On these pages you will find a plethora of articles about our current or past projects. You will also find some examples of our work on the page Track Record and a list of our services under Fields of Expertise. If you would like any more information about any of the projects mentioned just get in touch.
Posted on: 12th July 2011
Right on the Serbian-Romanian border on the Danube lies the small town of Donji Milanovacin Djerdap National Park where Wilf Fenten, EUROPARC Consulting's Managing Director, and Anne Webster, Project Support Manager in the UK office, attended the 7th European Charter Network Meeting (28th June to 1st July).
This magnificent national park is located along the Serbian-Romanian border, right where the Danube breaks through the Carpathian Mountains at the Iron Gates. This year’s conference was generously organised by Djerdap National Park and partnered by the Ministry of Environment, Mining and Special Planning, Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia, National Tourism Organisation of Serbia and The Association of National Parks and Protected Areas of Serbia. The event focused on the growing interest from many Eastern European countries in sustainable tourism - and the wider aspects - hence the conference title "Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas: Building Bridges - Seeking solutions". It proved an invaluable opportunity for networking, exchange and learning.
Anne Webster and Wilf Fenten are key members of the team for implementing the application process of the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas. At the conference, Wilf led a workshop entitled “Introduction to the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas”. The workshop was aimed at target participants from areas interested in becoming Charter members. Questions such as: "How to become a Charter member? What is involved and and what benefits does it bring? What to do and how to plan the work? When to start and who should be involved?" were all addressed in detail.
Combining a fascinating location with welcoming hosts, a vibrant social agenda and an in-depth programme resulted in a most intriguing and engaging mix. The whole event was well attended by over 200 delegates, with Serbian government Ministers contributing to the keynote speeches and TV crews in attendance (and national TV reportage on the evening news bulletins). Representatives from 23 countries across Europe took part; from the Nordic-Baltic regions to those from Italy, Malta and Greece.
We hope that Wilf's contribution on behalf of EUROPARC Consulting will have opened people's eyes to the possibilities the Charter can offer – particularly for countries newly tackling sustainable tourism issues and seeking effective methodologies for so doing.
Having so many participants gathered together allowed us to provide a reminder that EUROPARC Consulting provides real expertise in the policy and practice of protected-area management. The company is uniquely placed to provide advice, training and expertise, using exclusively the skills of experts with first-hand experience. To be able to do so in the stunning setting of the dramatic Djerdap Danube gorge was an added and unforgettable bonus!
Posted on: 30th June 2011
Aren't they fascinating, those airline destination charts where lines on a map spread out across the continent to form a spider's web of connections? Well it's the time of year where EUROPARC Consulting acts as the “hub” for activity concerning the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism, gathering in all the reports on each applicant for this year’s award of the European Charter, Europe’s premier quality label for protected areas. Once checked and edited, these reports are then forwarded to all members of the EUROPARC Federation’s Evaluation Committee which meets towards the end of June each year.
Every year, around Christmas time, those seeking to join the Charter family - or continue their involvement with it - will have submitted their formal application dossiers to EUROPARC Consulting. This year, 17 reports winged their way to our office and the annual cycle of work began once more. An expert consultant is appointed to visit each area, where he or she will meet with the officers, stakeholders and tourism businesses to assess the work on the ground. Each verifier will clarify any points of concern, gather additional information and observe in detail how present and planned practical physical actions match those laid out in the applicant's strategy and action plan.
Once the verifier's reports are completed they are submitted to “Charter Central” – EUROPARC Consulting, UK. As the Evaluation Committee members have the task of reading, absorbing and deciding on seventeen protected area reports (each between 16 and 35 pages long!) we do everything we can to smoothen the process. All reports are carefully checked and edited, and then sent on their way for the members of the Evaluation Committee to begin their work of deciding whether to award the Charter or not.
EUROPARC Consulting contributes in many ways to the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism, at every step of the process. We work on routine matters - progress-chasing, invoicing, editing, receiving or despatching and essential ones – advice, liaison and provision of support materials such as the Charter Toolkit. We are the one-stop hub serving the Evaluation Committee and applicant protected areas - a very rewarding and challenging task.