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Natura 2000 Award

The Natura 2000 Award has been won by 41 organisations and partnerships since the Award’s launch in 2014. This page is dedicated to them, in recognition of their tireless efforts to conserve Europe’s nature and biodiversity.

2024 winners!

Congratulations to all the winners! 

The winners were announced by the Executive Vice-President to the European Commission, Maroš Šefčovič, and the members of the high-level jury at the Natura 2000 Award Ceremony, held in Brussels on 29 May 2024.   

EVP Maroš Šefčovič said:  

In the 10 years of the Natura 2000 Award, including this edition, we have seen exceptional commitment of public authorities, stakeholders and local communities to ensure the network continues to flourish and provide vital ecosystem services for future generations. My congratulations to finalists, winners and all the applicants for their hard work. 

Find out how the Ceremony unfolded on the event page.   

Impact of Natura 2000 Award

applicants from across the European Union
organisations involved in the 2024 edition alone

Meet our previous winners!

Latest updates from previous and current winners

Winning a Natura 2000 Award is one small part of the ongoing work of all the winners. This section presents news and updates from the 2022 winners, as well as winners from previous editions: discover more about the events they hold, as well as about their ongoing activities.

2022 Edition

  • DE: VdHK workshop on springs under the lead of Stefan Zaenker
    Monitoring threatened habitats below ground

    Winners of the Cross-border cooperation category (2022) the German Speleological Federation's four-day local event was held at an ancient monastery in Lower Saxony, Germany, and highlighted the achievements of the winning application “Evaluate the dark side with the CaveLife app”, as well as drawing attention to the conservation of gypsum karst habitats.

  • PT: The Secretary of State for Fisheries closed the event with a message of commitment to the National Plan of Action for Bycatch
    Protecting threatened seabirds in collaboration with fishermen

    Winners of the Marine conservation category (2022) local event took place in Peniche (Portugal). The local event, highlighted the successful collaboration with partner organisations, demonstrated how the accidental capture of seabirds by commercial fishing practices can be reduced and included the symbolic handover of “scary bird” devices to the fishing community.

It is an incredible honour for our voluntary project, which was launched without financial support and is now spreading across Europe to evaluate the dark side of Natura 2000 sites under our feet.

Christian Zaenker, Höhlen- und Karstforschung Hessen e.V.
  • ES: LIFE STOP Cortaderia team members, from Amica, Ampros, Serca and SEO/BirdLife
    Promoting social inclusion and nature restoration

    Winners of the Socio-economic benefits category (2022), SEO/BirdLife's local event highlighted the important focus on inclusivity by bringing together local and regional authorities, people with disabilities involved in the project, environmental as well as non-environmental NGOs, and various media outlets.

  • EL: Residents and visitors of Skyros island were welcomed for a field trip to Eleonora's falcon breeding colonies on Sunday morning
    Supporting Eleonora’s falcon population in Skyros

    Winners of the Conservation on land category.(2022) the University of Patras and the Hellenic Ornithological Society (HOS), two-day local event was open to general public, and highlighted the biodiversity conservation measures undertaken beginning with a round table discussion and a children's workshop.

We have been working for this species for the past 20 to 25 years. After so much hard work, the result is very rewarding – not only for the species but also for the local communities who loved what we have done. So, it’s a win-win situation.

Tasos Dimalexis, Nature Conservation Consultants Ltd
  • BG: The project team showing off the Natura 2000 Award and presenting a flagship species featured in their communication campaign
    Promoting Natura 2000 to members of the general public

    Winners of the Communication category (2022) local event took place in Museumko, Sofia. The local event highlighted the importance of biodiversity in Bulgaria through board games, various artistic exhibitions and a presentation by the Wildlife Rescue Centre of Green Balkans.

  • AT: Panel discussion group, bringing together the project partners as well as the EU Commission, scientists, farmers, companies and various other organisations
    Creating innovative partnerships to support nature conservation

    Winners of the European Citizens’ Award (2022) FLORA's local event took place in Centre for Culture in Perchtoldsdorf, Austria. The local event highlighted transnational collaboration and included discussions exploring challenges facing biodiversity, and nature conservation solutions for Austria and Europe.

I am thrilled that the award has been given to a Bulgarian project (...) The success is evidence of the great power of information, through which public attitudes can change and our rich natural heritage can be preserved for future generations.

Elena Tilova, Green Balkans

2020 Edition

  • Natura 2000 Award - Heros_Railway_underpassing_Jablunkov
    Moving towards wildlife-friendly transport networks

    Winners of the Cross-border cooperation and Networking category (2020), Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic local event began with a conference focused on cross-border conservation measures. The event ended with visits to three ecological corridors that facilitate the movement of carnivores in the Czech-Slovak region.

  • Natura 2000 Award - Raising awareness about good boating practices
    Raising awareness about good boating practices for protecting fragile coastal areas

    Winners of the Communication category (2020), Lannion-Trégor Communauté's local event began with a trip by kayak to discover bird nesting sites and learn about how they are commonly disturbed. The event ended with a walking tour starting at the port of Rébeurden led by a member of the regional Natura 2000 office.

Covering six countries, 16 partners and multiple Natura 2000 sites over a very large area of the Carpathians: if this isn’t true cross border cooperation, then what is?

Roby Biwer, Committee of the Regions
  • Natura 2000 Award Heroes Belgium
    Ten keys for co-ownership nature projects

    Winners of the Reconciling interests / perceptions category (2020) , Agentschap voor Natuur en Bos improved nature protection by involving a wide group of actors in nature decision-making processes. The 10 keys were applied to their local event which involved a bike ride to visit otter holds within the area on the Dutch/Belgian border.

  • Natura 2000 Award Heroes Bulgaria
    United for Bulgarian old-growth forests

    Winners of the European Citizens’ Award 2020 resolved a year-long conflict of interests between forest owners and nature conservationists. Their local event included a guided tour through the 100-year-old beech forest by the Executive Director of the Forest Agency and scientists from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. The event finished at the Vitosha Eco-Centre.

We have a wonderful situation in our Natura 2000 sites but the habitats are also very fragile. We worked with all the involved stakeholders to understand how to improve the habitats.

Ms Bras-Denis, Lannion Trégor Communauté
  • Natura 2000 Award - Participants on viewing platform in Finland
    Fostering knowledge about marine biodiversity and its conservation

    Winners of the Conservation category (2020) the Finnish Ministry of Environment's local event began with a meeting focused on sustainable management of marine and Natura 2000 area, followed by field trip to local Natura site in Liminka Bay National Park, a presentation by students, a visit to a restoration site, some birdwatching and ended with a dinner.

  • Natura 2000 award Heroes Spain
    Celebration shepherds as Natura 2000 conservators

    Winners of the Socio-economic benefits category (2020) created a certification brand Pro-Biodiversidad to support the sheep farming sector, halt rural abandonment and improve biodiversity. Their local event began with visits with farmers to discuss challenges, followed by a lamb meat tasting which was certified with their brand.

The project success is thanks to the close involvement of committed people during the whole process. The process of selecting the farmers, production and trade partners involved and setting up a good working relation was the key to the successful activities.

Gerardo Báguena, FCQ