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Natura 2000 Award

The call for applications for the 2024 edition of the European Natura 2000 Award was open from 22 May to 12 October 2023.

The winners were announced at the Award Ceremony on 29 May 2024.

Below, you can find out about all the advantages of applying for the Natura 2000 Award - and meet all the applicants, finalists and winners from the past seven editions of the Award on the Meet the heroes page.   

2024 edition timeframe 

The current edition of the European Natura 2000 Award kicked off on 22 May 2023 and the winners announced on 29 May 2024 – shortly after Natura 2000 Day. Other key dates for the current edition are presented below. 

  1. 22 May 2023

    Launch of 2024 edition call for applications

  2. 12 October 2023

    Deadline for 2024 edition call for applications

  3. 14 March 2024

    Finalists announced

  4. 14 March - 25 April 2024

    Public vote for Citizens' Award

  5. 29 May 2024

    Award ceremony

It is expected that the next edition of the Natura 2000 Award will be launched in May 2025. 

Get the recognition you deserve!

The Natura 2000 network protects a wide array of threatened habitats and species across the European Union. The people and organisations protecting and managing the network deserve to be recognised for their efforts. The Natura 2000 Award was launched with this aim: to celebrate these Natura 2000 heroes and bring them into the spotlight. 

Applying for the Natura 2000 Award has multiple benefits.  

All applicants, regardless of whether they win an award or not, benefit from having their work promoted on the Award website and to a wide audience across Europe.  

Finalists’ achievements will be promoted more extensively via European Commission channels, and in particular through the Citizens’ Award public vote. Finalists will be offered a complementary training on social media by an expert in communications with a proven track record in both profit and non-profit communication. Social media serves as a powerful tool for engaging with a wide audience, and the purpose of the training is to provide the finalists with the necessary knowledge and digital skills to promote the Award, their projects, and daily activities in an appealing and efficient way. In addition, they will receive tailor-made visuals that they can use to communicate to their own networks

The finalists will be invited to attend the Award Ceremony in Brussels. Before the Award Ceremony, all finalists are invited to join a half-day networking event in Brussels. This is a great opportunity to meet and exchange with the other finalists and representatives of the European Commission working in nature conservation.

Winners will receive a small financial prize to put towards their conservation activities, in addition to all the benefits mentioned above. To celebrate their win not only in Brussels, but also back home, the European Commission supports all winners in the organisation of a local event.

Here are the top three advantages of applying for – and winning - the Award, according to past winners of the Award:

1. Get recognition for your work!

Winning the Award has a very positive impact on the profile of your organisation and provides a clear and visible recognition of your work. Your efforts in helping protect Europe’s most valuable species and habitats will become better known to a wider audience, and showcasing your success story will also provide inspiration for others who manage and promote Natura 2000 sites. This is true for typical Natura 2000 stakeholders (for instance, conservation NGOs or public authorities) but also for less typical stakeholders (such as farmers, hunting associations, tourism organisations, schools, sporting associations, etc.).

2. Increase your media reach!

Having your work promoted on the Natura 2000 Award website, in the Award Newsflash and via social media results in a much-increased media attention and increased stakeholder awareness. Finalists will be offered professional training in social media communications, which they can use both to promote the Award and in their day-to-day activities. In addition, they will receive tailor-made visuals that they can use to communicate to their own networks.

3. Receive benefits for your ongoing activities!

Winners receive a small financial prize to help support their future conservation efforts and, of course, a trophy and a certificate. All finalists are also invited to attend the Award Ceremony in Brussels which provides a useful and exciting opportunity to meet and network with other Natura 2000 heroes as well as policy-makers and other stakeholders.

Benchmarking from previous editions

For more detailed information about the kinds of applications received, and lessons learned from previous editions, you can download the full Natura 2000 Award benchmarking reports here: 

Interested in keeping up to date with the Award? 

Contact the Natura 2000 Secretariat