European Nature Academy

Applications are now open

(Application in English only) Important update>>> THE CALL IS CLOSED <<<

Are you ready to be enabled and become more effective, competent and confident Natura 2000 and Protected Area managers?!

Apply now to join LIFE ENABLE and be part of the new European Nature Academy (ENA) courses!

The call for applications is now officially open!
The ENA provides FREE tailor-made training and a series of practical capacity building courses for nature’s managers!

Applications are open until the 4th of November. Courses start in February 2023!

DON’T miss your chance to gain skills, apply your learning, broaden your network and build the competencies you need to be more effective Natura 2000 and Protected Area managers!


About the LIFE ENABLE project

Natura 2000 and Protected Area managers work in a wide variety of roles, in multidisciplinary settings. Where you work is likely to be dynamic, constantly evolving and complex. You routinely face challenges and opportunities in your daily work, which require you to apply a special mix of knowledge, skills and attitudes. In almost all cases, as well as technical conservation skills, you need to work inclusively, in cooperation with local communities and other organisations, and be able to communicate what you are doing and why. The management choices you make and the ways in which you work are critical to achieving progress towards your objectives for nature.

LIFE ENABLE is designed to meet Natura 2000 and Protected Area managers’ training needs. It is creating the new European Nature Academy to provide tailor-made training and support your professional development.

The goal is to contribute to ensuring progress towards the realisation of the objectives and ambitions of the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 and underpinning policies. To achieve this, the European Nature Academy’s cost-free training courses focus on the competencies required to manage Natura 2000 and Protected Areas more effectively.

Who should apply?

At this stage, we are looking for 60 individuals working currently in Protected Areas across Europe. Once selected, you will form the European Nature Academy’s core participants.

The courses focus on management of forest and marine ecosystems in particular, so we are giving priority to managers of these habitat types, especially in Natura 2000 sites. However, even if these habitats form only part of your Natura 2000 site or Protected Area, the courses will still be relevant to you. When you apply, simply let us know which habitat type is of more interest to you – either forest or marine, but you can’t pick both!



Courses will focus on Forest and Marine ecosystems

Whatever your area of work, we will welcome your application. People of all ages and backgrounds, working in diverse roles in a Natura 2000 site or Protected Area can apply - for example:

  • Managers in either governmental or non- governmental organisations.
  • People working in national, regional or natural parks (which also include Natura 2000 sites), for example Rangers.
  • Individuals working for a local authority or public administration with responsibilities for nature conservation and protection.
  • Individuals working as a specialist ecologist or in nature conservation policy.
  • People working with local communities – for example, as environmental educators, communication specialists, volunteer or visitor managers, or individuals with responsibilities for interpretation, nature-based sustainable development, legal advisors, land stewardship etc.
  • Private landowners of a Natura 2000 site or other entrepreneurs in a Protected Area – for example, with farming, forestry, fishing or tourism interests.

How the European Nature Academy will work

The new European Nature Academy is a training hub and provides access to a series of practical capacity building courses for nature’s managers. The courses are designed specifically to equip individuals and their organisations with the competencies they require to meet the challenges and opportunities of nature management in the coming decade.

“The courses are free!”

There is no fee for the training. Also, your travel & subsistence costs to participate in the face-to-face networking events will be reimbursed and covered by the project.


Don’t miss your chance to learn with European Nature Academy

Delivered in a series of online modules and networking events, the emphasis is on applied learning to improve management practices. The competence-based courses cover the following subjects:

1. Ways of working for Natura 2000 & Protected Areas across Europe

This course focuses on the core skills, knowledge & attitudes you need in your daily work. It ‘kicks-off’ with a face-to-face Induction Seminar as a prelude to 10 online modules which cover:

  • European policies & priorities for nature
  • Tools for participative and inclusive governance
  • Design of communication strategies, tools, techniques and approaches
  • Management planning as a technical process for biodiversity conservation & a process for social engagement
  • Strategies for engagement, collaborative working, conflict management, resolution & mediation

Where & when?
Induction Seminar: A face-to-face networking event in Schneverdingen, Germany, from 13 to 17 February 2023
10 online modules starting 13 March to 16 June 2023!

2. Tools for Natura 2000 forest managers OR Tools for Natura 2000 marine managers

These two courses run in parallel in September/ October 2023 – you must choose one! There will be 4 online modules in 4 weeks plus a 4 - 5 days practical workshop for each course. The precise dates for the forest and marine workshops and locations have yet to be confirmed, but they will be announced well in advance.

3. Training for Trainers Course

Being part of the core participant group, there is a further opportunity. In June/ July 2023, you can apply for an additional training course. We will recruit 20 people to ‘Train as Trainers’ of the courses you have followed and completed – you will find out more later!



All we ask for...


We do not expect you to be 'full-time' on the courses - as nature management practitioners, we know you are busy people!

We estimate that on average you will commit to about 5 hours maximum per week to participate - however, the more time you invest, the more you are likely to gain!

In addition, you will need to complete and submit a ‘final assignment’ in your own time over the Summer of 2023. The time you give to doing that, is up to you, but we would expect it to take about 20 to 25 hours maximum.

Also, for the online modules, you must have access to suitable equipment (laptop/ computer, video camera, microphone etc.) plus a strong and reliable internet connection.

Selection process

The ethos of the European Nature Academy is to include rather than exclude. Our priority is to select people from a wide range of backgrounds, with different levels of experience, from many different countries across Europe.

As we want the training to benefit as many people and organisations as possible, in particular we will welcome applications from people in a position to ‘roll-out’ the training. This includes either with your own team or for colleagues working elsewhere in your organisation, but also for people in other organisations with whom you work in partnership, for example through collaboration projects.

This is an international project so we need people with good levels of English.

The application and selection timeline is as follows:

Completed online applications must be submitted by 4 November 2022.
Possible follow-up to request additional information (where necessary) by mid-November – if you don’t hear from us, don’t worry, it’s all good!
Our final selection will be completed by early December.
You will know if you have been selected (or not) before the end of 2022!



Sharpen your skills with tailor made online courses

What you can gain

The courses are unique and tailor-made - by participating, you can acquire the information, gain knowledge and develop the competencies and you need to work effectively in Natura 2000 and Protected Area management.

All the courses are designed to enable you to apply your learning – all tasks, exercises and assignments are opportunities for you to realise practical benefits in your work.

In addition, selected applicants will have opportunities to:

  • Work together with your peers from around Europe and gain new contacts, insights and knowledge about Natura 2000 and Protected Area management.
  • Find practical solutions for management challenges.
  • Build your own capacity and become familiar with new e-learning tools and the latest training approaches
  • Complete a personal Training Needs Assessment (TNA) for the competencies required to improve your management expertise
  • At the end of the courses, you will be awarded a certificate of participation.

And finally…

We expect demand for places to be very high.

By applying, you confirm your willingness to sign-up for the full period and participate in all the courses and modules that run from February to October 2023. If you doubt you can commit to that, then please don’t apply as you could potentially deny a place to someone else.

It’s all or nothing – you can’t participate in only some of the modules or courses.

If you are selected, you will be asked to sign a personal statement of commitment and, where possible, obtain an endorsement from your line manager.

All applicants selected must attend two ‘live’ networking events – the Induction Seminar in Schneverdignen (for everyone) and then one forest or one marine workshop (depending on which course you apply for). Only in completely unavoidable or extremely exceptional circumstances would this obligation be waived.

Some learning is ‘fixed in time’ – apart from the face-to-face Seminar and the Forest and Marine workshops, in the online modules, there will be scheduled group sessions and ‘live’ webinars. We expect you to join a minimum of 70% of these online sessions – this is important to network with other participants and for group exercises etc. However, if you really cannot join the scheduled online sessions, you will be expected to watch recordings so you can ‘catch-up’.

All fixed time components of the courses will be announced well in advance to help you to plan ahead.


Our commitment to you

The learning environment will be highly interactive and participatory – we are not teachers, but rather ‘facilitators of learning’!

If you change jobs at any point during the courses, we will try to find a way to help you stay involved!

We will do all we can to secure your active involvement, feedback and ideas. Together with you, we will be able to demonstrate that your work and experience matter and are vitally important for Natura 2000 and Protected Areas!

You can find out more about LIFE ENABLE here!

Connect with us via the App

Connect and learn with LIFE ENABLE smartphone app

Join the community by downloading the LIFE ENABLE smartphone app, which was produced within the LIFE project!
The app is available on Google Play and App Store! DOWNLOAD IT NOW!


Click here to watch the promotion video!



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