In Europe, as in the rest of the world, human activities are causing rapid biodiversity loss. Over the last two decades, the EU has been trying to tackle this in various ways, including through the Natura 2000 Network of protected areas. This includes over 27 000 protected areas, covering over million km2, making it the largest coordinated network of protected areas in the world. The Natura 2000 Network creates a framework for mainstreaming conservation into a range of sectors. The European Commission led the development of the Natura 2000 Network.
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Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) dramatically improved its ability to link its priority conservation tasks with the sustainable development needs of Cape Town and its citizens, to the advantage of both the Park and the City’s citizens. This story illustrates the importance of a functioning governance system and a commitment to finding mutual interest between the goals of conservation and development.
In order to address the challenge of tourism in protected areas, ISO is providing an international standard, ISO 18065 for Natural Protected Areas Authorities (NPAA) - responsible for ensuring the efficient, sustainable planning and development of tourist services conforming to legal requirements. Risk assessments promote the safety of the visitor and quality assessment of services mitigates impacts upon NPA’s wildlife, flora, fauna and communities. Public use, tourism and recreation can be part of the objectives of a NPA.