The fate of the embattled Rhône apron (Zingel asper) will be discussed on 7-8 November at an after-LIFE workshop held in Eurre, France. The nocturnal, freshwater fish, whose protection remains an EU priority, has been listed as “critically endangered” by the latest EU IUCN assessment. This two-day event will examine over 30 measures undertaken over the past five years as part of a French national action plan to conserve the species.
These efforts have focused on better understanding and monitoring existing sub-populations of the Rhône apron, which now survive in only a handful of locations across the Rhône river catchment in France. Prior attempts to protect the species have included three LIFE Nature projects, Apron, RIVIER D’AIN and Apron II.
Held in French, the workshop “Apron: Bilan du PNA et perspectives” will take place in Eurre, in south-eastern France. The two-day event offers an opportunity for conservationists and members of the public to meet and exchange information about the species.
The event is chaired and co-organised by Marianne Georget, who works for the non-profit “Conservatoire Rhône-Alpes des Espaces Naturels – CREN” and is a member of the nature network “Espaces Naturels de France”. As an expert in aquaculture and river restoration, Ms Georget has steered the national conservation programme for the Rhône apron. She was also the project manager of the Apron II LIFE Nature project and featured in an interview for a 2015 LIFE Nature Focus publication, “LIFE and freshwater fish” (see pp 36-38).
Programme details are available on the Apron du Rhone website and participants are invited to register online. Please confirm your attendance by 30 October 2017. For further information on practical arrangements, contact: Nathalie Fautrez: email@example.com; +33 (0)4 72 31 84 50.
The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund will hold an information day ahead of its call to foster a "Sustainable Blue Economy". Prospective applicants are invited to learn about call priorities, present their questions and meet peers working in the area.
With a total budget of €14.5 million, the call on Sustainable Blue Economy aims to support sustainable jobs, innovation and entrepreneurship in the field of maritime conservation. It constitutes the first step towards the commitments made by the European Union at the Our Ocean 2017 global conference that took place in Malta this year. The funds will go to projects that can help accelerate the implementation of European maritime policy, and deploy a vibrant blue economy across Europe and the Mediterranean.
The event includes an overview by EASME on the general management of the call for proposals. In afternoon sessions, DG MARE will help detail the four separate strands of Sustainable Blue Economy funding. The call will notably support technologies and services that help deal with marine litter, create jobs, and restore ecosystems across Europe’s seas. Delegates will also be greeted with a welcome speech by Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.
The event will take place at the Borschette Conference Centre in Brussels, Belgium, on 9 November 2017. The full agenda and further information on individual sessions is available online. Delegates are invited to register before 3 November 2017, or follow the event via webstream or Twitter #EMFF17.
Five protected areas restored by LIFE are among those featured in a new book about nature in the Dutch province of North-Brabant. The book will be launched on 24 November, with a presentation of the first copy to provincial Governor, Wim van de Donk at the Nature Museum Brabant in Tilburg at 2pm.
With LIFE support the shifting inland dunes of the Loonse and Drunense Duinen have been opened up again and in the marshes of the Vlijmens Ven, Moerputten and Gement close to the species-rich grasslands of ‘s Hertogenbosch have been restored. The bog area of the Peel on the border with the province of Limburg was rewetted to enable the growth of the peat bog. In the Brabantse Wal in the west valuable habitats were restored in a vast area with early-Pleistocene sediments.
The extensively-illustrated book aims to improve knowledge about nature in North-Brabant, to increase the recognition of its value locally and beyond and to support policy for nature development.
The rise of new concepts such as open science, participative research and citizen science is influencing how the scientific community engages in research. The First Italian Citizen Science Conference, organised by the Italian National Academy of Sciences, in partnership with Italian and European Institutions, which takes place in Rome on 24-25 November 2017, will address the emerging field of citizen science (CS) in an international context.
The scientific programme provides more details about the scope of topics to be covered. Specific sessions will address:
Science is undergoing a change in the way it is perceived, carried out and communicated. Environmental citizen science, in particular, looks set to benefit from this transformation, based on the engagement of ordinary people in the research process. This change is reflected in the work of the CSMON LIFE project, which is involving citizens in data collection and validation, so as to accelerate the progress towards the objectives of the European 2020 Biodiversity Strategy. The CSMON-LIFE project is also a supporting organisation of the First Italian Citizen Science Conference.
Italy's Lombardy region is organising, within the framework of the LIFE Integrated Project GESTIRE 2020 (LIFE14 IPE/IT/000018), a LIFE platform meeting on invasive alien species (IAS), which takes place on 29-30 November 2017 in Milan (Italy).
The GESTIRE 2020 project is an innovative and experimental project for the conservation of biodiversity in Lombardy with a special focus on preventing and halting the spread of IAS. Animals and plant species that are introduced accidentally or deliberately into a natural environment where they are not normally found can have serious negative consequences. They often lead to the decline or elimination of native species - through competition, predation or transmission of pathogens - and the disruption of local ecosystems and ecosystem functions. IAS are increasingly a major threat to native plants and animals across the world. In Europe, they cause damage worth billions of euros to the economy every year.
For this reason, IAS and their impact on the environment have been one of the key topics addressed by the LIFE programme over the years. The aim of the platform meeting is to share experiences and case studies and to evaluate future challenges and opportunities. Recommendations will be published following the platform meeting as a guide to improve the performance of LIFE projects dealing with similar issues, as a promotion for the LIFE programme and to benefit the implementation of the EU’s regulation of IAS.
A detailed agenda will be made available from the project's website closer to the time of the meeting.
LIFE Integrated Projects were introduced in order to be able to implement environmental legislation and goals on a wider scale and to increase the impact of the LIFE programme. They provide funding for plans, programmes and strategies developed on the regional, multi-regional or national level.