Natura 2000 Award application open for contributions to biodiversity and human health

Today, as we celebrate the Natura 2000 Day, the Commission is launching the 2022 edition of the European Natura 2000 Award. The Award, now in its sixth edition, honours and gives recognition to leading nature conservation achievements connected to Europe’s Natura 2000 network of protected areas and raises awareness about the network. Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, said: “With 65% of the EU population living within 5 km of a Natura 2000 site, this vast network of areas of high biodiversity value literally brings nature to our doorstep, allowing people to enjoy its multiple benefits. I would like to honour all those individuals and organisations who are making this happen and invite them to respond to our new Natura 2000 Award call and get the recognition they deserve.“ The Award is open to any organisation or person involved in Natura 2000, including public and local authorities, businesses, NGOs, landowners, educational institutions and individuals. The application period runs from today until September. This year’s Natura 2000 Day pays tribute to the proximity of Natura 2000 sites to citizens across Europe, and the benefits this network brings to them and the planet, including its contribution to health. Protected areas are also becoming part of the global momentum for nature in this crucial year for biodiversity in the run up to the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CoP 15), planned for October 2021. More information about Natura 2000 and the Award’s application process is in the news item.