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16.01.2013 / Project - News

Time to say Thank you and Goodbye

After three exciting years with a project team of more than 30 people across Europe it is time say thank you and goodbye (by Peter Torkler).

Dear SURFers, Friends, Partners and Supporters!

The SURF project was a unique learning experience to see how EU funds implementation works on the ground and what strategies and priorities are chosen by different regions. It was also very interesting to see how environmental authorities are involved or more often excluded from decision making in EU funded programmes.
The experience gained from SURF comes with a perfect timing as the end of 2012 sees the inception of the next generation of regional development programmes. We can expect programme negotiations to come to fruition in mid 2013.

I am convinced that our joint and very successful work delivered valuable outputs in terms of knowledge amongst partners and regions as well as how to engage and improve funding for biodiversity during this period. It also provided an enormous pool of ideas on how to link biodiversity funding with the priorities of European Regional Development Funding (ERDF). Our publications and database provides arguments, examples and guidance on a variety of topics that link together biodiversity and regional funding. This is available in many languages on our www.surf-nature.eu website.
The SURF project ended on 31 December, 2012 but I am convinced that the spirit of working together to improve the use of EU funds for biodiversity will remain amongst the partnership, supporters of the project as well as those who have used the project’s outputs for their work.
I can promise that WWF Germany as coordinator of SURF will continue to work on funding for biodiversity.
This is our final newsletter, but I am sure our results will be long-lasting and the new ideas born out of collaboration will continue into the future.
To conclude, I would like to thank the Lead Partners and all project partners for the trust they placed in us to run this project and, I thank all my team in WWF Germany who supported this great work over the past three years.

Peter Torkler, Project Coordinator - WWF Germany