Solutions event

New tools and instruments for private land conservation in Europe

Date: Monday, March 8, 2021    Time: 16:00 - 17:30 CET

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The EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy proposes that 30% of the total land area should be protected. This is only possible with the active participation of private landowners. But do we have the necessary tools and instruments to ensure their participation?

In the framework of the Life+ project “Land Is For Ever”, private land conservation tools and their use were studied. During this webinar you can discover those tools, their specificities and use in the US and EU. How can we learn and inspire ourselves from the American easement? What are the alternatives in Europe?

European Commission representatives will reflect on the tools and instruments proposed. The idea is to have a clear guidance after this webinar for impactful policy recommendations at the European level.

There will be time for exchange and discussion, this webinar allows the audience to interact and ask questions to the speakers in live.

Confirmed speakers (in alphabetical order)

Tilmann Disselhoff
President of Eurosite
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Jakob Leidekker
Head of Operations National Park De Hoge Veluwe
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Anne-Sophie Mulier
Project Coordinator, ELO
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Chandni Navalkha
Associate Director of the ILCN
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Philip Tabas
Senior Special Advisor at The Nature Conservancy
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Tilmann Disselhoff, President of Eurosite

Tilmann Disselhoff is a nature conservationist by heart and by profession. He holds a PhD in Civil Engineering from the Technical University of Berlin. Focusing on  conservation financing and private land conservation, Tilmann has worked for numerous national and international organisations, such as the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization, the European Commission, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, and the German Federal Environmental Foundation. In 2017, Tilmann joined NABU (Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union - the German chapter of Birdlife International) as the coordinator of a LIFE project to set up the European Land Conservation Network (ELCN).
Jakob Leidekker, Head of Operations National Park De Hoge Veluwe

Ing. Jakob R.K. Leidekker started his career in the engineering firm Loo Plan, active on species inventarisation. He part-time worked at “IPC Groene Ruimte” (Training center Green Environment) and was a part-time consultant at the Royal Netherlands Hunting Association. His first steps in estate management were taken at the Dutch National Park Veluwezoom. In 2004 he switched to the National Park De Hoge Veluwe Foundation, where he has been Head of Operations since, responsible for the whole management (forest, heath, fauna, buildings, infrastructure, bicycles). He sits on behalf of the Private Federation Land ownership on the board of the Fauna Management Unit Gelderland.
Anne-Sophie Mulier, Project Coordinator, ELO

Anne-Sophie Mulier has a master’s degree in bioengineering, specialising in agro- and ecosystems. From 2017, she researched supportive systems of community-based woodland restoration and woodland ecosystem services development in rural areas in the north-Ethiopian Tigray region. She also worked for the Flemish Inter-University Council investigating the potential of bio-digesters in rural areas by a CO2 compensation project evaluation. Since 2018 she has been active as the project officer for the EU’s LIFE+ Project "Land Is For Ever", focussing on tools and instruments to engage private landowners in national and regional conservation efforts in EU Member States.
Chandni Navalkha, Associate Director of the ILCN

Chandni Navalkha is the Associate Director for Sustainably Managed Land and Water Resources at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she works on projects to advance and accelerate the enduring protection of land and water resources worldwide. Chandni manages the activities of the International Land Conservation Network, which brings together private and civic land conservation practitioners from around the world to share expertise, experience, and inspiration through exchange, collaboration and peer learning. Prior to joining the Lincoln Institute, Chandni was a fellow with the Sri Lanka Program for Forest Conservation, conducting research on the impacts of conservation on local livelihoods. She has worked for organizations in North America, Latin America, and South Asia supporting urban, peri-urban, and rural communities undertaking voluntary land and resource conservation, and earlier in her career worked in change management for private and public sector organizations as a consultant with Accenture. Chandni holds a Master's in Environmental Science from the Yale School of the Environment.
Philip Tabas, Senior Special Advisor at The Nature Conservancy

Philip Tabas is a tax lawyer and a land use planner by professional training. He has worked to secure tax incentive policy and legislation changes for conservation at the US Federal and state levels of government as well as in other countries. He served as the Conservancy’s General Counsel from 2003 to 2013.  Philip Tabas is Special Advisor with the North American Conservation Region of The Nature Conservancy based in Arlington VA.  He has also held a range of legal and non-legal positions in TNC in the areas of land protection, government relations, compatible economic development and conservation planning.  Philip has been with the Conservancy for forty years. He has been involved in numerous private land conservation and compatible economic development projects, particularly involving the use of conservation easements in the United States and in other countries.

Jurgen Tack
Scientific Director, ELO
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Joseph van der Stegen
Policy Officer, DG Environment
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Jurgen Tack, Scientific Director, ELO

Jurgen Tack studied biology (marine ecology) at Brussels Free University where he also obtained his PhD in Sciences. Within the Framework of the Kenya Belgium Project in Marine Sciences (Coastal Farms Kenya) he developed a number of oyster farms along the Kenyan coast. In 2000 he joined the team of the Belgian Biodiversity Platform (Belgian Science Policy Office). In 2007 he became the CEO of the Research Institute for Nature and Forest. In 2016 he took the position of Scientific Director at the European Landowners’ Organization (ELO), CEO at Landelijk Vlaanderen (Flemish Landowners’ Organisation) and CEO of the Aanspreekpunt Privaat Beheer Natuur en Bos. He was also President of the International Riverine Commission River Maas/Meuse, a member of the European Commission’s Expert Group on Nature Based Solutions and chairman of the board of directors of the Botanical Garden Meise. Since the beginning of 2017 he is evaluating the Nature Based Solution concept for the European Commission.
Joseph van der Stegen , Policy Officer, DG Environment

Joseph van der Stegen works in the Nature Protection Unit of the Directorate-General for the Environment of the European Commission. He is in charge of files related to the implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives and the EU Biodiversity Strategy. Before working for the Commission, he led the service co-ordinating environmental and agricultural policies for the Walloon Region of Belgium. Previously, he had the responsibility of two forests districts in southern Belgium and worked in a public body supporting private landowners in forest management in Northern France. He is a forest engineer by background.


Monday, March 8, 2021 - 16:00 - 17:30 CET

  • 16:00 - Introduction by the moderator - Jurgen Tack – Scientific Director ELO

  • 16:05 - Tools and instruments for private land conservation in the US - Philip Tabas – Senior Special Advisor The Nature Conservancy

  • 16:15 - Easements in Europe - Dr. Tilmann Disselhoff - President of Eurosite, Coordinator Life ENPLC

  • 16:25 - Tools and instruments for private land conservation in the EU - Anne-Sophie Mulier - Project Officer ELO, Life LIFE and Life ENPLC

  • 16:35 - Feedback from panel

  • Joseph van der Stegen - Policy Officer in DG Environment

  • Chandni Navalkha, Associate Director of the ILCN

  • Representative of Landowners - Jakob Leidekker

  • 17:10 - Q&A - moderated by Jurgen Tack – Scientific Director ELO

  • Conclusions and wrap up