Application Deadline: 30 September 2019
The Award is open to any organisation or person involved in Natura 2000, including public and local authorities, businesses, NGOs, land owners, educational institutions and individuals. The application period runs from today until 30 September. The Award Ceremony will take place around 21 May 2020, next year’s Natura 2000 Day. The Award is given out in six categories: Conservation; Socio-Economic Benefits; Communication; Reconciling Interests/Perceptions and Cross-Border Cooperation and Networking as well as a European Citizens’ Award. Introduced for the first time in 2015, the Citizens’ Award provides the general public with an opportunity to vote for their favourite project. So far over 100 000 votes were cast between 2015 and 2018.
About Natura 2000
Natura 2000 is the European Union network of protected areas. It consists of an enormous variety of different sites across the continent, aiming to assure the long-term survival of Europe’s most valuable and threatened species, safeguarding them for future generations. It provides a wide range of products and services beneficial to society and the economy.
The Natura 2000 network is founded on two pioneering pieces of EU legislation – the 1979 Birds Directive and the 1992 Habitats Directive – and plays an essential role in halting biodiversity loss in the EU. Today the network, one of the EU’s outstanding achievements, consists of over 27 500 terrestrial and marine sites, covering around 18.6 % of Europe’s land and over 9.5 % of the surrounding seas, across nine biogeographic regions.
The Natura 2000 network works to ensure the long-term survival of Europe’s most valuable and threatened species and habitats, and is the centrepiece of the EU’s nature and biodiversity policy. It is currently made up of over 27,800 sites. In total, it covers almost a fifth of Europe’s land area and almost 10% of the EU marine areas, maksee moring it the largest coordinated network of conservation areas anywhere in the world.
Yet, despite its scale and the wealth of benefits it provides, many Europeans have still not heard of Natura 2000. This is why, in 2014, the European Commission launched the annual European Natura 2000 Award. The aim of the award is to demonstrate what the network is, what it does to preserve Europe’s biodiversity, and how it benefits us all.
How does the Natura 2000 Award work?
Any organisation or individual can apply for an Award, so long as their work is directly linked to one or more Natura 2000 sites. Applicants must fill in a simple online application form and submit it before the deadline on 30 September 2019.
More information on the application process.
All eligible applications are assessed by an independent team of evaluators, resulting in a list of finalists (see more information about the evaluation process). A high-level Jury will decide on five winners, one for each of the categories. From the finalists, the public will also choose their winner: the Citizens’ Award. In the 2018 Award, over 50,000 citizens voted!
All finalists are invited to the Award Ceremony in Brussels, to be held in May 2020, and the six winners will receive a trophy and a small financial prize. Winners will also receive financial support to organize a promotional event in their country to promote their win and to raise awareness about their achievements on a local and national level.
So why not apply now and get the recognition you deserve!
For more information: