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We Love Natura 2000

Support our work on Natura 2000!

The Iberian lynx is the world’s most endangered wild cat species. In 2002, only 100 cats remained in the wild. However, the implementation of the Habitat Directive has seen its population increase to 404 lynxes living in the wild!

In the last century, dozens of animals suffered a severe decline, threatening many nations to lose iconic species. Protecting the wildlife is part of the European Union commitment to halt biodiversity loss by 2020. The Natura 2000 network ensures the protection of the brown bear, gray wolf, Eurasian lynx, vipers, edelweiss and falcons to name a few.

Help us to support Nature: write us to become a Friend of Natura 2000 and tell us why you love it. Scroll down to learn more.

What is Natura 2000?

Natura 2000 is the largest network of protected areas in the world. It protects over a thousand European species and 220 habitats, thus safeguarding and preserving the beauty of Europe’s natural heritage. It is based on two pieces of legislation, the Habitats Directive and Birds Directive.

See more movies at the bottom of the website!

Natura 2000 loves us!

But our love for Natura 2000 is not unrequited.

Natura 2000 is crucial to human well-being – both physical and mental. It protects a range of ecosystem services which enable us to breath clean air, drink fresh water and produce our food. Even more than that, it connects us to nature, and to the peace, calm and beauty that comes with it.

Natura 2000 benefits society and the economy, providing us with a significant number of services and advantages.

The estimated expenditure of visitors to Natura 2000 sites was €50–85 billion per year in 2006. This supports between 4.5 and 8 million full-time jobs. Protected areas provide additional benefits to the regional and local economy, by attracting inward investment and enhancing local quality of life. Natura 2000 has also considerable effects on food security. The creation of Marine Protected Areas prevents over-fishing and ensures healthy fish production for millions of Europeans, providing over €1.4 billion annually. In addition, the preservation of wetlands, grasslands or forests contributes to climate change mitigation. 9.6 billion tonnes of carbon are currently stored by Natura 2000 sites, providing between €600 and €1,130 billion (2010 stock value). Check out more in our socio-economic benefits of Natura 2000 factsheet!

Natura 2000 is beneficial to all of us! Here are some examples of fruitful cooperation between different sectors (public, private, civil…) that lead not only to naturepreservation, but also to providing new jobs and generating profit:

Why do we love Natura 2000?

Natura 2000 is crucial to human well-being – both physical and mental. It protects a range of ecosystem services which enable us to breath clean air, drink fresh water and produce our food. Even more than that, it connects us to nature, and to the peace, calm and beauty that comes with it.

Natura 2000 can help you with…

What CEEweb does to protect Natura 2000?

For 22 years We Act for Nature!

For the past 5 years, CEEweb has been organising the Green-Go Short Film Contest and the Go-Wild Photo Contest to raise awareness of the Natura 2000 Network and its role and importance. We operate a Natura 2000 Working Group for experts and work with ECNC and its consortium of partners to support the implementation and development of the European Commission’s Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process.’ For several years we work with our members for better management of the Network in Central and Eastern Europe, organizing workshops for managers, preparing publications, showcasing good case studies. We have been actively advocating for not opening the Nature Directives during Fitness Check process. In May we’ve sent a letter to President Juncker and Commissioners supporting Natura 2000 and in November to all Commissioners and MEPs. We have prepared Fact Sheet “The socio-economic benefits of Natura 2000 in Central and Eastern Europe.” As now, Natura 2000 directives are promised to be upheld, we will focus on their implementation.

Natura 2000 in Central and Eastern Europe: how we can make it work for nature, people and the economy?

A designation of Natura 2000 sites in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries started before the EU enlargement in 2004 and continued ever since. Today, Natura 2000 in 11 CEE countries covers an area of 285 360 km , the equivalent of 24% of all sites in all the 28 Member States.

To better implement Natura 2000 the European Commission prepared the action plan for nature, people, and the economy.

We have compiled 5 country-specific and one regional fact sheet about socio-economic benefits of Natura 2000, the main identified challenges and actions that should be taken as a priority by CEE member states in order to overcome them
Read here: Natura 2000 in Central and Eastern Europe, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria.

What can you do?

Become a Friend of Natura 2000

If you are benefiting from Natura 2000 and/or would like to support it, we will be happy to hear from you. Tell us how you benefit from Natura 2000 network, how your business is profiting from sustainable nature use, what Natura 2000 changed in your life? In return, we can channel your message through this campaign and get your voice heard on the European level, promote your Natura 2000 products.

Friends of Natura 2000, click to see their story!

Angelika Árvay
Szepsi Csombor Márton
Sezer Koyuncu
Nikolay Tabakov
Svetla Damyanova
Vojtěch Študent
David Mlejnek
Under the Balkan Mountains Farm
Cecylia Malik
Ján Kukuča
Tuomas & Jussi
Willy Prager
Iva Sveshtarova
Petya Stoykova
Jiří Míka
Austrian Horticultural Society
Péter Pázmándi
Franz Huschka
Franz Huschka
Desislava Alexova
Aleksander Ivanov
Vasilena Radeva
Martin Hutař
Katy Carr
Hans Hofland
Zdenko Kusenda
Áron Less
Áron Less
Vladimir Mihajlov
Martin Potanec
Lenka Tomanová
WE – Young People See Nature
Andrea Vigh

Act Naturally: Shoot a Short Film about European nature and its largest protected network, Natura 2000!

Monk seals, once abundant in the waters of Greece, have less than 500 individuals. The playful European mink is now critically endangered. These and other 1200 species’ only stronghold is the largest network of protected areas in the world, the Natura 2000 network. These areas are all around you! Go out, experience Europe’s natural wonders and show it to the world that it is worth protecting nature! For us, for our children!                          

We expect films that raise awareness about a specific problem or show a solution.

You can find more information about the short film contest and the application process from  Green-Go Short Film Contest

Get inspired!

Watch the Green-Go Promo submitted to CEEweb’s Green Go Short Film Contest and get inspired!

In the 2016 edition, the winning short film of the Act Naturally category, the animation Too Cool to Be Killed by Brigitta Katyina, features four endangered animals in Europe and shows their beauty, energy and certain timelessness, but also their vulnerability because, in author’s words, the mankind is their main threat: “My origami textures illustrate that they are as weak as paper” – said Brigitta. Bulgarian actress ad the jury member Vasilena Radeva said that the end of the film was especially touching and that it delivered a strong message.:


Movie time!

More about Natura 2000, it’s benefits – ecosystem services and biodiversity. Have some popcorn and enjoy!

Contact us:

Orsolya Nyárai
Biodiversity Policy Officer (Natura 2000 and Water Framework Directive)





Eurosite is working to create a Europe where nature is cared for, protected, restored and valued by all. We do this by providing practitioners with opportunities to network and exchange experience on practical nature management. We are a network of site managers, non-governmental and governmental organisations, and individuals and organisations committed to our vision. Our members are based across Europe – from the Atlantic islands to the Black Sea; and from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean. Nature knows no boundaries: we believe the future protection and conservation of Europe’s nature will only be achieved through international cooperation.

   This work is generously supported by the European Commission.