PAF NATURA 2000 SPAIN - Elaboration of the Prioritized Action Framework for Natura 2000 in Spain

LIFE11 NAT/ES/000700

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Contact details:

Contact person: Marta García Perez
Tel: 91-7493635
Fax: 91-7493614
Email: MGPerez@mma.es

Project description:


The ability of relevant authorities to successfully implement conservation of Natura 2000 sites requires an adequate financial strategy. There are also many interrelating objectives, actions and approaches to managing an SPA/SCI that can involve things such as human health, regional development, research, innovation, information and communication technology (ICT) and education. One of the opportunities for improved environmental performance in the Natura 2000 network is to integrate funding from various programmes and sources to achieve interrelated objectives. However, such integrated approaches require careful planning, identification of priorities and a clear division of tasks between funding sources.


The objective of the 'PAF NATURA 2000 SPAIN' project was to improve the capacity for financing and managing the Natura 2000 network in Spain through the preparation and implementation of a Prioritised Action Framework (PAF). This framework was designed to provide a coherent view of the integrated actions required for management of sites designated for the network, and enabled the use of different financial instruments for specific actions. The project aimed to establish management and strategic priorities for the Natura 2000 network in Spain; prepare and publish technical guidelines for the implementation of key measures; produce a study on the potential role of EU funds and innovative financial mechanisms; and conduct detailed planning for pilot priority actions.


The 'PAF NATURA 2000 SPAIN' project improved the financing and management of the Natura 2000 network in Spain, through the preparation and launch of a Prioritized Action Framework (PAF). During its two-and-a-half year duration, the project set out strategic priorities for the management of the Natura 2000 network at national level, identified the potential role that different European funds could have in its financing, and showed how prioritised measures could be implemented.

During the first months of the project, Foundation Biodiversidad gathered information on the different instruments available for the management of the Natura 2000 network in the 17 Spanish autonomous communities and the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla. This involved the analysis of 56 management planning instruments and conservation measures, along with information on the types of habitats and species to be conserved in the Natura 2000 network.

With reference to strategic priorities, the project identified measures to achieve the conservation objectives of the Natura 2000 network in Spain for the period 2014-2020. For each measure, the project team described the necessary actions, the types of habitat of Community interest and the target species, and potential sources of funding. All the available information on conservation priorities was collected and integrated into the first PAF, approved by the Environment Sector Conference in March 2013. An updated version was produced, with input from a public participation workshop held in Madrid in December 2013 and recommendations made by ministerial bodies, and this was sent to the EC for approval in August 2014. The final PAF contained five strategic priorities related to the main requirements of the Habitats Directive, regarding the appropriate management of the Natura 2000 network, and close to 200 priority measures.

The project team created an advisory body, the Working Group ‘Conservation of Nature and Biodiversity and Community Funds’, within the framework of the Spanish Network of Environmental Authorities (RAA) under the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (MAGRAMA). This Working Group analysed the possibilities offered by the main European financial instruments and also innovative financial mechanisms, for implementing conservation measures included in the PAF. Public administrations of the autonomous communities and cities were requested to submit information on the different financial instruments and their financing capacity for the Natura 2000 network. The project produced two documents on the development of innovative mechanisms for financing Natura 2000 network sites in Spain, for example, using Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes.

The LIFE project team developed seven pilot projects with the aim of showing the applicability of the PAF and how to put it into practice, taking into account the financing possibilities. Four of these pilot projects showed how to effectively integrate measures within the PAF into the operational programmes of the main Community funds (ESI Funds), while another pilot project developed an innovative integrated and participatory management model for the Natura 2000 network in the marine environment. Foundation Biodiversidad produced guidelines to facilitate the selection and application of conservation measures in the PAF. The guidelines demonstrated to stakeholders how to adapt PAF at different levels (from biogeographic region to individual Natura 2000 sites) and to specific territorial conditions, and how to establish priorities for the implementation of conservation measures and identify appropriate financing and promotion of the conservation measures.

Extensive networking activities were conducted, including information exchange with LIFE projects developing PAFs in other EU countries. The project team, for instance, participated in three workshops on PAFs organised by the EC in Brussels. All the project’s documents, including the two versions of the Spanish PAF, leaflets and a technical manual for each pilot project, are available on the project website (www.prioridadrednatura2000.es).

Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Conservation Plan (see "Read more" section).


Environmental issues addressed:


Land-use & Planning - Sensitive and protected areas management


protected area‚  integrated management‚  management plan‚  financial instrument

Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • Directive 79/409 - Conservation of wild birds (02.04.1979)
  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directiv ...
  • Directive 2009/147 - Conservation of wild birds - Birds Directive (codified version of Directive ...
  • COM(2011) 244 final “Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 ...

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Fundación Biodiversidad
Type of organisation NGO-Foundation
Description The Foundation Biodiversidad is a public foundation funded by the Spanish Ministry of the Environment. It promotes events, projects, training and cooperation in different environmental fields, but specifically in nature conservation, sustainable development and green jobs. It is also active in international cooperation for sustainability.
Partners None


Project reference LIFE11 NAT/ES/000700
Duration 01-JUN-2012 to 31-DEC -2014
Total budget 551,750.00 €
EU contribution 275,874.00 €
Project location Galicia(España) Asturias(España) Cantabria(España) País Vasco(España) Navarra(España) Rioja(España) Aragón(España) Madrid(España) Castilla-León(España) Castilla-La Mancha(España) Extremadura(España) Cataluña(España) Comunidad Valenciana(España) Baleares(España) Andalucía(España) Murcia(España) Ceuta y Melilla(España) Canarias(España)


Read more:

Leaflet Project's leaflet
Project web site Project's website
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan Plan de communicación Post-LIFE
Publication: Layman report Layman report/Informe layman
Publication: Technical report Project's Final technical report (Spanish version, ...


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version