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Winners of the European Natura 2000 Award will be selected from five different categories each year, showcasing the best success stories in preserving Europe’s stunning nature.



This award goes to achievements that have improved the conservation status of a particular habitat and/or group of species. Target habitats or species must be on the Habitats Directive Annex I or II or Birds Directive Annex I, or be a regularly occurring migrating bird.

Socio-economic benefits

This award recognizes socio-economic benefits that have come about as a result of a Natura 2000 site or project. A ‘Natura 2000 label’, for example, might allow sustainable producers using the natural resources of the site to create a niche market or obtain better prices.


This award recognises successful communication activities aimed at increasing awareness or promoting Natura 2000, and which are liable to bring lasting changes in attitudes or behaviour towards the network.

Reconciling interests/perceptions

Effective reconciliation often involves compromises between stakeholders with differing interests and views. This category will reward successful efforts that brought together opposing socio-economic or political forces, land or resource users in a way that has benefitted Natura 2000.

Networking and cross-border cooperation

This category covers two potentially distinct but interrelated aspects:

  1. How networking activities have resulted in lasting positive impacts for Natura 2000; and/or
  2. How long-term conservation can benefit from transnational collaboration. The award may also cover cooperation between administrative regions within a country, cooperation between different bio-geographical regions, or between marine and land sites.