30 years ago, in 1992, the European Union adopted the EU Habitats Directive and the LIFE programme. This pioneering piece of legislation gave birth to the EU wide Natura 2000 Network, the world's largest coordinated network of protected areas.
Today, the Network stretches over 18% of the EU's land area and more than 9% of its marine territory and protects our unique natural heritage. On land, this represents a territory as big as Spain and Romania together, while on sea, an area as big as Sweden. Thanks to Natura 2000, the EU protects around 1400 species of wild animals and plants and 460 species of birds.
On 24-25 February 2022, the French Presidency of the EU and the European Commission organised a Ministerial Conference to mark the 30the anniversary of the Network. The event took stock of achievements and looked ahead for ways for strengthening the Network, in particular in light of the targets in the new EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2030 and the Decade of restoration. The event concluded with the adoption of a Ministerial Declaration (also available in French and German).
Throughout 2022, EU Member States, Natura 2000 stakeholders and conservation actors are invited to organise events and activities at national level to mark the occasion. The 30 years Natura 2000 logo is free for download below and can be used as relevant in the frame of the national events and translated into local languages by national authorities.