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09.01.2013 / Project - News

5th Thematic Booklet on Natura 2000 Management published

The fifth and last thematic booklet is dedicated to the management of Natura 2000 sites. After more than a decade of preparation to identify and designate Natura 2000 sites, the challenge now is to actually implement the necessary measures that will ensure the conservation and coherence of the Natura network and this requires political will for financial support.

The European Commission has proposed that the support for implementation of the Natura 2000 network should come from all available EU funds, of which agriculture and regional development could provide the biggest share. Therefore these two funding instruments could not only provide the biggest share of necessary funding for Natura 2000 but also contribute to the reform and long-term sustainability of agriculture and regional development in Europe.

This thematic booklet represents only one small path towards best practice in financing Natura 2000. The SURF-Nature project explores many other practical issues in the approach to financing but keeps its focus on Regional Policy only. A more comprehensive approach to the integration of all available resources is presented in the Commission Staff Working Paper Financing Natura 2000 - Investing in Natura 2000: Delivering benefits for nature and people which was released in December 2011. Key progress with a more strategic approach to planning the necessary finance for Natura 2000 should come with the “Prioritized Actions Frameworks” that are about to be agreed between the Commission and the Member States and which are due by the end of 2012.

In this regard, the booklet presents the recording of individual experiences of SURF-Nature project partners and in particular the use of different European funding instruments, in order to contribute to critical thinking on future financing options for the network.