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LIFE-IP AZORES NATURA - Active protection and integrated management of Natura 2000 Network in Azores

LIFE17 IPE/PT/000010


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Contact details:

Contact person: Jorge Hernâni
Email: Hernani.H.Jorge@azores.gov.pt



Project description:

Background

The Natura 2000 network sites in the Portuguese Autonomous Region of Azores account for a total area of 804 km2 (427 km2 terrestrial and 377 km2 marine). A series of constraints have been identified during the implementation of the Prioritised Action Framework for Natura 2000 (PAF) at the regional scale, which have prevented the accomplishment of the proposed goals. Most of the identified gaps and shortcomings are related to a lack of knowledge or information for some species and habitat types, and a lack of human and material resources to undertake concrete conservation actions.


Objectives

The main objective of LIFE-IP AZORES NATURA is to establish the basis for implementing the Prioritised Action Framework for Natura 2000 (PAF) proposed for the Azores Autonomous Region of Portugal. Specific objectives are to:

  • implement actions to improve the conservation status of 24 species and 13 habitat types protected under the Birds Directive and the Habitats Directive;
  • conduct habitat improvements foreseen in the Action Plan for the Azores bullfinch (Pyrrhula murina) to secure its conservation status;
  • promote control/eradication actions targeting invasive alien species (IAS);
  • fill knowledge gaps on distribution, conservation status and threats for specific species and habitats;
  • execute ex-situ conservation actions, particularly the collection and conservation of seeds from 80 % of the endemic plant species of the Azores;
  • reinforce the capability for Natura 2000 surveillance and management;
  • increase knowledge and skills of employees working in Natura 2000 sites;
  • develop a GIS database for Natura 2000 management;
  • raise awareness among the local population and relevant stakeholders on the conservation value of Natura 2000 and its potential as an instrument for sustainable rural development.
  • To ensure a wider transnational uptake of results for problems that are of concern throughout Macaronesia, actions are also proposed forLa Palma (Canary Islands, Spain). Expected results:
  • cost-effective achievement of conservation targets, as evidenced in future reporting for the Birds Directive and Habitats Directive;
  • increased populations of 12 target flora species by 25 % and their conservation status reassessed from unfavourable (U1/U2) to favourable (FV);
  • increased areas of four target habitat types by at least 204 ha, with conservation status reassessed from U1/U2 to FV;
  • increased area of two priority habitat types (coastal lagoons and Mediterranean salt meadows) in good conservation status by 40 %;
  • creation of 124 ha of ecological corridors to secure conservation status of 9 protected habitats;
  • improved habitats over 24 ha for 7 seabird species, and 120 ha for Pyrrhula murina;
  • eradication of plant IAS, and reduction or eradication of wild rabbits and rats;
  • increase of publicly-owned land within Natura 2000 by 96 ha;
  • increased knowledge useful for conservation, especially for endemic flora, the Azores noctule bat (Nyctalus azoreum), and Mediterranean slipper lobster (Scyllarides latus);
  • increased stakeholder capacity for action towards Natura 2000 management; and
  • drafting and approval of the new PAF for Natura 2000 in the Azores for the period 2026 2031. In addition to the IP budget itself, the project will facilitate the coordinated use of 22.5 million of complementary funding from EAFRD, ERDF, EMFF, H2020, and other national and private funds.


    Results


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Environmental issues addressed:

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 ...

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable


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Beneficiaries:

Coordinator DRA
Partners S.A. Portugal Fundación Canaria – Reserva Mundial de la Biosfera La Palma. Spain Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves (SPEA). Portugal Direção Regional dos Assuntos do Mar (DRAM). Portugal Sociedade de Gestão e Conservação da Natureza – AZORINA

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Project reference LIFE17 IPE/PT/000010
Duration 01-JAN-2019 to 31-DEC -2027
Total budget 19,087,522.00 €
EU contribution 11,452,513.00 €
Project location

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