On September 18th 2018, the EUROPARC Conference opened its doors in Cairngorms National Park, Scotland, surrounded by stunning landscapes and the reminiscences of a summer already past. This year the Conference was hosted under the title “European Parks: inspired by the next generation”. It was focused on youth involvement in Protected Areas and commemorated the current Scottish Year of Young people 2018.

The participation numbers were higher than ever, with 465 registered delegates from 42 countries and over 600 participants in some of the events.

The Conference’s Plenary Session counted with Cassie Scott - a young lady - who shared with the audience a very personal testimony on how an 8 day trip in the wilderness helped her to overcome critical health and personal issues and lead her to dedicate her life to help youngsters in similar situations. 

In the second part of the plenary session, Richard Louv, author of the Last Child in the Woods best-seller and creator of the term “nature-deficit disorder”, presented his reflections about how nature and human well-being are intrinsically connected and the importance that nature conservation has to ensure our life-quality standards in the coming future.

After the plenary session, 18 workshops took place among which the one entitled "Green Jobs for all! s it time to promote socio-economic development of protected areas to retain our young people? " in which the IMPACT project was featured. 

Read the full report of the workshop here.

The session on the auditorium concluded at noon with the presentation of the Youth Manifesto, a document jointly developed by young representatives of different European Protected Areas that aims to serve as a guidance for Protected Area managers to maximize the involvement of youngsters in Protected Areas. This document also states the needs and main problems that youngsters living in rural areas face and recommendations to managers to facilitate their access to jobs and services in this sector.

Read more about the Youth Manifesto - A call for change in rural communities and protected areas

And while lunch was served, the renowned EUROPARC Marketplace started in the main hall with the participation of a great number of delegates. At this spot, a total of 41 stalls were displayed where members, institutions and businesses related with Protected Areas had the opportunity to raise awareness and get to show their most relevant projects, initiatives and products to the participants, in an event in which delicacies from all over Europe were more present than ever. In this context, a roll-up about IMPACT project and new leaflet were displayed. 

Download new IMPACT leaflet.