Session 3.1

Protected areas for social inclusion and economic recovery

Numerous studies have shown the multiple benefits of nature to the economy and to human well-being. Nature provides fresh water, clean air, food, carbon storage, flood management, soil retention, recreation and tourism opportunities. Nature provides places for physical activity, social connection and inspiration, with benefits for mental, physical and spiritual health and well-being.

Confinement helped many people realise how our impact on nature and our need for green and protected areas need to be kept in balance.

This session will discuss the opportunities and the challenges for conservation action to contribute to social and economic needs of the most vulnerable groups in our societies, presenting inspiring examples that involve young people or concern the development of sustainable tourism initiatives in Natura 2000. Join the discussion about the role of Natura 2000 and protected areas in supporting and stimulating recovery and rebuilding a more sustainable, inclusive and socially just future in a post-pandemic world.


Alain Salvi, President of the Conservatoire d’Espaces Naturels de Lorraine (CEN Lorraine)

Sandra Leiros Comesaña, Volunteer at the LIFE project “Evergreen with volunteers-LEWO P”

Silvia Argentiero, Communication, social media and press officer, Parco Nord Milano, Italy

Carina Wennström, Specialist Coastal and Metropolitan Area Specialist, Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife Finland


Dr Micheal O’ Briain, Deputy Head of Nature Protection Unit, Directorate General for Environment, European Commission

Our principal priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of our speakers, moderators, exhibitors and participants, and so we have been monitoring the situation concerning the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak constantly. Due to the current situation and restrictions, it has been decided that EU Green Week 2020 will be available exclusively online.

You will have the opportunity to join the EU Green Week in a new immersive virtual experience. Not only will you be able to watch all the sessions live and interact with the speakers, but you will also have the possibility to explore the exhibitions and network with the other attendants just as if you were there !
The virtual event platform will be soon open - all you have to do is to register and you will gain access to the event from your home or office.
If you are interested in attending the virtual event, you can leave your e-mail address here and we will contact you as soon as the registration platform is available.