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The COVID-19 pandemic crisis and the lockdown measures implemented to deal with it have highlighted society's growing appreciation of nature and urban green and blue spaces. Increasing the presence of nature in everyday life, improving relations between citizens and the ecosystems around us and protecting the environment have proved to be beneficial, contributing to better health, for instance. However, there are still many challenges ahead for cities and regions which, in line with the European objectives set out in the Green Deal or the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030, must provide initiatives, measures and policies that place nature as an ally and a provider of services that guarantee greater social wellbeing.
The aim of this session, organised as part of the European Week of Regions and Cities, is to inspire, by sharing best practices and tools to improve regional and municipal policies to protect nature and its services. We will also explain the importance of active political and societal action to protect nature, as well as new initiatives that focus on the role of social innovation and entrepreneurs in bringing the benefits of nature to society.
Drawing on the experiences and knowledge of partners from four Interreg Europe projects related to nature conservation and the ERAMUS+ Green4Care project, the workshop will focus on providing key insights into inspiring good practices at regional and municipal level. It will also look at the lessons learned from cooperation between various regions within Europe.