Protected areas sometimes struggle with effective management plans, and tensions may arise between various stakeholders.
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At the end of the European summer, two million soaring birds head south towards Africa. Their route, along the Red Sea/Rift Valley flyway, is the second most important flyway for soaring birds in the world. However, just as these areas are essential to the birds’ survival, so too are they vital for human populations, and host a growing concentration of development and energy infrastructure. If power lines and wind turbines are poorly sited along the flyway, the cumulative impacts can add up to threaten entire bird populations.
Protected areas are one of the most direct, cost-effective way of simultaneously achieving societal goals of conserving biodiversity, tackling development challenges and fostering climate resilience.
Natura 2000 is the world's largest coordinated network of protected areas, established by two pieces of EU environmental legislation: the so-called Birds and Habitats Directives. The Natura 2000 network now comprises over 27000 sites across the 28 EU Member States. It covers over million km², more than 18% of the EU terrestrial area and over 4% of the marine area where EU Member States have national jurisdiction. The EU Birds and Habitats Directives and Natura 2000 are the cornerstone of the EU biodiversity policy and the backbone of its Green Infrastructure.