Contribute to an international discussion!

“We ask ourselves and we ask you: What do protected areas look like in the 21st century?” In preparation for the World Park Congress 2014, the university certificate programme “Management of Protected Areas” has launched a far-reaching initiative. We have asked researchers and academics, managers, planners, advisors and stakeholders about their visions for the future – what is likely and what is possible? We cordially invite you to join this debate. Based on a number of hypotheses – currently there are 24 – we would like to initiate a discussion about the future of protected areas. Add your comments to these hypotheses and extend the list by contributing your own. Some theories are listed here, the remainder can be accessed at future parks.


  • Protected areas are often regarded as a burden by communities, many of which are already disadvantaged. Parks 3.0, on the other hand, can evolve into powerful instruments for the activation and support of communities that are marginalised or even discriminated.
  • Protected areas have revealed new challenges and have explored, developed and implemented diverse solutions in response. The innovative benefit of protected areas lies in merging location-specific knowledge that has been handed down with international state of the art technologies and insights. Parks 3.0 will evolve into innovation regions balanced between persistence and avant-garde.
  • All around the world, protected areas pursue the same goals. Institutions are developing with similar responsibilities and cultures. Parks 3.0 are self-similar structures and can thus become the corner stones of ecological globalisation.
  • A long distance flight requires highly qualified, specialised staff, ranging from the aviation maintenance technician to the pilot. The era of the self-taught individual should also be over in Parks 3.0. Everyone involved, from the director to the ranger, is a qualified knowledge worker.
  • Further theories can be accessed here future parks.




Important Information: Travel scholarships for young conservationists

Every year, the EUROPARC Federation in cooperation with the Alfred-Toepfer-Foundation F.V.S. awards the Alfred Toepfer Natural Heritage Scholarships to three promising young conservationists, who wish to gain practical experience in the field of conservation and in the work of protected areas. By supporting the researchers financially, this unique fund enables them to undertake a study visit to protected areas in Europe and become part of the international EUROPARC network. The scholarship aims to enhance international cooperation and to advance the quality, innovation and European dimension of protected area management. The next scholarship application round will open at the end of January 2013. Applications can be submitted via the website form: Please read the guidelines carefully before submitting your application! For inquiries, please contact Heike Blankenstein at the EUROPARC Federation.


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