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Winners 2018

The six winners of the 2018 Natura 2000 Awards were announced at a prestigious Ceremony in Brussels on 17 May 2018. The six winners include activities on Natura 2000 sites in Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Portugal, Spain, and a trans-boundary project involving sites in Greece and Bulgaria with the United Kingdom as a partner.

And the winners are …

The Conservation Award went to the “Partnership to stop the poisoning of imperial eagles ” for addressing very effectively the illegal poisoning of the Imperial Eagle in Hungary. Thanks to several measures and especially through networking with different organisations and stakeholders an increase in the size of the national population of Imperial Eagle from about 150 to more than 200 nesting pairs could be reached. [more]

Applicants: MME BirdLife Hungary, 20 Natura 2000 sites in Hungary

The project "Natura 2000: Connecting people with biodiversity" in Spain won the Communication Award for implementing an impressive awareness raising campaign. Through a range of communication activities public interest in conserving Spanish Natura 2000 sites was raised substantially: by the end of the project the number of people who knew about Natura 2000 in Spain had increased from 10% to 22%. [more]

Applicant: SEO / BirdLife; Agencia EFE, Natura 2000 sites throughout Spain

The Reconciling interests/perceptions Award went to the project "Co-existing with bears in the 21st century: Difficulties and achievements”, implemented in Greece, for its support to increasing significantly local tolerance towards bears.  Since 2009 it set up effective measures in order to reduce conflicts with bears in rural areas such as the establishment of a network of guard dog owners and interested stockbreeders, ‘bear-proof’ waste-bins and electric fences to protect beehives and orchards, as well as measures on the newly-built motorway to prevent collisions between bears and vehicles. [more]

Applicant: Callisto, Natura 2000 site: Koryfes Orous Grammos, Greece

LIFE to alvars: restoration and grazing reintroduction for 2500 hectares of Estonian alvar grasslands”, Estonia won the Socio-Economic Benefits Award for their work involving local farmers in the long-term management of Natura 2000 sites. Approximately 600 landowners participated in the restoration of the alvar grasslands, previously overgrown with shrubs and trees and thanks to this project the perception of Natura 2000 is now much more positive. [more]

Applicants: Environmental Board of Estonia,16 Natura 2000 sites in Estonia

The "Joint conservation efforts across three continents to save the sacred bird" project won the Cross-border cooperation and Networking Award for its support to the Egyptian vulture, now on the edge of extinction. 178 custom officers in Greece and Bulgaria were trained to control the illegal trade in Egyptian vultures. Other measures included support to 1400 farmers in Bulgaria for vulture-friendly management of ca 100,000 ha of pastures and insulation of over 400 electricity pylons in Greece and Bulgaria. [more]

Applicant: HOS; BSPB; RSPB; WWF Greece, 27 Natura 2000 sites, Greece & Bulgaria

And this year, the coveted European Citizens’ Award was won by the “School of Nature” project in Portugal. This educational project in the municipality of Viana do Castelo in Northern Portugal brings school communities, and thus local communities, closer to their unique natural heritage thanks to field activities and teachers’ trainings. [more]

Applicant: Câmara Municipal de Viana do Castelo, Natura 2000 site: Sítio Litoral Norte, Portugal