THE NATURA 2000 NETWORK

What does Natura 2000 mean?

Natura 2000 is the ecological network of the European Union. Natura 2000 is a homogenous European ecological system created by the EU to ensure the conservation of biodiversity by protecting natural habitats of community importance, and their flora and fauna, and to contribute to sustaining or recovering their conservation status.

Which areas are included?

The Natura 2000 network includes areas assigned by the two conservation directives of the European Union – the special bird protection areas from the Birds Directive of 1979 (79/409/EGK), and the protected areas from the Habitats Directive of 1992 (43/92/EGK).

What is the Birds Directive?

The main aim of the Birds Directive is to protect the native birds of the member countries. Special Protection Areas (SPAs) are those areas, which are home to great numbers of resident or migratory bird species listed in Appendix 1, or which include wetlands of international importance for waterbirds.

What is the Habitats Directive?

The most important goals of the Habitats Directive are to protect biodiversity, and to ensure the long-term survival of species and habitats by keeping or increasing their natural range. The directive specifies the establishment of the European Natura 2000, which includes areas assigned by the Birds Directive. Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) are assigned to protect natural habitats of community importance in Appendix 1 (which are in danger of disappearance, or have a small range, or have special characteristics within a given biogeographic region), and fauna and flora species of community importance in Appendix 2 (endangered, vulnerable, rare or endemic). Priority is given those habitats or species, whose survival can only be ensured by immediate action.

Further information: www.natura.2000.hu