The European Natura 2000 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 six winners of the 2022 edition of the Natura 2000 Award were announced on 18 May 2022 at the Natura 2000 Award Ceremony by Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries and members of the high-level Jury including the Director-General of DG Environment and high-level representatives of the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions and relevant stakeholders.
Announcing the winners at the Ceremony, Commissioner Sinkevičius said:
Protecting and restoring the EU’s natural heritage and biodiversity is crucial to mitigate and adapt to climate change while preserving life on Earth for generations to come. For the last 30 years, thousands of conservation professionals, volunteers and stakeholders have worked to protect and restore nature, preserving the benefits it brings. These people have made the network the success it is today. In competitions, the trophy always goes to one, but we should all feel winners today because, when nature is protected, the benefits are there for all of us.
And the winners are …
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The prizes presented at the Ceremony included the five category awards (Conservation on land, Marine conservation, Communication, Socio-economic benefits and Cross-border cooperation) and the Commissioner presented the European Citizens' Award to the finalist who received the highest number of public votes.
This year is an extra-special one for Natura 2000 as we celebrate 30 years since the adoption of the Habitats Directive – and therefore 30 years since the creation of the Natura 2000 network.