Celebrate and support your favourite nature sites!
By Elodie Cantaloube, Mon, 28/04/2014 - 12:45
On 21 May, the EU will celebrate the Natura 2000 Day for the 2nd year. Natura 2000 is the network of Europe’s richest nature sites, more than 26,000 remarkable places forming a total area of almost one million square kilometres. Some of them, such as the Danube delta and the Bialowieza forest are very famous, but the majority are nature areas right next to your door; the lake, the forest or the mountain area you enjoy taking walks in. Protected by EU law, Natura 2000 sites benefit from conservation actions aiming to ensure the long-term survival of unique ecosystems and threatened species and habitats in Europe. It also provides a wide range of important benefits to society and the economy valued at €200-300 billion/year. Unfortunately, despite its 20-year history and its ecological, social and economic importance, the network is barely known by EU citizens and the budget dedicated to support it is very limited.
This is why BirdLife Spanish Partner SEO/BirdLife and the news agency EFE have decided to launch a joint campaign aimed at informing EU citizens about the stunning riches within these sites in their region and the threats they face.
To demonstrate their support to the Natura 2000 network and to nature protection in general, all will be invited to upload a picture of themselves making the “butterfly gesture” with their hands on the campaign website. If the picture is published on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, tag it with #Natura2000Day!
The campaign will culminate with the celebration of the European Natura 2000 day on May 21. This Anniversary day is also an initiative developed in the course of the campaign. It was celebrated for the very first time in 2013 and we hope, will become a long tradition. The date was chosen for the Anniversary of the signature of the Habitat Directive, one of the two key pieces of EU Nature legislation, together with the Birds Directive.
This year, BirdLife Spanish Partners lead the celebration, joined by BirdLife Partners in Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and the UK. Celebratory events and activities will be organised throughout these countries at the occasion of the Anniversary.
SEO/BirdLife and EFE run this innovative project thanks to the support of the European Commission and the EU Life+ Fund. It is co-funded by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, the Biodiversity Foundation, Red Eléctrica and the autonomous communities of Andalucía, Castilla y León, País Vasco, Navarra, Baleares, Castilla-La Mancha, Madrid and Cantabria.