of the Biodiversity Working Group of the European Environmental Bureau as well as in statements and position papers on specific topics, which will be discussed in this info sheet.

After eight years devoted to “Natura Trails”, new projects are now in the offing: on the one hand, the “Natura 2000 Partnerships”, based on the Natura Trails network and designed to give another boost to public awareness of the Natura 2000 motif; on the other hand the “Water:Ways” project which, similar to the Natura Trails project, will be launched as an Austrian pilot and centre on the environmentally sound recreational use of water habitats. In addition, quite a number of follow-up activities are under way in the sign of the Natura Trails project itself, among them the multi-media editing of selected Natura Trails designed for virtually communing with nature, or the idea of laying out “Canoe Natura Trails” along near-natural river sections.

So, the time has come to discard the previous layout of the Campaign Info Sheet, to come up with a new design and to break new ground, covering a broader field of subjects.

-> Biodiversity Info No. 1, April 2011
-> Biodiversity Info No. 2, December2011/January2012


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