European Natura 2000 Awards – Applications are open!

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The European Natura 2000 Award aims to raise 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 six different categories:

  • Communication;
  • Socio-Economic Benefits;
  • Conservation;
  • 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.

How to apply

It’s simple! Go to the award website and fill in your application form before the 30 September 2019. The website provides detailed information on the application process and offers guidance, tips and examples of how to present your achievements. A summary of each application will be published on the Award website for all to see.

The application form is not complicated and can be completed in all EU languages but it is important that all applicants, including those who have applied previously, read the application form and Guidance for applicants carefully in order to give the application its best chance. Small improvements have been made to the application form and Guidance since the last edition of the Award.

Read the Guidance for application.

Key dates for your diary are as follows:

  • 30 September 2019 – Deadline for submissions
  • March 2020 – Announcement of finalists and public vote
  • May 2020 – Award Ceremony in Brussels

As with the previous editions of the Award, the Award Secretariat provides a help desk for all applicants and potential applicants. Applicants are encouraged to use the on the website or e-mail with any inquiries or concerns about the application process. The e-mail address is:

Why to apply

Winning an Award has helped previous applicants, opening new horizons, allowing them to promote their activities on a much wider scale. Winners have particularly highlighted the benefits in terms of raising their profile with the governmental bodies and other stakeholders. For example, the Environmental Organization for Wildlife and Nature Callisto, Greece, winner of the 2018 Reconciling Interests Award said:

“Winning the Natura 2000 Award has had a great impact on the image and status of Callisto. Winning the Award is a great recognition for all the time, work and actions in Kastoria and has had a significant impact both on the external image of Callisto and for all of our experts. This recognition is also a helpful supporting argument for fundraising and asking for further support from Callisto’s friends.”

And the Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society – MME (BirdLife Hungary), Winner of the 2018 Conservation Award added:

Both the press release about winning the Award and the press conference at the local event resulted in a very high level of press coverage (100+ media reports), making it one of the most significant topics in the field of nature conservation in Hungary that year.”

Given the key role of member Protected Areas in the management of Natura 2000 network, we encourage all EUROPARC members to have their work acknowledged by applying for the Natura 2000 Award!