The European Commission announced the 27 finalists of the 2020 edition of the European Natura 2000 Award. The competition rewards excellence in the management of Natura 2000 sites, based on communication, socio-economic benefits, conservation, reconciliation of interests and cross border cooperation.
Finalists of this edition were recently announced and, with 43% of Natura 2000 areas being mountainous, many selected initiatives are located in mountain areas. Here is a snapshot of finalists:
- Pro-Biodiversidad: Shepherds as biodiversity conservators in Natura 2000 (Northern Spain, Asturias, Castilla, Cantabria) a project highlighting the role of shepherds and extensive mountain livestock farming for the protection of biodiversity.
- Joint efforts for safe and wildlife-friendly transportation networks in the Carpathians: produced a set of guidelines for creating/implementing a transport network which decreases the shipping risks for animals. These guidelines will be further developed by the Carpathian Convention.
- Promoting nature conservation while producing world quality wines: (Portugal – Douro) identifies bird conservation activities (restoration of grassland, preservation of habitats, sustainable agricultural practices in vineyards) as part of a strategy aimed both at preserving biodiversity, producing quality wine in a sustainable way and highlighting the specific biodiversity as an added value of this depopulated rural region.
- Magredi grasslands: (Italy – Friuli Venezia Giulia): promote the restoration of the dry Magredi grasslands by removing invasive species and replanting grass and wild plants. More than 500ha have already been rehabilitated
Experts will award the best initiatives, but you can vote for your favourite project too, before September 15, 2020. The finalist getting the highest number of votes will receive the EU Citizens’ Award.11 June 2020