Europe

LIFE Green List for Natura 2000

Protected areas are a universal approach to nature conservation and play an important role in biodiversity protection in Europe. According to the EU Nature Directives, Member States are required to effectively manage the Natura 2000 network of protected areas to achieve ‘Favourable Conservation Status’ of priority species and habitats. In this context, the IUCN Green List Sustainability Standard adapted to Natura 2000 sites will hopefully provide a benchmark of excellence, helping sites achieve equitable governance, sound design and planning, effective management and positive conservation outcomes.

LIFE Green List for Natura 2000

"Improving the performance of the Natura 2000 network through a Green Listing approach (LIFE Green List for N2K)" is a project funded by the European Commission, which aims to adapt the IUCN Green List Sustainability Standard to Natura 2000 sites by developing Specific Indicators in line with the requirements of the EU Birds and Habitats Directives. The goal of this project is to assess the benefits and constraints of setting up a Green Listing process specifically tailored for Natura 2000, considering technical, economic and operational feasibility and synergies with existing instruments. 

The project will carry out a feasibility study on the application of the IUCN Green List Sustainability Standard to Natura 2000 sites, with the goal of increasing the overall performance of the network, through an international, credible, robust and recognised system. 

Project objectives:

The project will comprise of the following components:

  1. Determination of the site specific requirements of Natura 2000 sites based on the provisions of the EU Nature Directives;
  2. Search for synergies with existing certification processes and quality labels for protected areas in Europe;
  3. Elaboration of the preliminary list of Natura 2000 Specific Indicators and Means of Verification focusing on biogeographic- and site-specific requirements based on the provisions of the EU Nature Directives;
  4. A consultation process for broader stakeholder engagement;
  5. Test the methodology on a varied and representative set of Natura 2000 sites throughout Europe (including France, Spain and Italy);
  6.  Final analysis of results will assess benefits and constraints of the IUCN Green List for Natura 2000 sites and develop an action plan for setting up and implementing it.
  7. Communication activities.

Identifying the site specific requirements of Natura 2000 sites based on the provisions of the EU Nature Directives is a crucial first step for adapting the IUCN Green Listing process for Natura 2000 sites. The project team will examine the requirements in terms of management, monitoring and reporting, as well as ecological connectivity between sites. It is also important to identify the existing related initiatives on protected area management assessment in Europe. This will provide a clear picture of the existing certification or similar schemes in order to identify the complementarities and added value of the IUCN Green List Sustainability Standard for Natura 2000 sites. 

Key experts will be identified to form the European Core Working Group (ECWG), which will develop the Green Listing process for Natura 2000. Once the experts have attended the Green List Training Workshop and have gathered the preliminary information needed, an Assessment Workshop will take place, bringing together all ECWG members and other relevant experts to determine the most important factors that recognise successful conservation outcomes and define the preliminary list of Specific Indicators and Means of Verification. 

After compiling a preliminary list, a consultation process will occur to ensure broader stakeholder engagement. The list of Specific Indicators and Means of Verification will be finalised during an online Validation Workshop, where any final necessary adjustments will be made.

Several Natura 2000 sites will be selected to test the agreed list of Specific Indicators and Means of Verification. It is expected that the Site Managers will voluntarily participate in the testing phase by providing information on their sites. They will assess how their site addresses each of the IUCN Green List criteria, and whether data are sufficient and appropriate to measure management effectiveness.  

A report will be produced summarising all the information gathered throughout the project and detailing the next necessary steps in the implementation of the methodology in Natura 2000 sites, including an assessment of operational and financial feasibility of the system within existing EU and national structures and requirements.  

An event will be held at the end of the project in Brussels to disseminate the project’s results.

Expected results:

The project will deliver the following results:

  1. A report including the site-specific requirements of Natura 2000 sites under the EU Nature Directives and a comparison with the IUCN Green List Sustainability Standard Generic Indicators;
  2. A report of existing management effectiveness certifications, schemes and/or quality labels for protected areas in Europe, and their synergies with a ‘Green Listing’ approach;
  3. IUCN Green List Sustainability Standard for Natura 2000 sites including Specific Indicators and Means of Verification;
  4. Report on the feasibility of a Green Listing process for Natura 2000 sites indicating its benefits and disadvantages, based on feedback from assessments carried out at several sites, and outlining a roadmap with the next steps needed for implementation;

Relevant stakeholders (e.g. site managers, national focal points, NGOs) become aware of the IUCN Green Listing process for Natura 2000 sites.

This project is set to be completed by October 2019 following these actions and timeline. This project is coordinated by IUCN and funded by the EU LIFE Financial Instrument.


Project Title: Improving the performance of the Natura 2000 network through a Green Listing approach (LIFE Green List for N2K).

Project Code: LIFE16 PRE BE 001 


 

To find out more about the project contact Ana Nieto

 

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