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What is European Ecological Network Natura 2000?

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The main focus of the European Ecological Network Natura 2000 is the conservation of natural habitats including special or specific plants and animals with European community importance.

The initiative took place due to the conventional provisions adopted in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 on biological Diversity.

Two important legal acts fall under the Natura 2000 network: The European Parliament act 2009/147/EC in 2009 acted on the wild bird’s conservation and in 1992, the directive council 92/43/EEC for the conservation of natural habitats and wild fauna and flora.

The purpose of the network is connected by ecological corridors as an opportunity to migrate, disperse, and exchange of genetic pool of species.

The aim of the biodiversity Natura network 2000 is the protection of the most valuable and rarest nature elements. The aim is also to maintain the common natural systems characteristics for biogeographical regions such as Alpine, Atlantic, and Continental.

The European Network Natura 2000 sites include the following factors for the countries in European Union:-

  1. Special Protection Areas (SPAs)- the areas are designated as per the European Union Law to protect the wild bird’s population of more different types of species with long-living conditions.
  2. Special Areas of Conservation (SACs)- the areas are designated as per the European Union Law to permanently protect the natural habitats or endangered species of populations in plants and animals. The restoration of favorable conservation in natural habitats or conservation species staus are also included.

As per the Natura 2000, every member state of the European Commission in its territory is eligible to conserve an area as per nature, species, and habitat requirements of the Habitats Directive.

Around 138 million ha falls under the Natura 2000 network in 2018. 18% of the EU area with 78 million ha land and 55 million ha sea areas in Europe. Bird areas cover 12.5% of the EU area and 13.8% for habitat area.

The most number of Natura 2000 sites are in Slovenia, Croatia, and Bulgaria. The smallest site of Natura 2000 is in Denmark, the UK, and Latvia. The highest proportion for the special protection areas of birds is in Croatia and the lowest in Malta.

Slovenia is accounted with highest in special areas of conservation and the lowest is in the United Kingdom.

The top 10 countries in the EU with large areas in European Ecological Network Natura 2000 are:- Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Cyprus, Spain, Greece, Luxembourg, Romania, and Hungary.  

Source:- Environment in Poland

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