NATURA 2000 NETWORK: What is it and Protected Spaces

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"Activate your true wealth." It is the slogan chosen by the Natura 2000 Network to motivate and educate more and more people to join in its incredible and recognized environmental work. Becoming guardians of the spaces that generate life is a challenge that involves effort, enthusiasm, conviction and a great desire to make the dream of the Natura 2000 Network possible: to protect in the long term the natural habitats and the species of flora and fauna that they fill the landscapes of the European Union with life. These areas of immense natural wealth, complex ecosystems and unique species of living beings, inhabit and coexist in the various areas protected by the Natura 2000 Network.

If you want to find out about the Natura 2000 Network: what it is and protected areas, don't miss this interesting article by Green Ecologist.

What is the Natura 2000 Network

The Natura 2000 Network is a European project conceived in 1992 as a ecological network of biodiversity conservation areas. In it, different Special Conservation Zones (ZEC) are established according to the Habitats Directive and Special Protection Zones for Birds (ZEPA).

The objective of the Natura 2000 Network It is to ensure the survival, in the short and long term, of the different species of living beings and types of habitats that exist in Europe, thus helping to stop the catastrophic loss of biodiversity that is increasing year after year.

In this way, the European project Red Natura 2000 constitutes the main engine and instrument for the nature preservation in many of the countries that make up the European Union. For this, the different regional, community and state administrations of each European country are in constant communication, verifying and expanding the strategies and conservation measures that are being taken from the Natura 2000 Network project.

In the next sections we will detail which are the areas protected by these conservation strategies of this ecological network of biodiversity protection zones, as well as some more characteristics of this necessary and important European environmental project.


Areas protected by the Natura 2000 Network

With more than 27,000 protected areas in Europe, the Natura 2000 Network plays one of the most relevant roles in terms of conservation and protection of nature, not only at the European level, but at the global level.

The "Habitats Directive" is in charge of identifying these habitats and species of flora and fauna, considered to be part of the areas protected by the Natura 2000 Network. A total of 231 types of habitats are included in this directive. Each and every one of them meet the following requirements and characteristics:

  • They are natural habitats threatened by the danger of disappearance in the territory of the European Union (EU), and their conservation is a special responsibility for the EU.
  • These habitats are threatened with disappearance in their natural range, or the natural range is reduced due to regression or any type of restriction.
  • The habitats that will correspond to protected areas of the Natura 2000 Network must constitute representative examples of one or more of the biogeographic regions located within the European Union.
  • These habitats can be natural or semi-natural, terrestrial or aquatic; always characterized by its great community interest within the territory of the different EU Member States.

In Spain, 118 types of habitats (51% of the total) are officially recognized as protected areas by the Natura 2000 Network, and correspond to the Alpine, Atlantic, Macaronesian and Mediterranean terrestrial biogeographic regions, as well as the Atlantic marine regions, Macaronesia and Mediterranean.

In this other Green Ecologist article you can learn more about The importance of nature reserves and protected areas.

European Day of the Natura 2000 Network: when it is celebrated and why

In 2022, the Natura 2000 Network marked 25 years since its creation and in commemoration of its 25th anniversary, the European Commission declared the celebration of the May 21th What European Day of the Natura 2000 Network.

On this day, both political, scientific and business entities, as well as the local population of the European countries that are members of the Natura 2000 Network, celebrate the importance of each and every one of the gestures and actions that recall the importance of the conservation of these protected areas.

The Natura 2000 Network was created on May 21, 1992, with the purpose of achieving the different objectives that had been established by the Convention on Biological Diversity, approved at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in that same year 1992. Since then, the work of the Natura 2000 Network in the field of conservation of natural habitats of wild fauna and flora of the European territory, has allowed to raise awareness among the inhabitants and tourists of each and every one of the countries participating in the project.

If you want to read more articles similar to Natura 2000 Network: what it is and protected areasWe recommend that you enter our category of Projects, associations and NGOs.

  • EFE Drafting Team: Green (12/12/2017) Natura 2000 Network, much more than a powerful conservation engine. By Karmenu Vella. EFE Agency: Green.
  • Casado, R. (12/21/2017) An X-ray of the Natura 2000 Network through 50 authors and 250 photographs. EFE Agency: Green.
  • Yuste, C. (05/21/2019) Spain joins the celebration of the European day of the Natura 2000 Network for the seventh year. EFE Agency: Green.
  • Protected areas Natura 2000 Network. Board of Andalusia, Ministry of Agriculture, livestock, fishing and sustainable development.
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