Natura 2000 is a network of nature conservation sites for the 21st century. Most importantly, Natura 2000 sites are home to many wonderful plants, animals and birds important for Europe’s biodiversity. The issues and problems affecting Natura 2000 habitats and species are often complex. They need to be proactively addressed and solutions can be found by working together.
The EU Biodiversity Strategy calls for significant improvements by 2020 in the conservation status of species and habitats protected under the EU Birds and Habitats Directives. In 2012, the European Commission launched the Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process to help meet this target. This multi-stakeholder cooperation process at the biogeographical level includes seminars, networking events and cooperation activities aimed at enhancing the effective implementation, management, monitoring, financing and reporting of the Natura 2000 network. The Process assists Member States and key stakeholders to manage Natura 2000 as a coherent ecological network.
The Natura 2000 Biogeographical Networking Programme
The milestone events of the process are the Natura 2000 Seminars, which are being organised at regular intervals (every 3-4 years). This felt useful by the Member States and expert stakeholders within each biogeographical region. In addition to the Natura 2000 Seminars, the process promotes the exchange of knowledge and cooperation on Natura 2000 management beyond national borders, within and between biogeographical regions. This happens through the implementation of a Natura 2000 Biogeographical Networking Programme, which consists of the organisation of thematic networking events in each biogeographical region.
The Natura 2000 Communication Platform
The Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process is supported by a web-based Natura 2000 Communication Platform. This is the central place where all actors involved in Natura 2000 management exchange information on conservation objectives, measures and their follow-up.
Eurosite’s role in the Process
ECNC is the lead contractor to support the EC in the development and implementation of the Process. ECNC does this with support from sub-contracted consortium partners (CEEweb for Biodiversity, Eurosite, the European Landowners Organization, the EUROPARC Federation, and ILE SAS).
Eurosite will largely be focusing on the Atlantic biogeographical region and will be supporting the organisation of a Natura 2000 Seminar in this region, as well as several networking events, next to developing and updating the Natura 2000 Communication Platform.