number 35 | january 2014 natura .99_nat_d_006051 the natura 2000 award recognises excellence in the
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Protecting native wildlife from invasive alien species
NATURA ISSN 1026-6151
N u m b e r 3 5 | J a n u a r y 2 0 1 4N a t u r e a n d B i o d i v e r s i t y N e w s l e t t e r
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Natura2000nature and biodiversity newsletter January 2014
CoNTeNTS34 The Natura 2000 Award
57 Article 6.3 permitting procedure taking stock
89 Natura 2000 Barometer update 2013
1013Proposal for new eU legislation on Invasive Alien Species
1416 News Round-up
As we put the finishing touches to the eUs financial instruments for the period 20142020, I would like to remind readers about the important new opportunities they offer to leverage financial support for Natura 2000 and Green Infrastructure.
Compared to seven years ago, there is now much greater recognition of the socio-economic value of nature in general and of the multiple benefits that Natura 2000 and Green Infrastructure, in particular, can bring to society. This will hopefully encourage policy makers to take greater account of both in their decision-making processes, and to make better use of the multiple assets they offer to promote a more integrated, inclusive and resource-efficient development process, in line with europes 2020 Strategy.
My services and I will continue to assist this process in any way we can. We are already promoting Member States Prioritised Action Frameworks across the Commission, and organising information seminars for national authorities on how to access eU funds for Natura 2000. But, ultimately, it will be up to the Member States to make the best of the opportunities available to them and ensure there is a good and early uptake of funds for Natura 2000 and Green Infrastructure in their operational Programmes.
The start of a new year is a good time to take stock of what has been achieved already. With over 27,000 sites across 28 countries, the Natura 2000 network represents one of the most ambitious hands-on actions ever undertaken to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity in europe.
This alone is cause for celebration, but as we set about managing this important resource, it is vital we pay tribute to all those who have been working on the ground to make the network an operational success, be they land owners or users, local authorities, site managers, NGos, or concerned citizens.
An old American jazz standard reminds us of the need to ac-cen-tu-ate the positive, and in that spirit, I am very proud to announce the launch of our new european Natura 2000 Award scheme. It aims to recognise excellence and highlight success stories related to managing Natura 2000 sites for the benefit of nature and people, about which you will find more details in this issue.
Janez PotonikEuropean Commissioner for Environment
Cover: Red squirrel. Mark Boulton / 4nature
EditorialThe new EU financial instruments offer many opportunities to fund Natura 2000 management.
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AwardThe establishment of the Natura 2000 Network, with its 27,000-plus sites, is, without a doubt, one of europes greatest achievements to-date in terms of halting the loss of biodiversity in the eU. It advocates a modern, flexible and inclusive approach to the conservation of areas of high biodiversity value, which puts european citizens at the heart of the process. It also recognises that people and nature are very much dependent upon one another. Nature needs our help but, in exchange, it will repay us many times over with the multiple ecosystem services it provides. everyone has a central role to play in making Natura 2000 a success be they private landowners and users, conservation managers, local communities, NGos, public
Many Natura 2000 sites require active management and restoration.
authorities, or interested members of the general public. And, already, many people are actively engaged in conserving and managing individual Natura 2000 sites across the 28 Member States. However, all too often, this dedication and commitment goes largely unnoticed and unrecognised. What is more, the Natura 2000 Network itself remains unknown to many europeans. According to the latest eurobarometer survey in 2013, only 27% of respondents have heard of it and fewer (11%) really understand what it is.
The objectives of the Award schemeIt is for these reasons that the Commission has decided to launch an annual Natura 2000 Award to shine the spotlight on
Natura 2000 and pay tribute to all those that are working tirelessly on making it an operational success. More specifically, the european Award aims to: Recognise excellence in the
management and promotion of Natura 2000;
Provide examples of success stories from across the eU that can act as a source of inspiration and encouragement for others, and help promote good practice experiences;
Raise the profile of Natura 2000 and bring its important achievements to the attention of the general public in line with the commitment made in the 2020 Biodiversity Strategy to launch a major communication campaign on Natura 2000 by 2013.
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The Natura 2000 Award recognises excellence in the management of Natura 2000 sites and conservation achievements, showcasing the added value of the network for local economies, and increasing public awareness about Europes valuable natural heritage.
The Natura 2000
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profile annual competition. In this context, winners will also receive logistical and financial support to help organise local promotional events in their home countries, with the presence of high-level representatives from the Commission.
How to applyA dedicated website has been created for the Natura 2000 Award. It provides all the necessary information on how to apply including application forms, guidelines for application and a Frequently Asked Questions paper.
The selection processThe selection process consists of three steps. The first involves an eligibility check. Following this, the applications will be assessed for their effectiveness, originality, durability, costs and benefits, and the extent to which they can be replicated elsewhere. The winners will then be chosen by a Jury made up of representatives of the eU Institutions and organisations representing various stakeholders working on issues related to Natura 2000 at the european level.
The AwardThe winners from the five categories will be invited to a high-level ceremony in Brussels, where they will receive a trophy, along with a small financial contribution to help support future conservation efforts. As well as honouring the work of the five category winners, the award ceremony will positively promote the Natura 2000 Network to a wider audience. A further incentive for participants will be the professional recognition of their efforts and the visibility they will gain from taking part in this high
2014 will be the first year for the Award. It is open to anyone who is directly involved in Natura 2000 whether businesses, local and regional authorities, NGOs, volunteers, land owners, educational institutions or individuals.
There are five award categories to choose from:
Conservation: This award goes to achievements that have improved the conservation status of a particular habitat and/or group of species. Target habitats or species must be on the Habitats Directive Annex I or II or Birds Directive Annex I, or be a regularly occurring migratory bird.
Socio-economic benefits: This award recognises socio-economic benefits that have come about as a result of a Natura 2000 site or project. A Natura 2000 label, for example, might allow sustainable producers using the natural resources of the site to create a niche market or obtain better prices.
Communication: This award recognises successful communication activities aimed at increasing awareness or promoting Natura 2000, and which are liable to bring lasting changes in attitudes or behaviour towards the network.
Reconciling interests/perceptions: Managing Natura 2000 sites requires addressing the views and interests of different stakeholders. This category will reward successful efforts that brought together sometimes opposing socio-economic or political forces, land or resource users in a way that has benefited them as well as Natura 2000.
Networking and cross-border cooperation: This category covers two potentially distinct but interrelated aspects:
- How networking activities have resulted in lasting positive impacts for Natura 2000; and/or
- How long-term conservation can benefit from transnational collaboration. The award may also cover cooperation between administrative regions within a country, cooperation between different biogeographical regions, or between marine and land sites.
Dont miss this opportunity: the deadline for receiving applications is 18 February 2014!
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Article 6 of the Habitats Directive provides a valuable and efficient legislative tool for ensuring the right b