Protecting nature, preserving biodiversity: Conference series on Natura 2000 in Germany

Natura 2000 is a coherent network of protected areas within the European Union (EU). These protected areas are designated in all EU countries on the basis of the Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive. By 2017, more than 27,000 sites have been designated to protect endangered wild native plant and animal species and their natural habitats on approximately 18 per cent of the EU's land area. The implementation of the Habitats Directive in Germany has been accompanied by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) since its entry into force in 1992.

Among many other activities and programmes, the BfN organises expert exchanges on various topics related to the implementation of Natura 2000. adelphi is supporting the organisation of a corresponding series of conferences as part of a research and development project. Based on the results of the fourth national report pursuant to Art. 17 of the Habitats Directive, a first conference was organised, with two further conferences planned for 2022 and 2023. Various aspects of the implementation of Natura 2000 will be examined, and findings from the Habitats Directive report as well as current needs for action and requirements for the federal states will be discussed. The exchange of knowledge between the federal states and experts is intended to accompany and support the practical implementation of Natura 2000.

The thematic focus of the first conference was on climate change impacts on forest habitat types. The second conference will focus on the management and restoration of grassland. The conferences discuss habitat-specific scope for action that is relevant for the implementation practice of the experts present. adelphi supports the edition of the accompanying conference proceedings in order to make the insights gained and the scientific concepts discussed accessible to a wider circle of experts and actors from the field. In addition to these two conferences focused on German Natura 2000 implementation, an international conference will also be organised in Bonn in 2023. The aim of this conference is to promote the EU-wide exchange of knowledge on Natura 2000 and thus make a relevant contribution to improving the implementation of the Habitats Directive not only in Germany but also in other European countries.

adelphi supports the BfN in the conception of the content as well as the entire preparation, implementation and evaluation of the three conferences.