Natura2000

navama supports the protection of Natura 2000. Discover Natura 2000 regions in Europe …

Understand the potential of biodiversity in your region. Look for protected areas and support the protection status. Check the map for biodiversity spots in Europe. Click on the green Natura 2000 regions to find out more.

Natura 2000 is a network of nature protection areas in the territory of the European Union. It is made up of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs) designated respectively under the Habitats Directive and Birds Directive. The network includes both terrestrial and marine sites (Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)).

In May 1992, the governments of the European Communities adopted legislation designed to protect the most seriously threatened habitats and species across Europe. The Habitats Directive complements the Birds Directive adopted earlier in 1979 and together they make up the Natura 2000 network of protected areas.

The Birds Directive requires the establishment of Special Protection Areas (SPAs) for birds. The Habitats Directive similarly requires Sites of Community Importance (SCIs) which upon the agreement of the European Commission become Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) to be designated for species other than birds, and for habitat types (e.g. particular types of forest, grasslands, wetlands, etc.). Together, SPAs and SACs form the Natura 2000 network of protected areas.

Furthermore, the Natura 2000 network is the EU contribution to the “Emerald network” of Areas of Special Conservation Interest (ASCIs) set up under the Bern Convention on the conservation of European wildlife and natural habitats. Natura 2000 is also a key contribution to the Program of Work of Protected Areas of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

As prerequisite for becoming EU Member, accession states have to submit proposals for Natura 2000 sites meeting the same criteria as EU Member States. Some new member states have large areas which qualify to be protected under the directives and implementation has not always been simple.