Welcome for another look back at the EUROPARC Conference 2019!

We thought it would be a good idea to keep the conference website open just for a little bit longer, e.g., until the end of the year, to provide a chance to look back at this great event once again and copy all information you might be interested in.

We have kept the original structure of the website, so please don’t be surprised if you find some parts still inviting you to join parts of the conference.

After this website is closed, you can find all information on the EUROPARC Website, here.

So – enjoy, and let’s all meet again in Austria next year! More information here.

Entitled “Nature on your mind – understanding our values”, the conference of 2019 explored the presence of nature across various sectors and spheres of life. Especially highlighting the role of nature in human health, we joined forces to seek for “green prescriptions” to address and integrate the role of nature in:

Arts and Inspiration
Creation of Shapes and Environments

The conference took place in Jūrmala – the biggest resort city in the Baltics, partly situated within Ķemeri National Park – the pioneer protected area in Latvia having been awarded with the European Charter for sustainable tourism. The convenient geographical location, easy-to-reach venue, carefully selected high-level key note speakers, 14 workshops supported by thematically linked excursions to different protected areas in Latvia provided excellent circumstances for a fruitful, constructive, intense yet also creative work and opportunity to return back home with very personal “green prescriptions” to follow in participants’ own protected areas across Europe and beyond.





Experience will be shared by experts of their respective fields and internationally renowned practitioners. The lecturers will inspire, urge those present to ask questions and encourage everyone to dare.

  • William Bird

  • Silvija Nora Kalniņš

  • Simon Bell

  • Anete Vabule

  • Dr Rauno Väisänen

  • September 24

  • September 25

  • September 26

  • September 27

  • Tuesday, September 24 EUROPARC GENERAL ASSEMBLY  


    9.00 – 21.00 Conference registrations open in Hotel Jūrmala Spa

    11.00 – 13.00 EUROPARC Council and sections meeting in Hotel Jūrmala Spa

    14.00 – 15.30 Registration for General Assembly in Jūrmala Culture Centre

    15.30 – 18.00 EUROPARC General Assembly in Jūrmala Culture Centre

    18.00 – 20.00 Side meetings of EUROPARC Commissions in Hotel Jūrmala Spa

    19.00 Sunset Dinner (buffet) for all participants on the 11th floor of Hotel Jūrmala Spa with Panorama view on Jūrmala City.

    Wednesday, September 25 OPENING AND PLENARY SESSION


    8:00 Conference Registration in Jurmala Culture Centre

    9.00 Opening

    Ms Māra Lieplapa, member of the SIA “Plūkt” - a Latvian startup lead by young entrepreneur. The company produces premium herbal tea hand-picked from wild meadows and forests of Latvia.  

    Ms Elīna Pinto, Adviser to the President of Latvia on Modern State and Sustainability Issues

    Mr Edvīns Balševics, State Secretary of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia

    Mr Ignace Schops, President of EUROPARC Federation

    9.30 – 10.00 Dr Rauno Väisänen IUCN WCPA, honorary member of EUROPARC Federation

    Nature on Your Mind – in politics

    The role of including regularities of nature into long term politics. Resilient society – long-term aim of state development strategy, new concept implying respect for elements of nature and environment in strategies and policy actions of different sectors.


    10.00 – 10.30 Ms Anete Vabule, deputy director of Madara Cosmetics

    Nature on Your Mind – in business

    Understanding regularities of nature – basis for inspiration, innovation, practical knowledge and success in business.


    10.30 – 11.00 Dr William Bird, MBE, CEO Intelligent Health

    Nature on Your Mind – in health, especially mental health

    The role of the presence of nature in our lives – the correlation between the presence of various natural elements with success, happiness and quality of life. Nature as basis for mental and physical health.


    11:00 – 11.30 Coffee break


    11.30 – 12.00 Silvija Nora Kalniņš, Ph.D., Nature Concert Hall (Latvia)

    Nature on Your Mind – inspiration of nature in music and arts

    Synergy of Nature and Art. Sounds, colours and materials of nature in music and arts. Nature as a source for inspiration of creative manifestation; leading to music and art as effective channels for awareness raising and education ensuring the connection of the humanity to its primeval, natural origins.


    12.00 – 12.30 Simon Bell, Ph.D., chair professor of the Chair of Landscape Architecture, Estonian University of Life Sciences (Estonia)

    Nature on Your Mind – creation of shapes and environments

    True integration of nature into man-made items, shapes and environments. Practices of landscape architecture as integral part of natural environment (structures and shapes aiming at “blending in” completely and naturally). Biomimicry. Wise cities and communities with minimum ecological footprint. Best practice examples of bio-economics and wise solutions for sustainable co-existence of man and nature. Urban planning

    12.30 – 12.45 Final remarks

    13.00 – 14.00 Buffet lunch

    14.30 – 18.30 14 Parallel workshop sessions in Jūrmala centre

    18:40 – 20.00 Individual EUROPARC section meetings

    From 20.00 Evening/dinner at different restaurants in Jūrmala centre


    Thursday, September 26 FIELD TRIPS


    7.00 – 19.00 Field trips to Ķemeri National Park and other Protected Areas in Latvia

    18:40 – 20.00 Individual EUROPARC section meetings

    19.00 – 22.00 Open-air culture evening in Ķemeri National Park

    Friday, September 27 CLOSING SESSION


    9.30 – 10.00 Short plenary in Hotel Jūrmala Spa

    10.15 – 12.15 Thematic EUROPEAN Café in 5 parallel cluster groups in Hotel Jūrmala Spa

    12.30 – 13.30 Closing plenary with remarks from thematic groups in Hotel Jūrmala Spa

    13.30 – 14.30 Lunch

    14.30 – 17.00 EUROPARC Marketplace in Jūrmala Culture Centre

    15.00 – 17.00 IUCN side-event “Ecosystem based Approaches in a changing world: Contributions from the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management” in Hotel Jūrmala Spa, “Valdemārs” room

    15.00 – 17.00 EUROPARC Federation meeting of park Presidents and Mayors in Jūrmala Culture Centre

    18.30 – 19.45 EUROPARC awards ceremony in Hotel Jūrmala Spa

    20.00 Gala dinner in Hotel Jūrmala Spa


    Amazing diversity of wetlands and the health elixir hidden in the depths of raised bogs

    Only half an hour’s drive from the capital of Latvia, Riga - and you find yourself in another world. Ķemeri National Park is a true wetland paradise. Raised bogs dotted with countless tiny pools, mysterious flooded forests or swamps, vast floodplain meadows with wild horses and cattle, lagoon-type lakes rich with waterfowl, winding rivers and the sea coast. Here the diversity of plants and animals truly takes the breath away!

    The most extraordinary treasure of the National Park comes from the deepest layers of the raised bogs – the sulphurous mineral water. This health elixir with the aroma of rotten eggs, with the help of skilful human minds and hands has returned the health back to hundreds of thousands of people over the centuries. The protection of its formation processes is one of the aims of the creation of Ķemeri National Park.

    Ķemeri National Park is the first protected area in Latvia to be awarded the European Charter for sustainable tourism by EUROPARC Federation.

    In Ķemeri you can feel the healing force of nature by hiking or biking on the nature trails, meditating in the smooth silence of the Ķemeri Raised Bog or watching the rare species of woodpeckers in the black alder fens. It can also be felt by taking a curative mud bath or enjoying the variety of other offers of the local businesses.