Get to know the Natura 2000 Award winners!
The winners of the European Natura 2000 Award were announced at a livestreamed Ceremony on the 14th October 2020. Get to know the winners!
Natura 2000 Award Ceremony
This year, the Natura 2000 Awards reached its 5th edition, and after a thoughtful revision of the 79 eligible applications from 26 countries, 27 finalists were selected for the final round. Among them were several EUROPARC members, such as:
- German Association for Nature Protection (NABU) – Gransee with the project Diving for conservation;
- The Thuringian Ministry of Environment, Energy and Conservation leading the project Network of Natura 2000 stations in Thuringia;
- Cascais Ambiente with the project Quinta do Pisão Nature Park.
After an external evaluation of each application was carried out, a dedicated jury had the difficult task to decide which of the applicants, clustered in five different categories, were the winners of the European Natura 2000 Awards.
This year, and following the format of many of the events that took place since the start of the COVID 19 pandemic, the Natura 2000 Award Ceremony was hosted online. However, the Ceremony did not lack any of the ingredients that an Award Ceremony has: nerves and excitement from the side of the participants, which were present through their screens and presented one by one from by the moderator Suyin Aerts, and a friendly environment and enthusiasm jointly created by the European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, and the Jury members that announced each of the winners:
In the COMMUNICATION category, the Award went to:
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 to:
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 to:
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 to:
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 to:
Joint efforts for safe and wildlife-friendly transportation networks in the Carpathians – Czech Republic, led by the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic, with partners in Romania, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Ukraine.
The leading institution, Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic, is a EUROPARC member.
The project is based on a multidisciplinary cooperation through cross-border networking to share experiences and best practices, and stimulate discussion amongst all relevant sectors in order to improve and develop safe and environmentally-friendly road and rail transport solutions.
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 among all the finalists, regardless of the category they were included in. As a result, the prestigious
EUROPEAN CITIZEN’S AWARD went to:
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.
About the Natura 2000 Awards
The Natura 2000 Awards was first launched in 2014 in order to recognise successful stories of conservation across the EU and raise awareness about one of Europe’s outstanding achievements – the Natura 2000 network of protected areas.