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Barcelona – 10 Jan. 2015 | Dear Colleagues, Happy New Year 2015!
I send my best wishes to all of you and I hope you are celebrating the start of a wonderful year 2015. As we stand at the dawn of our three-year-long achievement, CIVILSCAPE is entering a new stage of progress. The year 2014 was the 6th year of our network. It has also been the end of my first term of being President of CIVILSCAPE. I have very much valued the intense volunteer work of our members and especially of the Board members. Over the last three years the board came together for frequent board meetings - in minimum every second month plus Executive Board meetings in between. Most of them have been additionally active in many ways. So many people participated to do a good job for the CIVILSCAPE network. Thanks to all of them, we achieved so much!
When I candidated for the post of the president in 2011, I promised together with the other board members that we would try to win more than hundred members for CIVILSCAPE. At that time CIVILSCAPE had 42 members. I am happy that with the end of 2014 we succeeded this goal and won more than 100 hundred members for our network. Alone in 2014, 23 new members joined us and continued the positive trend we have seen already in 2012 and 2013.
On the other hand also three organisations left the network. Because of the impact from the economic crisis the Fundación Paisaje was dissolved by their members. Furthermore two other have left without information about their motivation. We have to accept this and wish them also good luck and success for their activities. Once they might be interested to re-join us.
After seeing CIVILSCAPE growing so fast, the new elected Board members have already decided to focus more on the consolidation of our network in this up-coming term of three years. This is necessary in order to form a durable network which provides on the one hand good services to the members and on the other hand will continue to be a voice for our issues in Europe. Also we have to increase the financial resources that are available to operate our network.
To increase the opportunities to meet among the members but also with partners we have invented the Landscape Forum events in 2013. These events have also increased our visibility as a network on European level and our presence in the different regions in Europe. In this line we organised in 2014 another eight of our Landscape Forum events. These would not have been possible without the support of our member organisations which have hosted these important events. I like to thank especially the organisers which put a lot of effort and own resources to bring each of these event to a success story for CIVILSCAPE. I have also to thank very much the Council of Europe and especially Maguelonne Dejant-Pons which held inspiring key note speeches at most of these Landscape Forum events.
We are planning to prepare an e-brochure to spread the information about each event and the lessons we have learned from this. We hope that we will be able to finalize this documentation of the Landscape Forum events in 2013-2014.
In 2015 we will have elections for one further Board member and for the complete Advisory Council. In this way I like to encourage you all to come to Plsen, Czech Republic for the Central European Landscape Forum on 14-17 May 2015. On the 17 May we will have the General Assembly – please keep the date. We will send out the invitation soon and ask you to nominate candidates for these different post in CIVILSCAPE. For the Advisory Council we will need a candidate for each country where we have a member organisation. Please come up with nominations!
We promise to keep you updated of our latest developments – please also visit our website. I would like to thank you for being our valued members and partners in this important period of creating and developing CIVILSCAPE and furthermore to form together this network as one of the biggest one related to landscapes in Europe.
On behalf of the entire Board I wish you good health and happiness with the knowledge that wonderful days are ahead for all of us in 2015.
Best wishes from Barcelona,
CIVILSCAPE Office Bonn
Tel.: +49 (228) 299711-00 or -01
Fax: +49 (228) 299711-09
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