The European Environment Agencys Topic Centre on Nature Conservation (EEA-ETC/NC) consists of a consortium of fifteen institutions from twelve European countries. The French Muséum National dHistoire Naturelle (MNHN) was appointed as the lead organisation of this consortium. Each institution has a representative on a Management Committee, which is responsible to the Agency for the overall development of the ETC/NC work programme.
The consortium has a variety of partner types, ranging from public science and research institutions to international organisations, partners from national administrative bodies or with NGO affiliations. These partners are:
- MNHN: Muséum National dHistoire
Naturelle (National Museum of Natural History). Paris (France)
- BfN: Bundesamt für Naturschutz (Federal
Agency for nature Conservation ). Bonn (Germany)
- NERI: Miljøministeriet (National
Environmental Research Institute). Rønde (Denmark)
- MNCN: Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales
(National Museum of Natural History). Madrid (Spain)
- DGCN: Direccion General de Conservacion de la
Naturaleza (General Directorate for Nature Conservation ). Madrid (Spain)
- FEI: Suomen Ympäristökeskus (Finnish
Environment Institute). Helsinki (Finland)
- EKBY: EL L HNIKO KENTPO BIOTOP W N YG
POTOP W N (Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre). Thermi (Greece)
- ANPA: Agenzia Nazionale per
lAmbiente (National Environment Agency ). Rome (Italy)
- NINA: Norsk Institutt for Naturforskning (Norwegian
Institute for Nature Research). Trondheim (Norway)
- ECNC: European Centre for Nature Conservation.
Tilburg, (The Netherlands)
- ICN: Instituto para la Consevaçao da Natureza
(Institute for Nature Conservation). Lisboa (Portugal)
- ISEGI: Instituto Superior de
Estatistica e Gestào de Informaçào (Higher Institute for Statistics and
Information Management). Lisboa (Portugal)
- ITE: Institute for Terrestrial Ecology.
Monkswood (United Kingdom)
- JNCC: Joint Nature Conservation
Committee. Peterborough (United Kingdom)
- SEPA: Naturvårdsverket (Swedish Environmental Protection Agency). Stockholm (Sweden)
Several of the partners are members of the European Conservation Institutes Research Network. (CONNECT). The ECNC partner is also a network of institutions, among which is included the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC).
The Management Committee, which is chaired by Claus Stuffmann (formerly head of the Nature Conservation Unit of EC-DG XI), consists of:
- one representative of each partner of the Consortium, except ECNC, which according to an initial Memorandum of Understanding with EEA, has two representatives (the second one being WCMC)
- the EEA Project Manager, responsible for the ETC/NC
- a representative of the head of the Nature Conservation Unit of EC-DG XI
- furthermore, there are a number of observers, among which there is a representative of the Council of Europe.
There have been several requests from other European institutions, belonging to EIONET, to join the ETC/NC Consortium, at least in participating in the meetings of the Management Committee but the decision of the Committee was to continue with a limited number of participants.
The Management Committee meets twice a year. During these meetings, the ETC/NC Project Leader reports on the progress and the co-ordination of the work as well as on the general context of the EEA Work Programme and EIONET activities. He accounts to the Committee for the budgetary issues and proposes priority projects for the future for discussion and amendment.
Since the Management Committee is large, ETC/NC has set up a Steering Committee with seven partners taking turns to assist the Project Leader more closely and quickly. It meets when necessary. For specific tasks ad hoc groups are formed (for example EUNIS/Technical Advisory and Appraisal group, Pilot Studies Steering group, DMEER experts groups).
The ETC/NC Project Leader is Juan Manuel de Benito, who is assisted in co-ordinating the Topic Centres work programme by an international Core Team of specialists based at the MNHN in Paris.
The Project Leader is responsible for the implementation of the work programme, either through the Core Team or by a partner of the Consortium. He assists the EEA Project Manager in preparing the technical annexes for the subventions and provides ad hoc support whenever requested and agreed. He develops and maintains contacts with EEA partner organisations, international organisations and international programmes (UN-ECE, EUROSTAT, OECD, International conventions Secretariats).
The ETC/NC work programme is developed both under EEA subventions and complementary subventions from the French Ministry of the Environment to the MNHN as Consortium leader.