The winners of the six 2015 Natura 2000 Awards have been announced at the Award Ceremony in Brussels on 23 May 2016.
Over 200 people were present in Brussels to hear the European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, and members of the high level Jury, announce the winners of this year's EU Natura 2000 Awards.
The six winners include projects from Bulgaria, Latvia, Spain, the United Kingdom and cross-border projects from Belgium and France, as well as Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary, Finland and Norway.
“I am once again honoured to be here tonight to recognise the fantastic work undertaken by the winners and all of the finalists in preserving our common natural heritage" Commissioner Vella said. "These initiatives have gone a long way towards ensuring that nature’s benefits keep flowing for many years to come. This year, over 37 000 people cast a vote for their favourite project to win the EU Citizens’ Award, which is a 50 % increase from last year. This goes to show just how important these awards are for increasing awareness about Europe-wide efforts to promote biodiversity.”
Congratulations to all the winners, but congratulations also to all the applicants who submitted an application this year. They are all winners and their efforts to conserve Europe's nature are much appreciated.
Demonstrating success in blanket bog restoration at the RSPB / United Utilities partnership - United Kingdom [find out more]
Nature Concerthall - Latvia [find out more]
Creating green corridors for biodiversity under high-tension lines - Belgium and France [find out more]
For the Balkans and the People: Nature Protection and Sustainable Rural Development - Bulgaria [find out more]
Europe’s rarest waterbird benefits from a team effort in conservation - Bulgaria, Greece, Finland, Hungary and Norway [find out more]
Collaboration between Public and Private Bodies saves the Iberian lynx from extinction - Spain 
The winners were presented with a Natura 2000 Award trophy and certificate. In the coming months, they will also receive support to organise an award event in their country to further highlight and promote their achievements.
The first two years of the Natura 2000 Award highlighted the astonishing array of initiatives on and dedication to Natura 2000 management and promotion taking place right across Europe. Visit the winning sites from 2014 and 2015 and find out more about their impressive achievements.
Natura 2000 works to ensure the long-term survival of Europe's most valuable and threatened species and habitats, and is the centrepiece of the EU's nature and biodiversity policy. The European Commission launched the Natura 2000 Award to celebrate and promote best practices for nature conservation in Europe. The Award aims to bring the success of the Natura 2000 network to the public’s attention and to demonstrate its importance for protecting biodiversity across Europe.