NaturallyEst-LIFE - Piloting Natura2000 communication in Estonia

LIFE16 GIE/EE/000665

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Contact details:

Contact person: Mari KAISEL
Tel: +37253433346
Email: mari@elfond.ee

Project description:


The Natura 2000 network is the centrepiece of EU biodiversity policy. However, given the scale, scope and ambition of the Natura 2000 network, conflicts are to be expected in its establishment and management at regional, national and EU level. The implementation in Estonia of Natura 2000 and EU environmental legislation, such as the Birds and Habitats Directives, is no exception. Conflicts have mostly occurred in the area of forest management, semi-natural habitats management and the protection and handling of large carnivores. To address biodiversity loss in these areas, it is therefore necessary to raise awareness and change peoples behaviour. It is moreover necessary to address the misperception that Natura 2000 management prevents any human activity in protected sites.


The overall objective of the NaturallyEst-LIFE project is to enhance communication between local communities, landowners and nature conservation stakeholders.

The specific objectives of the project are to:

  • Help solve Natura 2000 network related conflicts between local communities and conservation administrators;
  • Use solved cases as a way of communicating that the Natura 2000 network is a flexible and efficient tool for nature conservation;
  • Improve the overall image of Natura 2000 network in Estonia to promote the implementation of the Habitat and Birds Directives; and
  • Share lessons in the Eastern European region.
  • Expected results:

  • Decrease in the number of conflicts and thus illegal activities in Natura 2000 sites;
  • 30 conflict cases solved around Natura 2000 rules between local communities and officials;
  • 2 000 people taking part in the open-air events, study tours and volunteer camps;
  • 5 000 people engaged in citizen science campaign online;
  • 30 nature spokespersons acquire practical skills to work in public communication through courses organised during the project (they will be able to cover 70% of events in Estonia that need nature spokespersons); and
  • At least 250 media stories published during the project about Natura 2000 cases, detailing solved conflict cases.



Environmental issues addressed:

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Eestimaa Looduse Fond/Estonian Fund for Nature
Type of organisation NGO-Foundation
Description Eestimaa Looduse Fond (ELF)/Estonian Fund for Nature was established in 1991 by biologists and conservationists in close cooperation with WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature). It is a non-governmental and independent nature protection organisation that carries out nature awareness-rising campaigns. Its focus is to directly engage people in nature exploration and conservation in order to spread awareness of the value nature. ELF has been organising volunteer camps in practical conservation work for 15 years.
Partners University of Tartu, Estonia SA Keskkonnaõiguse Keskus/Environmental Law Centre, Estonia


Project reference LIFE16 GIE/EE/000665
Duration 15-SEP-2017 to 15-MAR -2022
Total budget 654,350.00 €
EU contribution 390,810.00 €
Project location Põhja-Eesti(Estonia Eesti) Lääne-Eesti(Estonia Eesti) Kesk-Eesti(Estonia Eesti) Kirde-Eesti(Estonia Eesti) Lõuna-Eesti(Estonia Eesti) Extra-Regio(Estonia Eesti) Associated Estonia (EE)(Estonia Eesti)


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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version