May 21st is the European day of the ecological network “Natura 2000”

21 May, 2021 | 10:50

Today - May 21st, we celebrate the European Day of the ecological network “Natura 2000”.

The aim of the network is to ensure the long-term protection and conservation of the most important and valuable animal species and habitats in Europe, the existence of which is of paramount importance to human health, society, and the economy. “Natura 2000” provides a number of environmental benefits, while also having a number of vital social and economic functions. Some 4.4 million jobs in the EU depend directly on the use of the resources of sustainable natural ecosystems, a significant proportion of which are covered by “Natura 2000” protected areas. The financial benefits stemming from the network itself are estimated to be between 200 billion and 300 billion euro a year.

Due to the COVID-19 situation in Europe, the day will be celebrated on social media. If you want to join the campaign, enter #Natura2000 or #Natura2000Day in the search box of the respective browser.

You can also visit the nearest “Natura 2000” protected area, where you can see and learn more about the species and natural habitats that occur in it, and use # Natura2000Day to share your experience.

Also visit the close by Natura 2000 site and learn more about the species and habitats the network protects.

On 21st May 1992 the EU Habitats Directive was adopted and the LIFE program was approved. This directive, together with the Birds Directive (adopted in 1979), created the network of protected areas in the EU called “Natura 2000”. Today, the network covers 26,918 protected areas in the EU on land and sea, which successfully contribute to the preservation of Europe's unique natural heritage.

To mark the establishment of the “Natura 2000” network and to honor the efforts by all those who contributed to its creation, a special Declaration signed in 2017 by the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Presidency of the Council of the EU, and The Committee of the Regions declared 21st May the European Day of “Natura 2000”.