Natura 2000 Network


   Natura 2000 is the centrepiece of EU nature & biodiversity policy. It is an EUwide network of nature protection areas established under the 1992 Habitats Directive. The aim of the network is to assure the long-term survival of Europe's most valuable and threatened species and habitats. It is comprised of Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) designated by Member States under the Habitats Directive, and also incorporates Special Protection Areas (SPAs) which they designate under the 1979 Birds Directive. Natura 2000 is not a system of strict nature reserves where all human activities are excluded. Whereas the network will certainly include nature reserves most of the land is likely to continue to be privately owned and the emphasis will be on ensuring that future management is sustainable, both ecologically and economically.The establishment of this network of protected areas also fulfils a Community obligation under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. Natura 2000 applies to Birds Sites and to Habitats Sites, which are divided into biogeographical regions. It also applies to the marine environment.


   The Natura 2000 network is created by the "Habitats Directive" in order to achieve the goals set by the Convention on Biological Diversity adopted at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. In principle, Member States should select natural sites within its territory that were to form the network and keep in June 1995 a national list of sites proposed for the formation of the Natura 2000 network. In June 1998, had completed the second phase of the establishment of Natura 2000, the final selection of sites of Community Importance (SCI), which is then integrated into the Natura 2000 network under the final designation of SACs. Thus, an SCI is one that, in the biogeographical region or regions to which it belongs, contributes significantly to maintaining or restoring natural habitat type or a wild species present in that area, in a favorable condition and can contribute significantly to the coherence of Natura 2000 and / or maintenance of biological diversity in the biogeographic region or regions concerned. A SAC is a SCI designated by Member States through a statutory, administrative or contractual, which apply the conservation measures necessary to maintain or restore, at favorable conservation status of habitats and natutrales / or populations of species for which the site is designated. SPAs are those most suitable territories in number and size for the conservation of wild bird species.
   The designation of SACs is done in three stages. According to the criteria set out in the annexes, each Member State prepared a list of places with natural habitats and species of fauna and flora. From these national lists in accordance with Member States, the Commission drew up a list of SCI for each of the nine biogeographic regions of the EU (the Alpine region, the Atlantic region, the Black Sea region, the boreal region , the mainland, the Macaronesian region, the Mediterranean, the Pannonian region and steppe region). Within a maximum of six years after the selection of a site such as SCI, the Member State concerned must designate the site as SACs.
   In the event that the Commission considers that a place with a natural habitat type or priority species has been listed on a national list, the Directive provides that the launching of a conciliation procedure between the Member State concerned and Commission. If conciliation does not give satisfactory results, the Commission may propose to the Council to select the site as a site of Community importance.
   In the SAC, the Member States take all necessary measures to ensure conservation of habitats and prevent their deterioration, and significant changes affecting the species. The Directive provides for co-financing of conservation measures by the Community. It is also the responsibility of Member States:
1. Encourage the management of landscape elements they consider essential for the migration distribution and genetic exchange of wild species.  
2. Establish systems particularly strict protection for certain endangered plant and animal species (Annex IV) and explore the desirability of reintroducing those species in their territory.
3. Prohibit the use of indiscriminate means of collection, capture and killing of certain animal and plant species (Annex V).
   Every six years, Member States report on measures taken to implement the Directive and the Commission prepares a summary report from these reports. Have amended the Annexes to this Directive to take into account the biological diversity of the countries that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007. Enlargement has brought new challenges for biodiversity and new elements, including three new biogeographic zones (the Black Sea region, the Pannonian region and steppe region).
   The Natura 2000 network now represents about 18% of the land territory of the EU.



Natura 2000 Network in Europe



Conservation of habitat and species, without excluding people 


The Natura 2000 network ensures the maintenance or restoration of habitats and wild fauna and flora of Community interest, as well as the implementation of a monitoring system to confirm the favorable conservation status. Far from excluding human activities, most of the network consists of private surface. The Natura 2000 network includes the protection of all ecosystems of the European Union, preserving diverse animal and plant species.




Natura 2000 Network in Spain


Spain is the European country with more land included in the Natura 2000 network, due to its great biodiversity of habitat and species. According to the General Directorate for Biodiversity, Spain contributes about a quarter of the SACs and SPAs future of all Member States. The proposed LIC reach 1,301, with a total area, both land and sea, of 11,943,736 hectares. According to region, Andalucia is the most LIC provides, with 192, also featuring 76 of the 105 major habitat of the Mediterranean region of Europe, hosting space and unique animal species, such as the Iberian lynx and the wolf and several species of endemic flora.




Natura 2000 Network in Andalusia


   Directive 92/43/EEC was transposed into national law by Royal Decree 1997/1995, which is attributed to the Autonomous Communities the designation of sites and the declaration of the ZEC. Andalusia is the Spanish community with the largest area covered by the Natura 2000 network, with nearly three million hectares covered by this network of protected natural areas of the European Union. The surface has with respect to the national territory and its geographical location and diversity of biotopes existing in it, will make this a high number of species and habitats, which is a major concern to the region from the point of view of biodiversity. Nearly 21% of the autonomous region is occupied by habitats listed in the Directive and more than a third of this percentage corresponds to unique habitats of it (it has been considered as such when its range in Andalucia has 95% or more) .


   The number of species of fauna and flora present in Andalusia, set out in Annex II of the Habitats Directive, rises to 96, representing 56% of all species present therein in the Spanish Mediterranean region, nearly double Autonomous any other representation in the same biogeographical region.



Natura 2000 Network in Andalusia



Latest news about Natura 2000 Network.

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