Applications to the European Natura 2000 Award 2024 are open now! The deadline for submission is the 29 September 2023!
The Natura 2000 Award provides a unique opportunity to showcase nature conservation success stories. The Award celebrates excellence in the management of Natura 2000 sites in five categories:
- Conservation on land
- Marne conservation
- Working together for nature
- Cross-border cooperation
In addition there is also European Citizens’ Award. This is not a category but a recognition by the public of its favourite finalist. The finalists from all categories are automatically entered into a public vote and the finalist with the highest number of votes wins the coveted Citizens’ Award.
The Marine conservation category is aimed at conservation activities on marine or coastal sites that improved the conservation status of marine or coastal species or habitats protected on the site(s) in question. Applications submitted under this category would typically focus on best-practices or particularly successful conservation achievements.
The Communication category is aimed at any kind of communication or promotional activities that explicitly focus on raising awareness or bringing lasting positive change in attitudes or behaviour towards Natura 2000. They can be large-scale, or small-scale actions, and their target audiences can be specific or general.
Working together for nature
The Working together for nature category is aimed at applications featuring a concrete positive impact on Natura 2000 through the creation of social or economic benefits for local people or communities, and / or through the resolution of conflicts bringing together stakeholders who were not originally inclined to work together.
The Cross-border cooperation category is aimed at any collaborative endeavours that positively benefit Natura 2000. These collaborations can be between different partners coming together over a common theme or problem, or they can be true cross-border collaborations across institutional, regional or national borders. They must show a concrete impact on at least one Natura 2000 site.
How to apply?
Any public or private organisations involved in managing Natura 2000 sites across the European Union can apply – from national authorities and environmental NGOs, to businesses, farmers, hunters and landowners, education institutions to media organisations, even individuals.
European Wilderness Society is running number of international projects, including those under LIFE and HORIZON programmes, which are dealing with Natura 2000 sites. They can become good candidates for the Award.