Following on from the success of the inaugural European Natura 2000 Award, adelphi continues to organise the Award for the European Commission in 2015. The Natura 2000 Award was established by the European Commission to raise awareness amongst European citizens about Natura 2000. Natura 2000 describes a network of protected sites designated under the EU Birds and Habitats Directives.
The network aims to protect habitats and species in areas designated due to their ecological importance. Despite the fact that Natura 2000 is thought of as the most extensive and complete supranational protected area network in the world, few EU citizens know of its existence and even fewer what it really involves. As well as general awareness raising, the award aims to aid networking between those involved in Natura 2000 management/ communication and provide examples of good practice from across the EU. In the first year of the Award, 22 finalists were chosen for the five award categories: conservation, communication, socio-economic benefits, networking and cross-border cooperation and reconciling interests / perceptions.
adelphi is the lead contractor for the Commission organising the secretariat for the Award with two partners. The secretariat was responsible for running the application and evaluation process, organising the award ceremony and the communication around it and following this up with the local events. The award will open for new applications in the autumn of 2014.