14:00 - 14:15

Registration and coffee

14:15 - 14:30


  • Mr. Dan Balanescu, Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration, Romania
  • Ms. Marie Guitton, Joint Secretariat of Interreg Europe Programme

14:30 - 14:50

Welcome from the Policy Learning Platform

  • Mr. Thorsten Kohlisch, Thematic Manager Policy Learning Platform
  • Mr. Ruslan Zhechkov and Ms. Venelina Varbova, Thematic experts - Environment and resource efficiency

14:50 - 15:20

Let’s get to know each other - interactive introductory exercise

15:20 - 15:40

What are European regions doing to protect their natural heritage assets?

How can interregional learning help policymakers to run their natural heritage policies more efficiently?

Overview of key thematic areas and challenges addressed by Interreg Europe projects dealing with natural heritage and biodiversity protection

  • Mr. Ruslan Zhechkov and Ms. Venelina Varbova, Thematic experts - Environment and resource efficiency


15:40 - 16:10

Coffee break

16:10 - 16:30

What are the latest trends and developments at European level?

  • Mr. Vujadin Kovacevic, Directorate-General for Environment, European Commission

16:30 - 17:30

Let’s get practical

Presentation of selected good practices from Interreg Europe projects and facilitated discussion.

Use of biodiversity data in decision making: the SITxell project, Spain
Ms. Núria Pou Àlvarez, Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia (CTFC), BID-REX project

Beam Parklands, UK
Mr. Henry Smith, Town & Country Planning Association, PERFECT project

Natural heritage as a driver for economic development, the Netherlands
Mr. Simon Tjisma, Islands of Innovation project

Astro-tourism/dark sky tourism in Triglav national park, Slovenia
Ms. Helena Cvenkel, Regional Development Agency of Gorenjska, Night Light project

17:30 - 19:00

Networking cocktail

09:15 - 10:15

Diving deeper – in depth-discussions in small working groups

A moderated discussion in three parallel working groups on needs, potential solutions, approaches, good practices from Interreg Europe Projects. Participants will have the opportunity to learn how other regions and cities are tackling specific challenges related to the protection of biodiversity and natural heritage and start the exchange and networking process. 

  • Working group 1: Governance of protected areas (suggested projects: BID-REX, BIO-GOV, INVALIS)
  • Working group 2: Landscapes and green infrastructure (suggested projects: Night Light, Land-Sea, PERFECT)
  • Working group 3: Natural heritage of coastal and fluvial regions (suggested projects: Delta Lady, Green Pilgrimage, HERICOAST)

10:15 - 11:15

Continuation of parallel groups session. Participants switch groups.

11:15 - 11:35

Coffee break

11:35 - 11:50

Reporting back from the break-out groups

11:50 - 12:10

What comes next?

Thoughts and suggestions for future collaboration between Interreg Europe projects and the Policy Learning Platform. Facilitated discussion.
Roadmap of project synergies. Planning next activities and how the platform can support interregional exchange process.

12:10 - 12:30

Wrap-up and conclusions

How to optimise natural heritage protection measures – conclusions for local and regional policymakers

12:30 - 13:30

Networking lunch

Research and innovation SME competitiveness Low-carbon economy Environment and resource efficiency