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Creative thinking and discussion forum


On the 24 of October 2023, GREENHEALTH partners gathered in an online creative thinking and discussion forum to discuss the main results of the Regional Study, an important first milestone of our project. Partners got also the opportunity to discuss how to get fit for the forthcoming Inter-Regional Learning event in Croatia, scheduled for the second half of November.

The GREENHEALTH Regional Study represents an initial diagnosis of the different territorial contexts and the initiatives related to nature protection and health that have been carried out in those regions. Initiatives seeking to protect nature and at the same time attaining health outcomes.

This document is the result of the technical assistance provided by EUROPARC-Spain / FUNGOBE as external support to the Lead Partner to develop their analysis and compile of the results from each partner regional study, integrating them into a joint report.

During the Local Living Labs (regional stakeholder groups), the project partners have had the chance to mobilize the main knowledge and expertise from the territories to be able to upgrade their policy landscapes.

How is our Regional Study organised?

The structure of the regional studies has taken into account the Healthy Parks Healthy People Europe Toolkit developed by EUROPARC Federation. The approach incorporated it into the three GREENHEALTH thematic areas, which are the core areas for inter-regional learning and knowledge sharing (as in figure 1).

The three GREENHEALTH thematic areas are:

  1. Protected Areas (PAs) managers. Describe how health aspects are incorporated or implemented in protected area policies.
  2. Coordination between the different actors that intervene. Stakeholders’ coordination, including the creation of networks to enable collaboration at strategic and operational levels between health, environment and other stakeholders as well as investments in green infrastructures, including public spaces to promote human wellbeing.
  3. Sustainable inclusivity. This concept refers to ensuring that all citizens can enjoy Protected Areas  and benefit from the ecosystem services they provide, but without compromising the long-term conservation of their natural values. It includes aspects such as widening the target of the population who visit PAs, ensuring accessibility regardless of the people's health condition and economic situation, and estimating PAs’ carrying capacity.

Figure 1: The relation among the three thematic areas of GREENHEALTH with the four pillars of the Healthy Parks Healthy People Europe (HPHPe) Programme and Toolkit.

Main results showcased in the creative thinking and discussion forum

Some highlights of the regional study include:

  • All partner territories have a wide variety of areas that can play an important role as health assets. It is worth noting that most of the territories contain Protected Areas such as the Natura 2000 network, international designations or figures such as national and natural parks that highlight the value of these areas in conservation.
  • All partners have identified different types of health assets. Healthy walks and volunteer programs stand out.
  • To connect health assets with the local population, young people, the elderly and vulnerable groups, it is necessary to partner with other actors working in the territory. Likewise, having health specialists offers the necessary evidence to design rigorous proposals that are nourished by the benefits that contact with nature has on health.

Getting fit for the first Interregional Learning Event

The second part of the event focused on good practices exchange.

The Advisory Partner shared the definition of good practice in Interreg Europe vis-a-vis the quality criteria for success generated by the HPHPe toolkit. as well as the good practice example - Wild Ways Well -, developed from The Conservation Volunteers (Scotland) to give inspiration and technical insights for the local level programmes.

The Podkarpackie Region provided also an important input by sharing knowledge generated from both their practices and Interreg project experience.

If you are interested in more information, please be in touch! Our contacts are available on this webpage.