The urgency of boosting participation in biodiversity governance has increased recently in the context of the published EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and its “30x30” target. Safeguarding protected areas, strengthening ecosystem services and facilitating environmentally-friendly territorial development strategies require effective involvement and cooperation of stakeholders and citizens for the protection of biodiversity.
Participatory governance of biodiversity could also help overcome user conflicts, scarce dialogue among decision-makers & stakeholders, financial constraints and a lack of awareness of the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
6 PPs + 1 APA representing 6 EU regions seek to implement effective tools and innovative methods of participatory governance of biodiversity in their regional and local policy instruments. Supported by the AP with extensive experience in organising and moderating public engagement processes, regional PPs embark in an interregional learning process towards improving their policy instruments for the collaborative and sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
This interregional learning process follows a robust methodology. The exchange of good practices takes place in a structured way, organised around an 'interests/competences matrix' that intersects the most effective tools and methods for participation with a number of selected biodiversity governance fields. The backbone of the learning process is provided by a sequence of interregional deepdive peer review visits. These are accompanied by regional level stakeholder exchange and capacity building sessions to support the adaptation of GPs, the embeddedness of the policy improvement process, and the achievement of individual as well as organisational learning. During the follow-up phase, a monitoring protocol developed by the AP allows PPs and stakeholders to track and provide feedback on the impact of the achieved policy improvement.