Green Week in Brussels featured discussion on cultural and natural capital
The Green Week, the biggest annual conference on European environment policy, was held from 3-5 June 2015 in Brussels. It featured a series of conferences and workshops with a special focus on nature and biodiversity, including a panel discussion on ‘Linking cultural and natural capital’. The debate revolved around the growing awareness that nature and culture are deeply interwoven to form a cultural landscape.
The speakers at this panel discussion were Costa Carras, Vice-President of Europa Nostra, Guy Clausse, Dean of the European Investment Bank Institute, Professor Carlo Blasi, from the Department of Environmental Biology of the University La Sapienza in Rome, and Eileen McLeod, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform of the Scottish Government. The debate was moderated by Birgit de Boissezon, Head of Unit on Sustainable Management of Natural Resources at the Research and Innovation Directorate-General of the European Commission.
Costa Carras presented ‘ENtopia: Our Places in Europe’, an initiative of Europa Nostra which aims to celebrate the historic traditions and diversity of small towns, villages, localities and landspaces. The aim of this programme is to foster greater appreciation, awareness and sharing between these communities of their local, distinctive identity and to share their efforts towards a healthy, sustainable future, showing how their places exemplify ‘a good place to live in and visit‘.
“This programme seeks to build a community of practice based neither on nature being distinct and separate from human influence nor on human beings draining nature of its value. Rather it posits a coordinating but never a dominant role for human beings in enhancing the value and meaning of the natural world through synergy and symbiosis. And it treasures existing examples of such synergy and symbiosis as models for a better future,” stated Costa Carras in his address.
Aside from the conferences and workshops, the Green Week also exhibited 40 stands displaying interesting projects and ideas from green businesses, NGO’s, local and regional authorities, and European and international bodies. The ENtopia programme was represented with a stand.