Revised guidance on managing protected Natura 2000 areas

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Revised guidance on managing protected Natura 2000 areasThe European Commission has published an updated guidance for Member States’ authorities, stakeholders and EU citizens on how to conserve and manage Natura 2000 network of protected areas.

This has been carried out as part of the EU Action Plan for Nature, People and the Economy

EU Commissioner for Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Karmenu Vella said, “with today’s updated guidance document we’re helping to ensure that EU nature laws deliver for nature, people and the economy.”

“The sound management of the Natura 2000 sites is essential for the maintenance and enhancement of our European biodiversity, ecosystems and the services they provide on which some 4.4 million jobs in the EU are directly dependent,” he added.

Commissioner Vella concluded, “I trust that this document will be of great use for the management of Natura 2000 sites, helping to better reconcile nature protection with different economic activities for the broader benefit of society.”

Natura 2000 established under the EU’s Birds Directive and Habitats Directive is a EU-wide network of over 27 500 terrestrial and marine sites covering more than 18 % of land area and is the centrepiece of the EU’s nature and biodiversity policy.

While national and regional authorities are primarily responsible for the implementation of EU nature legislation, today’s guidance provides added clarity to help Member States to improve application of provisions around permitting procedures (Article 6 of the Habitats Directive).

Through clear and accessible explanations, the Commission said that it anticipates to reduce administrative burdens, streamline procedures across Member States, and enhance overall implementation on the ground for the benefit of nature, people and the economy.

The action plan is available for download by clicking here.

Photograph by Alain Salvary

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