In a nutshell

Natura 2000 is a positive contribution to the community, because it benefits people, nature and local economy. It is a network of nature areas in Europe, covering 18% of the land area and 6% of its waters. It is the largest coordinated network of protected areas in the world, offering a safe space to Europe’s most valuable and threatened species and habitats.


European policy

More than thirty years ago, the European Union developed two important policies to protect nature: the Birds (1979) and Habitats (1992) Directives. These Directives contain lists of animal and plant species and specific nature areas that require protection, to preserve them for future generations. Together these policies form the Natura 2000 network. It stretches across 28 European countries.


Nature 2000: for nature and people

Natura 2000 is not a system of strict nature reserves from which all human activities are excluded. While it includes strictly protected nature reserves, most of the land remains privately owned. The approach to conservation and sustainable use of the Natura 2000 areas largely centers on people working with nature rather than against it. All areas should be managed in a sustainable manner, both ecologically and economically. The Natura 2000 Award, a yearly competition, awards excellence in the management of Natura 2000 sites and conservation achievements, showcasing the added value of the network for local economies.



Reference: this text is based on information provided by the European Commission.



Natura 2000 is the largest network of protected areas in the world. People living in and around Natura 2000 areas utilise these for a variety of economic activities. Designation of Natura 2000 areas often creates additional restrictions though, sometimes leading people to perceive Natura 2000 as a burden. One solution to this problem is to make products coming from Natura 2000 areas better known and more appealing to the public and increase awareness of the benefits these products provide for nature and for people working in Natura 2000 areas.

This website is part of a Natura 2000 branding campaign, stressing the benefits Natura 2000 can provide to local economies. It showcases products produced in Natura 2000 areas accompanied by inspiring background stories about the collaborations and socio-economic benefits related to those products. By sharing these successful and positive stories the campaign aims to trigger new partnerships between site managers, farmers and local businesses, and improve perceptions of and increase support for the Natura 2000 network.

Natura 2000 branding benefits people, nature and local economy