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Call to action for Natura 2000: Vote now for the European Citizens’ Award!


The 2015 edition of the Natura 2000 Award enters a new phase this spring. Over the month of April, the public are being given the opportunity to vote for the project they think deserves European recognition. The project which receives the most votes will be awarded with the European Citizens’ Award. To vote, go to the 2015 Award finalists page and read about the achievements of the finalist projects.

2015 Application round closed


On 21 January the Natura 2000 Award closed for applications. For the 2015 edition, 93 applications were received from 24 Member States covering all Award categories. Applications will now be evaluated by a team of independent experts before the high level jury and public vote select the winners.

Environmental Benchmarking Report for the 2014 Applications


The Environmental Benchmarking Report for the 2014 applications has today been published. The report was carried out by the Award Secretariat and is based on an analysis of the most successful applications. Its aim is to support the exchange of good practice and potentially to provide future applicants with ideas.

On 20 September 2014, the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds / Birdlife Bulgaria (BSPB) organised an event with local farmers, producers, businesses and other stakeholders.


On 20 September 2014, the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds / Birdlife Bulgaria (BSPB) organised an event with local farmers, producers, businesses and other stakeholders in Topolovgrad town (Haskovo province, South-eastern Bulgaria), to celebrate BSPB’s winning the 2014 Natura 2000 Award in the Conservation category.

On 12 September 2014, the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic (NCA CR) organised an event for stakeholders, local authorities and Commission representatives to celebrate winning the 2014 Natura 2000 Award, Communication category.


The programme included site visits to the winning Natura 2000 sites, as well as speeches by Mr. Stefan Leiner from DG Environment and Mr. František Pelc from NCA CR.

On 23 July 2014, EUROPARC-Spain and Castilla-La Mancha organised a local event for stakeholders, local authorities, Commission representatives and the press to celebrate winning the Natura 2000 Award


The packed programme included a guided tour around the Rebollar de Navalpotro site (ES4240012), a visit to the Barranco del Rio Dulce (ES0000166), and a press conference at El Parador de Sigüenza, a medieval castle and reception centre. Speeches were delivered by Carles Castell Puig, President of EUROPARC-Spain, Stefan Leiner from the European Commission’s DG Environment, and María Luisa Soriano Martín, Minister for Agriculture of Castilla-La Mancha.

Winner of the Networking & Cross-Border Cooperation Award: Quality standards for management plans of Natura 2000 sites in Spain


The Networking & Cross-Border Cooperation Award went to a technical cooperation network in Spain for establishing quality standards for the development of management plans for Natura 2000 sites, as well as a reference website on the state of the Natura 2000 network in Spain. Rebollar de Navalpotro in Guadalajara is one area where these actions have been successfully applied, showing how Natura 2000 is not only a network of species and habitats, but also a network of people.

Winner of the Reconciling Interests/Perceptions Award: The LIFE + 3WATER Project, a model for sustainable cooperation


The Reconciling Interests/Perceptions Award went to a project in the Vijvergebied van Midden Limburg site in Belgium. Landowners and users, nature organisations and authorities – once in conflict over nature conservation – now work together. This is the result of the innovative 3E approach: Ecology, Economy, Education. The aim is to ensure that the Natura 2000 network in the north-east of Belgium remains a viable place for nature, business and tourism.

Winner of the Communication Award: Rediscovered steppes of the Louny region


The Communication Award went to Raná-Hrádek in the Czech Republic for promoting the importance of dry grassland habitats in the Louny region. A 'Celebration of the steppes' event attracts 1000 people every year in May. It is the annual high-point of the Czech Nature Conservation Agency's efforts to protect the sites in North Bohemia. The project raises awareness amongst EU citizens about the value of natural heritage.

Winner of the Socio-Economic Benefits Award: Promoting the viability of agricultural communities to protect a Natura 2000 landscape


An initiative in Sighișoara-Târnava Mare, Romania, won the Socio-Economic Benefits Award, with an impressive example of Natura 2000 providing economic growth and sustainable livelihoods in rural areas. The project enables farmers to make a better living, while also preserving a unique landscape with rich biodiversity. Thanks to the project 2300 farming families in the region generate income of more than €2.5 million annually, and similar ideas are now being applied in other parts of Romania.

Inaugural Natura 2000 Award winners announced


The five winners of the first Natura 2000 Award were announced at a ceremony in Brussels on 21 May. Commissioner Janez Potočnik opened the proceedings by welcoming all 22 finalists and praising the successes of the Natura 2000 network.

Winner of the Conservation Award: Saving the imperial eagle


The Conservation Award went to a project for saving the imperial eagle in Sakar, Bulgaria. Thanks to the work of the project team and the cooperation between conservationists and private companies, the local population of this threatened species has been brought back from close to extinction.

Inaugural Natura 2000 Award shortlist announced


The shortlist of finalists for the inaugural Natura 2000 Award has been announced and is available online. Registration for the Award ceremony on May 21st is now open.

A celebration of Europe’s natural diversity


In this inaugural Natura 2000 Award, the response surpassed all expectations. A total of 163 applications were received, covering all five Award categories – Conservation, Socio-Economic Benefits, Communication, Reconciling Interests/Perceptions, and Networking and Cross-Border Cooperation.

The evaluation process


All admissible and eligible applications have been evaluated and a provisional shortlist of 22 delivered to the Jury.

The Jury


Our high-level Jury is now reviewing the applications and selecting a winner for each of the five Award categories. This Jury reflects the values and diversity of the network by representing stakeholders who have played a key role in making Natura 2000 such a success.

Measuring citizen attitudes to biodiversity


European citizens are passionate about protecting biodiversity. According to a recent opinion poll, almost two-thirds agree that the EU should increase the areas where nature is protected in Europe, while nine out of ten agree that halting biodiversity loss is important for our quality of life.

Welcoming Croatia to the network


Over a third of Croatia’s land area is set to be included in the Natura 2000 network, reflecting not only the country’s strong commitment to nature conservation but also to its remarkable biodiversity.

Natura 2000 Viewer ... locate a site near you


The Natura 2000 Viewer application enables users to locate Natura 2000 sites all over Europe. This user-friendly online tool can also be used to look for particular species and habitats in the 27,000+ registered sites.

Learn, explore, network ... on ‘the Natura 2000 Platform’


Learn about the latest actions, cooperation and results in Natura 2000, explore the habitats knowledge base, network with site managers ... all on the Natura 2000 Communication Platform.