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Green Infrastructure and Natura 2000

The Natura 2000 network is a central part of the European Green Infrastructure as it harbours many of Europe’s remaining healthy ecosystems and biodiversity. It also provides a legal and organisational framework which can contribute to long-term security, efficiency and cost effectiveness of investments in Green Infrastructure. However its sites do not necessarily form a coherent network. Reconnecting existing fragmented natural areas and Natura 2000 sites, maintaining healthy ecosystems on a wider landscape scale and restoring damaged habitats, Green Infrastructure provides substantial added value to strengthening the ecological coherence of and restoration within Natura 2000 in times of climate change. Through its spatial dimension, Green Infrastructure will for instance contribute to achieve the objectives of Article 10 of the Habitats Directive by ensuring the ecological coherence of the Natura 2000 network and avoiding that the Natura 2000 sites become isolated ‘islands of nature’.

To assist the Member States in the better implementation of Article 10, DG ENV has commissioned guidance on the maintenance of landscape connectivity features of major importance for wild flora and fauna (Aug. 2007).