Benefits through branding

Natura 2000 is a network of nature areas, protected by European and national legislation. People and their (economic) activities are located in and around these areas, sometimes causing conflicts and leading people to perceive Natura 2000 as a burden. This is not necessary. Working with nature is beneficial!

This website shows that products coming from Natura 2000 areas have an appealing value and – if produced well – benefit people, nature and local economy.

Natura 2000 branding:

  • provides a ‘green’ label that increases sales and revenue;
  • is an opportunity to work with unique cultivars and traditional or innovative production methods;
  • increases incentive to use sustainably sourced commodities and raw materials;
  • improves collaboration between nature managers, farmers and local business;
  • stands for a well-managed nature area that attracts many visitors;
  • can boost local economy, benefiting the region and local community;
  • helps increase awareness about the benefits of Natura 2000.


 “This is no longer a time when it’s the environment versus the economy. Today the environment is the economy.

Karmenu Vella
Natura 2000 Award welcoming speech
21 May 2015, Berlaymont, Brussels


Ecosystem services

Different organisations and institutes try to calculate how much society benefits (economically) from nature. These calculations are based on a concept called ecosystem services. An ecosystem consists of plants, animals, humans, microorganisms and the nonliving environment. Ecosystem services are the ‘services’ nature provides, like food and water; flood and disease control; spiritual, recreational, and cultural benefits; and nutrient cycling. Five Natura 2000 examples:

  1. Natura 2000 acts as a tool for security, reducing the damages caused by natural disasters such as droughts, floods and landslides. The economic losses from natural disasters amounted €163 billion from 1990 to 2010. Well-managed Natura 2000 areas can help reduce these costs.
  2. Nature is able to purify water. It has been estimated that the economic benefits of natural water purification are between €7 and €16 million per year and per European city.
  3. The preservation of wetlands, grasslands and forests contribute to climate change mitigation. 9,6 billion tonnes of carbon are stored by Natura 2000 sites, representing between €600 and €1,130 billion in total (2010 stock value).
  4. Each year a significant number of tourists come to visit and enjoy Natura 2000’s recreational activities while contributing to the support of their surrounding regional economies. Natura 2000 sites annually provide between €200 to €300 billion, hosting 1,2 to 2,2 billion visitor per day and generating between €5 and €9 billion recreational benefits.
  5. Natura 2000 supports between 4,5 and 8 million full time jobs.


Reference: this text is based on information provided by CEEweb for Biodiversity’s fact sheet: ‘The socio-economic benefits of Natura 2000 in Central and Eastern Europe’.



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