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.