Financing Natura 2000 – Guidance Handbook for EU funding opportunities in 2014-2020

Financing Natura 2000 handbook

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The Guidance Handbook was written to give actors who are directly involved or linked with Natura 2000 sites an overview of the applicable EU funding opportunities currently available.

Whom is it for?

Primarily the information addresses local and regional authorities responsible for financing Natura 2000 sites, but beyond it gives some creative input on how other stakeholders related to Natura 2000 (e.g. landowners, farmers, fishermen, public administrations, NGOs, SMEs, research bodies, educational bodies, etc.) can make use of EU funding opportunities as well.

To give you an idea – the Handbook aims to:

  • Guide regional and national level authorities in planning the use of EU funds.
  • Provide references for Natura 2000 management plan development and for future review of national and regional programmes.
  • Support the operational level in understanding the different fund-specific regulations and gives practical tips for better integration of Natura 2000 in Operational Programmes (OPs)
  • Facilitate achievement and maintenance of consistency between Prioritised Action Frameworks (PAFs) and the national and regional Operational Programmes (OPs).
  • Simplify the identification of synergy potentials between the individual EU funds and helps avoiding duplication and overlaps.
  • Inspire win-win ideas by showcasing how financing Natura 2000 can be linked to the funding of larger regional projects and that way contributes to broader socio-economic benefits.
  • Highlight how non-EU funding and EU co-funding can be combined to ensure the full Natura 2000 network can be financially supported. (As the EU budget is reduced and the competition has increased.)

Which funds are covered?

The main focus of the Handbook are EU funds managed at national and regional level – the financial instruments analysed in detail are:

  • Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (LIFE)
  • European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)
  • European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)
  • European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
  • European Social Fund (ESF)
  • Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (Horizon 2020)

As the Handbook provides valuable input for a broad range of stakeholders make sure you have a glimpse at it – you might find some opportunities and get new ideas for funding your projects. A full pdf version of the Guidance Handbook is available to you for download and consists of:

Part I: Funding opportunities in 2014-2020

Part II: Analysis of Natura 2000 management measures eligible for financing in 2014-2020

(The handbook was prepared by WWF, IEEP, ICF GHK and commissioned by European Commission DG Environment in June 2014)