ENOS is delighted to be a partner in the “Environmental Conservation Opportunities and Sport in Natura 2000 sites” (ECOS N2K) project
The key aim of the project is to reduce the environmental impact of outdoor sport activities in coastal dune systems that are protected under Natura 2000 legislation.
The project was born out of a study that one of the partners had done in European studies. He had been googling management of outdoor sports and protected areas and discovered the ENOS / Europarc 10 principles document and this is what had inspired him to develop the project.
The project will build a working method based on the involvement of local stakeholders and cross education between sport associations, sport operators and environmental experts.
Using the ENOS 10 principle as a starting point, it will create a shared “charter of value” that will promote environmental values to all local stakeholders (including businesses) to enhance “environmentally friendly” outdoor sports activities and develop good practices that can be shared with other Natura 2000 sites.
Pilot actions will also develop an appropriate and sustainable route to facilitate access through the dunes will support responsible use of natural areas. The routes will be mapped by GPS and enhanced by digital technologies. The signage will provide special measures to be used also by people with disabilities in order to achieve maximum inclusion.
The ECOS N2K project aims to strengthen the use of digital innovation creating digital internet courses to share the local experiences and to spread the methodology used in the project.
- University of Valencia
Academic partner who are leading the project.
Municipality de Cullera – “A paradise by the sea, river and mountain and lakes.”
They have a strong focus on environmental conservation opportunities and managing outdoor sport in Natura 2000 sites.
- Confcom – The chamber of commerce for Jesolo and Venice who have 11,000 businesses affiliated to them and have a strong focus on the tourist sector as many of their members are hotels and restaurants.
- Institute for Sport Governance (ISG)
ISG is based in Warsaw and its focus initially was on corporate and social responsibility for sports clubs in Poland. They have done a significant amount of work on recognising the social value of sport.
- European Network for Innovation and Knowledge (EUNIK)
The European Network for Innovation and Knowledge (EUNIK) has more than 15 years’ experience working internationally. They are a not for profit NGO who provide services for the sports sector especially gaining European funding (mainly Erasmus Plus sport grants).
The project will focus on 3 key sites
- Albufera National Park in Spain where the local authority (environmental team) manages the site
- The Bay of Puck and Hel Peninsula in Poland which may be one person from within the local authority
- Veneto Coastal Dunes in Italy where the local authority manages the site
- The Site at Veneto
ENOS has supported this work by providing template Terms of Reference that have been developed for other Local Outdoor Recreation Forums. We also provided key information from any coastal sites from the SEE project in relation to the survey that Europarc did with its members
The next piece of work to be undertaken is to be led by ConfCom and University of Valencia on the development of the Local Advisory Forums and also understanding the issues.
During the Kick Off meeting on 13 – 15th February 2023 in Jesolo, Italy, the partners had a site visit to dunes at Veneto. When Confcom looked at a previous project funded by Life for the Veneto dunes – the only system they used to manage the dunes was to completely close them. This was untenable for the local community and visitors and so the development of key pathways rather than open access or total restriction is important. On the site visit it was very clear that they were in poor condition. There was significant litter issues, human waste and evidence of same, erosion and also degradation of habitat. While it is clear that there is a desire to not restrict but rather provide sustainable access. Clear education for visitors and locals alike is needed. The SEE approach to pedagogy could be very useful here. It is great that ENOS can bring a lot of added value to this project.