Get to know the winners of the Natura 2000 Awards 2020!
On October 14 2020, in an online Ceremony, the European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, presented the 5th edition of the European Natura 2000 Award Ceremony with the following words:
The COVID pandemics has brought to light the link between healthy, resilient societies and keeping our natural environment in good condition. This year’s winners demonstrate that investing time, energy and resources into nature protection brings big rewards for nature but also for us. They show how conservationists, farmers, foresters, local communities, infrastructure companies and authorities can work together to deliver tangible results for nature and people. These are the models of cooperation and solutions that need to be scaled up if we are to deliver on the commitments of the EU Biodiversity Strategy.
During 2019, 79 eligible applications were presented from all across Europe. All the applications were independently evaluated and, from them, 27 finalists were selected for the final round. From them, a dedicated jury decided the winners of the Awards in each category and presented them during the Ceremony.
An the winners are…
In the COMMUNICATION category, the Award went for…
- Eau la la!!! Eco-tips for sea and shore! – France, implemented by Lannion-Trégor Communauté, Guingamp-Paimpol Agglomération and PETR du Pays de Guingamp.
In the SOCIO-ECONOMIC BENEFITS category, the Award went for…
- Pro-Biodiversidad: Shepherds as biodiversity conservators in Natura 2000 – Spain, led by the Fundación para la Conservación del Quebrantahuesos with the collaboration of local farmers.
In the CONSERVATION category, the Award went for…
- Using underwater inventories for the conservation of marine areas in Finland – Finland, led by the Ministry of the Environment and the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE).
In the RECONCILING INTERESTS/ PERCEPTIONS category, the Award went for…
- Ten keys to co-ownership for nature projects – Belgium, implemented in Belgium by the Agentschap voor Natuur en Bos, De Vlaamse Waterweg, Gemeente Kruibeke and vzw Kruibeeks Natuurbehoud.
In the CROSS-BORDER COOPERATION AND NETWORKING category, the Award went for…
- Joint efforts for safe and wildlife-friendly transportation networks in the Carpathians – Czech Republic, led by the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic (EUROPARC Member, please double check and comment on that), with partners in Romania, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Ukraine.
And finally, the European Citizen’s Award, which is granted based on a public voting that took place from June to September 2020, was announced. For this award, a total of almost 45,000 votes were casted within the finalists, regardless of the category they were included in, and as a result, the prestigious EUROPEAN CITIZEN’S AWARD went for…
- Partnership for protection of Bulgarian old-growth forests in Natura 2000 – Bulgaria, led by the Executive Forest Agency (EFA), the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Bulgaria, WWF Bulgaria, the Association of Parks in Bulgaria and the Balkani Wildlife Society. This project helped to reconcile conflicting interests over the designation of forest-related Natura 2000 sites.
EUROPARC and the European Natura 2000 Awards
For several editions, EUROPARC has been actively supporting the promotion of the Natura 2000 Awards through dedicated newsletters and announcements in Conferences and events. In this regard, we are pleased to contribute to raise awareness on the importance tha the Natura 2000 Network has for the conservation of our natural spaces in Europe, and to bring the recognition to those that work the most in doing so.
On the other hand, EUROPARC members are often present among the applicants and, in this edition, we are delighted to know that one of our members was Awarded: the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic for the project Joint efforts for safe and wildlife-friendly transportation networks in the Carpathians (Cross-border Cooperation and networking category).
About the European Natura 2000 Award
The European Natura 2000 Award was first launched in 2014 and is granted every two years with the objective of raising awareness about the benefits of Natura 2000 and the importance of biodiversity at EU, Member State and local level. It provides an excellent opportunity to promote your work, network and exchange experiences with EU policy makers and other applicants.
Anyone directly involved in Natura 2000 – businesses, authorities, NGOs, volunteers, land owners, educational institutions or individuals – can apply for an Award. By doing so, your efforts to help protect Europe’s most valuable species and habitats will be presented to a wide audience and will help raise the visibility of your activities across the EU. Showcasing your success will also provide inspiration for others who manage and promote Natura 2000 sites.
The Natura 2000 Award recognises good practice in Natura 2000 sites in five different categories:
- Socio-Economic Benefits;
- Reconciling Interests / Perceptions;
- Cross-Border Cooperation and Networking.
As well as a European Citizens’ Award, which provides the public with an opportunity to vote for its favourite achievement. The application receiving the highest number of public votes will win the prestigious European Citizens’ Award.
What is next?
The Natura 2000 Award 2022 is expected to call for applications at mid 2021. More information will follow soon on EUROPARC news and at theNatura 2000 Award website of the European Union.
Stay tuned for the 6th edition of the Natura 2000 Award!