European Commission’s European Natura 2000 Citizens’ Award: 3 WWF-CEE Project Finalists | WWF
European Commission’s European Natura 2000 Citizens’ Award: 3 WWF-CEE Project Finalists

Posted on 16 July 2020

The Natura 2000 network helps nature to help us. Vote for your favourite WWF-CEE Project.
Voting remains open until 11.59 pm on 15 September 2020

LENA - Local Economy and Nature Conservation in the Danube Region
LENA is an initiative aimed at addressing the economic difficulties and depopulation linked to unemployment in the lower reaches of the Danube Region. The overall objective was to find ways of creating new nature-based business initiatives and to share know-how and experience on sustainable economic development in 15 Natura 2000 sites in six EU countries and one neighbouring country. Over 100 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were involved in the initiative. Wild plant collectors, fishermen and farmers were trained and given assistance adding value to their businesses. Sustainable forms of tourism, such as rural, cultural and culinary tourism were supported through the establishment of a network of 100 trained Danube guides. An E-mobility network was launched with E-stations, E-bikes and E-managers. Sustainable wild plant collection according to the FairWild certification in four countries encouraged links between harvesters, traders and processors. Certificates for products from three protected areas were introduced (for Slavonian pigs in Dunav-Vukovar, Croatia, non-GMO products in a future Natura 2000 sites in Serbia, and local agricultural products in the Comana, Romania). You can vote for them here.
 
TRANSGREEN: Joint efforts for safe and wildlife-friendly transportation networks in the Carpathians. The Carpathian Mountains are one of the richest natural areas in Europe, hosting a rich diversity of habitats, fauna and flora; and protected to a large extent by the Natura 2000 network. However, the sustainable development of this region has been challenged by a rapid growth in transport infrastructure over the past decades. The resulting landscape fragmentation has had a negative impact on many specie populations, especially animals that are dependent upon moving freely across the landscape, beyond the borders of individual Natura 2000 sites. The 16 partners from six countries worked together to improve planning frameworks and development safe and environmentally-friendly road and rail transport solutions. This included three selected pilot areas (Kysuce–Beskydy (CZ-SK), Arad–Deva (RO), Tirgu Mures-lasi (RO) and a comprehensive Guidelines for Wildlife and Traffic in the Carpathians – which describes and recommends integrated transport infrastructure planning, construction, management and monitoring that take into account biodiversity conservation and minimise landscape fragmentation. You can vote for them here.
 
Partnership for Protection of Bulgarian Old Growth Forests in Natura 2000 Areas. One third of Bulgaria is covered in forests, representing 3.8 million ha. About 55% of Bulgaria’s forests are included in the Natura 2000 network. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that during the process of establishing the network in Bulgaria there were concerns raised by forest owners/managers and even reluctance towards Natura 2000. Nature conservationists on the other hand were concerned about the quality and quantity of the network. The project sought to reconcile these different visions, values and anxieties among the diverse stakeholders. As a result, the first agreed definition of old-growth forests was incorporated into national forest legislation and an additional 109,300 ha of old-growth forests were designated for protection and excluded from harvesting in 2016. Vote for them here.
 
Voting remains open until 11.59 pm on 15 September 2020
 
What is the European Natura 2000 Award?
Stretching over 18% of the EU’s land area and almost 6% of its marine territory, Natura 2000 is the largest coordinated network of protected areas in the world. It offers a haven to Europe's most valuable and threatened species and habitats. This pan-European Award recognises excellence in the management of Natura 2000 sites and conservation achievements, showcasing the added value of the network for local economies, and increasing public awareness about Europe's valuable natural heritage. The Natura 2000 network covers an enormous variety of different sites across the continent. It preserves and enhances Europe’s biodiversity, safeguarding it for future generations, and it provides a range of important benefits, helping nature to help us.
 
An E-mobility network was launched with E-stations, E-bikes and E-managers.
© LENA
Sustainable forms of tourism, such as rural, cultural and culinary tourism were supported through the establishment of a network of 100 trained Danube guides.
© LENA
Landscape fragmentation has had a negative impact on many specie populations, especially animals that are dependent upon moving freely across the landscape.
© Vaclav Hlavac
Sustainable development of this region has been challenged by a rapid growth in transport infrastructure over the past decades.
© Vaclav Hlavac
As a result, 109,300 ha of old-growth forests in Bulgaria were designated for protection and excluded from harvesting in 2016.
© P.abies-A.alba
About 55% of Bulgaria’s forests are included in the Natura 2000 network.
© WWF-Bulgaria