On the Natura 2000 Day, the European Commission launched the fifth edition of the European Natura 2000 Award. The Award honours outstanding nature conservation achievements connected to the EU Natura 2000 Network of protected areas and showcases the added value of the network for local economies.
The deadline for submitting applications to the European Natura 2000 Award is 30 September 2019. The winners will be announced at a high-level ceremony in Brussels in May 2020. Any entity involved in activities related to Natura 2000 can apply to one of the five Award categories:
- Socio-economic benefits
- Reconciling interests/perceptions
- Cross-border cooperation and networking
In addition, the high-profile EU Citizens’ Award goes to the application receiving the highest number of nominations through a public vote on the Award website.
Forests play an important role in the Natura 2000 network, with almost 50% of the network being covered by forest ecosystems and almost one quarter of the EU’s forests being covered by the Natura 2000 network.