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Maritime Forum

Map of the Week – Marine Natura 2000 sites

This map shows the network of marine Natura 2000 sites across Europe.

This map shows the network of marine Natura 2000 sites across Europe.

Did you know that the 27 finalists of the 2024 edition of the European Natura 2000 Award have been announced? This award recognises excellence in the management and protection of Natura 2000 sites and showcases the network’s added value of conserving nature for local communities and economies across the European Union (EU). On 29 May 2024, the six winners will be revealed during the European Natura 2000 Award Ceremony, which will take place as part of the EU Green Week 2024. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Natura 2000 Award, adding extra significance to the ceremony and celebrating a decade of outstanding conservation achievements.

Natura 2000 is a remarkable network of over 27,000 nature sites protected under European Union legislation, representing the largest network of protected areas in the world. This extensive network includes various protected nature reserves and diverse habitat types such as forests, grasslands, wetlands, and coastal and marine environments. For over 30 years, the Birds and Habitats Directives, collectively known as the 'Nature Directives', under which Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Sites of Community Importance (SCIs) have been designated, have provided the legal framework to ensure the long-term survival of Europe’s most valuable and threatened species and habitats. Spanning all EU countries, both on land and at sea, Natura 2000 covers almost one fifth of land and one tenth of surrounding seas [1].

Learn more about biodiversity, get involved and take action to support and celebrate the Natura 2000 network:

  • Zoom in on specific areas in the map of this week to check which marine sites are classified as SPAs and SCIs, and click on them to read further the information!
  • Explore the Natura 2000 Interactive Map. Dive into the interactive map to learn more about each protected site. Discover the unique features and species that make these areas invaluable.
  • Visit a Natura 2000 site, experience the beauty and rich biodiversity of Natura 2000 sites, and support the ongoing efforts to maintain and enhance the Natura 2000 network. From 18 to 26 May, take part in a BioBlitz and count as many species as you can in a Natura 2000 area near you!
  • Will you be in Svendborg, Denmark, on 30-31 May for the European Maritime Day 2024? Have a look in the map to see nearby Natura 2000 sites and learn about the biodiversity in these Natura 2000 sites (e.g. the Sydfynske Øhav).
  • Register for the Natura 2000 Award Ceremony and join the ceremony on 29 May 2024 to celebrate the best initiatives in Natura 2000 conservation. The award ceremony is a fantastic opportunity to recognise and support the efforts dedicated to protecting our natural heritage.
  • If you are a teacher looking for educational activities, have a look at the interactive map-based exercise on the topic of Natura 2000 sites in the Atlas Teachers’ Corner!
  • Learn about the 2024 EU Green Week and its Partner Events focused on water resilience.
  • Join the #WaterWiseEU Campaign to raise awareness on the increasing stress placed on Europe’s water systems and to spotlight the many solutions available, and explore the toolkit for campaign partners!
  • Read about the theme of Biodiversity Day 2024 celebrated on 22 May: "Be part of the Plan". “Be part of the Plan” is a call to action for all stakeholders to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity by supporting the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, also referred to as the Biodiversity Plan


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The data in this map is provided by EMODnet.