As the process of choosing Natura 2000 sites nears its conclusion, attention is now turning towards their management. Within six years of their designation as Sites of Community Importance, Member States need to designate these sites as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and adopt conservation measures involving, if need be, appropriate management plans and other measures which correspond to the ecological requirements of the natural habitat types and the species of Community interest.
Special Protection Areas designated under the Birds Directive need to be managed in accordance with the ecological needs of habitats of birds. The Directives make it clear that conservation objectives should be met while taking account of economic, social, cultural, regional and recreational requirements. It is for Member States to establish the most appropriate methods and instruments for implementing the Directives and for achieving the conservation objectives of Natura 2000 sites.
The Commission, in close cooperation with Member States and stakeholders, has published guidance documents with regard to the management of Natura 2000 sites and is continuously gathering information on a large variety of approaches and best practices. This webpage should contribute to enhancing the exchange of information, experience and good practice on Natura 2000 management.