European Parks' Academy 2017 succesfully concluded

Looking back at two inspiring weeks — looking forward to next years' academy in July 2018!



Expert guidance & learning from each other 

12 inspiring days of hard working, discussions and exchange, of listening and reflecting, of laughter and great group dynamics – that was the European Parks´ Academy in July 2017! The academy aimed at protected area executives and professionals from all over the world to improve their knowledge on protected area financing and governance. The focus of this years´ academy, the “Effective financing of protected areas” and “New challenges in the governance of protected areas” appeared to be very relevant topics for the participants who came from Albania, Ukraine, Ethiopia, Estonia, Croatia, Germany, Austria and Dubai. Facing different challenges and framework conditions in their countries, the academy gave lots of opportunities for exchanging experiences of good management practices and successful or challenging stories of conservation. Inspiring inputs and guidance was given by out-standing trainers from the IUCN and from other international conservation initiatives.

International standards & local experience sharing

Good practice example from Austria regarding protected area financing and contributions to regional development were in the focus of the opening conference on the 18th July. Impulse speeches, a poster session and panel discussions gave reason for international participants to get to know each other and exchange with Austrian experts and practitioners. Further, the IUCN Green List– a new global standard for protected areas in the 21st Century – was subject of the academy during a full-day working session with James Hardcastle, the manager of the IUCN initiative. Criteria and indicators as well as the relevance of this new standard, which aims at encouraging effective and equitable protected areas, were discussed. Last but not least, participants enjoyed the visit of two Austrian protected areas – the National Park Hohe Tauern and the Biosphere Reserve Nockberge/Lungau  - days full of discussions with park managers and local stakeholders , walks and yummy local food.


Your personal benefit

The European Parks’ Academy (EPA) is a unique opportunity to learn more about emerging trends and new approaches in the management of protected areas. The seminars of EPA focus on the practical implementation of international standards (IUCN, UNESCO, Ramsar etc.), policies and guidelines. Bring an own showcase from your work to this exclusive training. In an intensive 3-day seminar you work in small groups, discuss with renowned experts to find innovative solutions for your individual challenge. This is your main take-home message, bringing new perspectives into your organization. Maybe you can even save money which you otherwise spent for a consultant!

Learn, exchange, enjoy in an inspiring environment

EPA is a summer school, situated at the attractive and inspiring facilities of the Klagenfurt Lakeside Campus (Austria). EPA offers outstanding intercultural learning experiences for executives and professionals in the management of protected areas. The initiative is a direct outcome of the World Parks Congress 2014 in Sydney and the European follow-up Little Sydney in Hainburg (Austria, 2015).



European Parks‘ Academy
c/o E.C.O. Insitute of Ecology
Lakeside B07b, 2.OG
9020 Klagenfurt , Austria

Programme coordination

DI Michael Huber:
Head of division for Parks. Integrated Management of Protected Areas at E.C.O. Institute of Ecology

Programme directorate

Dr. Andrej Sovinc:
CEO Sečovlje Salina Nature Park, University of Primorska, IUCN WCPA Regional Vice-Chair Europe
Mag. Dr. Michael Jungmeier:
CEO of E.C.O. Institute of Ecology, Director of MSc “Management of Protected Areas”
Mag.a Birgit Karre:
University College for Agrarian and Environmental Pedagogy
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Michael Getzner:
Center of Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy, Head of Department of Spatial Planning, Vienna University of Technology