Sand Dunes


European Coastal and Marine Union

The EUCC (European coastal and marine union) was founded in 1989 and has established itself in over 40 countries with over 2700 members sharing the aims of coastal conservation. We work closely with them and help distribute information and knowledge, helping fulfill the aims of the Sand dune and shingle network. More Information can be found on their website  

European Dune Network

Many organisations and individuals are involved in the conservation and management of coastal dunes across Europe. The European Dune Network (EDN) is a proposed initiative to help raise awareness of the threats to coastal dunes and to encourage networking, exchanges of experience and cooperation within and between various sectors.

The establishment of a European Dune Network was first proposed at the European Dune Symposium in Leiden in 1987. This led to the launch of the European Union for Dune Conservation and Coastal Management (EUDC). The EUDC was supported by the publication of a newsletter ‘Eurodunes’ published by the University of Oldenburg.

The initial meeting in Leiden was followed by dune conferences in Seville, Spain in 1989 and Galway, Ireland in 1991. These three events developed an informal network of practitioners and the proceedings of the conferences contain many valuable reports which are still relevant, on aspects of dune ecology, geomorphology and management.
In 1993 the interests of the EUDC were broadened to consider a wider agenda based on ICZM. This means there is no longer a dedicated European resource for sand dunes and the capabilities of this informal network is not utilised.

The EDN will be developed between the EUCC and the Sand Dune and Shingle Network. It will bring structure to the loose association of national contact points, to further the aims of networking and cooperation. The network will focus on conservation of the EU habitats and species which underpin the Natura 2000 network specific to dunes.

The exchange of knowledge within the sand dune community was supported by several significant LIFE projects in France, UK, Belgium and Denmark. Those projects held workshops and conferences and published proceedings. Since 2000 several LIFE projects have also addressed dune management in the Baltic Sea (projects in Finland, Latvia and Lithuania) and there is more recent interest in networking between projects in the Mediterranean region. Good practice guides have been published in several countries. The EDN will provide a way of highlighting and sharing this valuable information.

The European network will seek to support and develop funding bids to EU programmes through its national contact points to initiate sand dune based projects.

Aims of the European Dune Network

Formal support for the establishment of the European Dune Network was given by the EUCC Council at its meeting of 13th April 2010. The agreed aims are:

  • to promote the sustainable use and management of coastal dunes
  • to support  policies and actions that conserve the intrinsic natural values of coastal dunes
  • to develop a vibrant European network of communities concerned with coastal dune use and management
  • to support the advancement of knowledge and understanding of coastal dunes, and
  • to provide an international platform dedicated to coastal dunes

These over-arching aims reflect the concern that coastal dunes remain threatened habitats across Europe.

Objectives of the European Dune Network

The operational objectives of the European Dune Network are what we hope to achieve through networking and cooperation. The objectives are to:

  • encourage and support the international exchange of knowledge and understanding between those concerned with coastal dunes
  • encourage and facilitate communication that develops international relationships, understanding and cooperation between those concerned with coastal dunes
  • secure resources that service and develop the aims of the European Dune Network
  • support initiatives which are aligned to the aims of the European Dune Network
  • support and promote the development and operation of national and regional dune networks.

National and regional dune networks

There are a number of national dune networks already formed in several countries. There are long-standing networks of practitioners in the Netherlands, active EUCC branches in France, Portugal, Germany and Poland and networking initiatives in Italy and the Baltic States.

The European Dune Network will bring the coordinators of these networks together and help share information through e-mails and newsletters.

A funding priority for the European network will be to attract resources to develop the capacity of national and regional networks.

Become a contact point

We are seeking organisations and individuals to act as national or sector contact points.

These contact points would have to have links to national networks (e.g. EUCC branches) so that communications can reach the widest audience.

The following people have offered to act as initial national contact points:

  • Francisco Taviera Pinto, Portugal
  • Gerald Schernewski, EUCC Germany
  • Fred van der Vegte, EUCC-Netherlands
  • Antonio Perfetti, Italy