The Sanctuary is a marine area of 87,500 sq. km subject to an agreement between Italy, Monaco and France for the protection of marine mammals, which live in it. What makes the Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals unique is the fact that it is a site managed by three different authorities and includes coastal areas and international waters that form a large ecosystem of major scientific, socio-economic, cultural and educational interest.
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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.