This Award aims to bring the success of the Natura 2000 network to the public’s attention and to demonstrate its importance for protecting biodiversity across Europe. Awards are given in five categories for excellence in the management and promotion of the network and its objectives.
Winners from the five categories will be invited to a high-level ceremony in Brussels, where they will receive a trophy, along with a small financial contribution to help support future conservation efforts.
All travel expenses to attend the ceremony will be met by the Commission.
In addition, winners will receive logistical and financial support to help organise local promotional events in their home countries, with the presence of high level representatives from the Commission, and will be invited to write a short article on how they spent the prize money, which will be published on the Award's website.
Natura 2000 is an EU wide 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.
The Natura 2000 Award aims to:
- Recognise excellence in the management of Natura 2000 sites and conservation achievements.
- Showcase the added value of the network for local economies.
- Increase public awareness about Europe's valuable natural heritage.
Any organisations directly involved in Natura 2000 including public and local authorities, businesses, NGOs, land owners, educational institutions and individuals are eligible to apply.
Applications by multiple applicants are allowed, but one of the applicants must be designated as the lead.
Applications must be submitted using the online application form which is available on the “How to apply” page of the European Natura 2000 Award website.
Applications can be in any official EU language, with the exception of Gaelic and Maltese.