The University of Helsinki, Metsähallitus Natural Heritage Services, the Finnish Environment Institute, and the Finnish Forest Centre formed a collaborative project aimed at finding protected area (PA)network expansions priorities in southern Finland. Zonation, software for spatial conservation prioritization, was used to identify the most suitable sites for additional forest conservation. Zonation analyses accounted for the ecological quality of habitats and landscape-level connectivity.
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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.