Natura 2000 is the key instrument to protect biodiversity in the European Union. It is an ecological network of protected areas, set up to ensure the survival of Europe’s most valuable species and habitats. Natura 2000 is based on the 1979 Birds Directive and the 1992 Habitats Directive. This version covers the reporting in 2020.
Natura 2000 is an ecological network composed of sites designated under the Birds Directive (Special Protection Areas or SPAs) and the Habitats Directive (Sites of Community Importance or SCIs, and Special Areas of Conservation or SACs).
The European database of Natura 2000 sites consists of a compilation of the data submitted by the Member States of the European Union. This European database is generally updated once a year to take into account any updating of national databases by Member States. However, the release of a new EU-wide database does not necessarily mean that a particular national dataset has recently been updated.
The descriptive data in the European database are based on the information that national authorities have submitted, for each of the Natura 2000 sites, through a site-specific standard data form (SDF). In addition to other site-specific information, the standard data form provides the list of all species and habitat types for which a site is officially designated.
The spatial data (outlining the boundaries of sites) submitted by each Member State are validated by the European Environment Agency (EEA).