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Natura 2000 development

First steps towards the protection of EU nature

Natura 2000 is based on Birds Directive adopted by the EU members in 1979 and on Habitats Directive adopted in 1992. On the basis of these two core legislative acts, the governments of EU member states integrated the directives into their national legislative frameworks in May 1992 and laid the foundation for the Natura 2000 network.

For over 40 years, Birds Directive has enabled EU member states to establish special protection areas. The same goes for Habitats Directive which enables EU member states to designate special areas of conservation of species upon the confirmation of European Commission, and name them Natura 2000 sites.

In the EU accession proceeding, membership candidates get an important assignment also within Natura 2000 scope. Upon the designation of Natura 2000 sites, they have to satisfy the same conditions as full EU members.

Natura 2000 Day: Understanding of nature enables us to preserve it

Spanish Ornithological Society formed a Europe-wide initiative within the framework of EU LIFE+ program for dedicating one day per year to Natura 2000 in order to spread awareness of the importance of special protection areas. Therefore, on May 21, one day before the International Day for Biological Diversity, we have been celebrating Natura 2000 Day since 2013.

On May 21, 1992, EU Habitats Directive, which is one of two core legislative acts of Natura 2000, and the LIFE Programme, which is the impetus behind the operation of Natura 2000 in EU member states, were adopted.

Natura 2000 Award: Good practice should be shared

In 2014, European Commission first introduced Natura 2000 Award, which is in different categories presented to those good practices that are an inspiration and set an example. One of its most important tasks is to connect people who work in Natura 2000 sites, so they can share their experience and knowledge.

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