Europe and Central Asia
12 Sep 2014

Commissioner Potocnik: “Investing in Natura 2000 is investing in our own future”

By Communications

In this video, Janez Potocnick, European Commissioner for Environment until last August, expresses his support to the Natura 2000 network. Mr. Potocnick qualifies it as “one of the biggest achievements in the EU Environmental Policy”.

The Natura 2000 is the largest network of protected area in the world and Europe’s richest nature sites, with more than 26,000 remarkable places form a total area of almost one million square kilometres. The protection and conservation of this area permits the survival of many endangered species, like in Spain, where it helped the Imperial Eagle and the Iberian Lynx to be back from the brink of extinction, as mentioned in the video.

“We are all part of the Natura 2000 network, including you”, says Mr. Potocnick, former European Commissioner for Environment.

This video was produced within the frame of the LIFE project Activa Red Natura 2000 – Connecting people with Biodiversity by SEO/BirdLife (BirdLife in Spain) and the Spanish news agency EFE. The project aims to promote Natura 2000, barely known by the citizens, who nevertheless enjoy most of its sites. The network includes, for instance, Doñana, a renowned national park in the south of Spain, deeply appreciated by the Spanish population for its unique biodiversity, which is also one of richest in Europe. The area was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1994 and it receives over 300.000 visits annually.

With this project, SEO hopes to increase the Spanish and EU citizens’ awareness on the importance of Natura 2000 for the protection of EU’s environment and the threats to it, like pollution or the spread of invasive alien species as consequences of the lack of financial and human resources dedicated to the management of the sites.

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For more information, please contact Olimpia García, Communications officer at SEO/BirdLife.

Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.