25. Anniversary of EU LIFE Programme and Natura 2000 network

Venue: Koper, Slovenia

Organizing partner: Department of Biodiversity, UP FAMNIT

On the World Ocean Day, the Department of Biodiversity at UP FAMNIT organized a public event to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the EU programme LIFE and NATURA 2000 network. The event was dedicated to emphasize the importance of the conservation of marine biodiversity and share what mechanisms can be used to preserve the marine environment. The event started with introductory speeches by UP FAMNIT Dean, assoc. prof. Klavdija Kutnar, Phd., and head of the Department of Biodiversity, assoc. prof. Elena Bužan, PhD., in which they introduced the Universities link to the EU programme LIFE and its overall importance. Next, the representative of the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning of Slovenia, Mr. Dejan Zupanc, presented the overall mission and goals of EU programme LIFE, as well as some successful examples of completed and ongoing Slovenian LIFE projects. As part of the EU programme LIFE’s dedication to marine conservation, two speakers presented the LIFE projects on the marine species that they are associated with. First, Urša Koce, Phd, from DOPPS – BirdLife Slovenija, introduced us to the common European shag, a bird species found in the coastal regions of the Adriatic Sea. The project, LIFE SIMARINE, was focused on obtaining data on the distribution, ecology, and reproduction of the species with the aim to propose NATURA 2000 sites for European shag conservation. Following, was an inspiring presentation about sea turtles and the LIFE EUROTURTLES project by assoc. prof. Bojan Lazar, Phd. He spoke about loggerhead and green sea turtles in the Adriatic and Mediterranean Sea and shared their importance, as well as the biggest threats facing their populations. Due to the current state of the populations, both loggerhead and green sea turtles were introduced to the innovative conservation methods that will be developed and used through the LIFE EUROTURTLES project.