Formentera to host participatory ecology workshop for Natura 2000

foto penyasegat-sa-calaOn Tuesday, September 11, the conference hall of Formentera's dependent care centre will be the scene of a workshop for islanders either affected by or curious about a new strategy in place in certain parts of Formentera, dubbed SPAs, whose prevalence of certain birds entitles them to special protected status.

Management plan
The strategy, or “management plan”, as it is known, regulates the ways people can use SPAs and the measures that will be applied to safeguard protected habitats and species. The plan also covers restorative measures intended to correct the problems currently affecting the spaces, and species, in question.

Natura 2000
Natura 2000 is a network of nature protection areas in Europe whose biodiversity has been identified as particularly important. It covers two kinds of places—those which the EU's Habitats Directive designates as “SCIs” (Sites of Community Importance) and those that the EU's Birds Directive labels “SPAs” (Special Protection Areas) for birds. The goal is to protect habitats and species which are of particular interest to the European community. EU member states are required to pass strategies aimed at converting SCIs into “SACs” (Special Area of Conservation), the final step in their incorporation into Natura 2000. The management plans define how inhabitants of the places in question must interact with the natural spaces in need of protection, so the broader the buy-in surrounding the mechanisms ultimately chosen, the better. That's where the workshops come in.

Executed by GEN-GOB, the workshop also happens thanks to collaboration from the Balearic Islands regional government. The Formentera Council, too, is chipping in with funding from the Save Posidonia Project. The goal of the workshop, apart from engaging a multiplicity of stakeholders in the effort to convert SCIs into SACs, is to foster dialogue about the complexities facing Natura 2000 strategy building.

The workshop will take place as follows:

• 11.00am - Opening remarks and plenary assembly.
• 11.15am - Exploring objectives behind the strategy.
• 12.15pm - Taking stock of measures included in the strategy.
• 2.00pm - Lunch.
• 2.45pm - Conclusions and final plenary assembly.
• 5.00pm - Closing remarks.

The workshop is open to everyone. Registration is, however, mandatory.
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At the close of the workshop, GEN-GOB will send participants a report including a summary of material covered and the day's takeaways.

Subsequently, and prior to adoption of the management plans, the regional government will present a draft of Formentera's plan for public review. Comments relating to the proposed plan will be accepted during an ensuing review period.