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Natura 2000 legislation and management

Natura 2000 is a network of protected areas In Europe under the EU Birds and Habitat Directive. The designation of Natura 2000 sites and the implementation of management plans and protection measures is a complex task. Apart from the process of communication and consultation with relevant stakeholders, it is necessary to understand the ecosystem of each Natura 2000 and the relationship between (a)biotic conditions and the presence of key species and key habitats. This information is fundamental to formulate and design measures for ecological restoration. 

Next to the management of Natura 2000-sites there is a range of external developments, in the form of new plans and projects, which may have a significant negative impact on Natura 2000 sites, qualifying species and/or habitats. Think of the construction of roads, railways, power lines and urban expansion. To establish the impact of such developments, and to judge objectively if the expected impact is significant or not, often ecological research is needed. This implies for instance the action range of qualifying species, the vulnerability to disturbance and the outreach of hydrological engineering works in the light of sensitive species or habitats. Shortly, it concerns an ecological impact assessment in the framework of the Natura 2000 legislation.

A&W has been working on several cases and pilots in and around Natura2000 sites which tackle these issues. We preformed a range of ecological impact studies and are involved in the designation of management plans for more than 10 different Natura 2000-sites, covering a broad variety of habitats and species. Throughout Europe we can either assist in the ecological (field)research, analysis and interpretation, or carry out second opinions and quality checks. We also can help scoping projects and support with the implementation of Natura 2000 legislation, monitoring and management systems.

Please contact dr. Edwin van der Heijden for more information on Natura 2000 services