is NATURA 2000
is a network of sites that can be found all over Europe. They
protect the most seriously threatened habitats, plants and
animals in Europe.
May 1992 European Union governments adopted legislation designed
to protect the most seriously threatened habitats and species
across Europe. The legislation is called the Habitats
Directive and complements the Bird
Directive adopted in 1979.
Habitats Directive requires countries to designate specially
protected areas. It requires Special Areas of Conservation
(SACs) to be designated which provide rare and vulnerable
animals, plants and habitats with increased protection and
Birds Directive requires the establishment of Special Protection
Areas (SPAs) for birds, to help protect and manage areas which
are important for rare and vulnerable birds because they use
them for breeding, feeding, wintering or migration.
SPAs and SACs make up the NATURA 2000 series. The network
of NATURA 2000 sites is spread over 15 countries thoroughout
Europe. The Habitats Directive lists 230 animal and 483 plant
species and a total of 198 types of natural habitats which
are to be protected by the SACs. SPAs have to be designated
for 181 birds species as well as migratory birds.
States are responsible for ensuring that all Natura 2000 sites
are appropriately managed by conservation authorities in each
country. These organisations often work in partnership with
other authorities, voluntary bodies, local or national charities
and private landowners.
States are expected to pay for the management of the sites
in their country, but to help countries to pay for urgent
or innovative conservation work, the European Union has set
aside money in a fund called LIFE-Nature,
which is managed by the Directorate of the European Commission.
improve understanding and acceptance of NATURA 2000, Green
Days are being organised. They are special events promoted
by the European Commission and happen all over Europe. For
more information visit Eurosite.
2000 Frequently Asked Questions