In order to celebrate each year one of the EU most outstanding achievements, the Natura 2000 network of protected areas, and to increase the public awareness of our unique and extremely rich natural heritage, the European institutions declared 21st of May as the EU Natura 2000 day. The Natura 2000 network with its 27,000 sites across all EU Member States acts as a powerful allay in preserving Europe’s rich heritage, offering also ample opportunities for spiritual reflection, artistic expression, education and awareness as well as recreation, health and tourism. It is not just about protecting remote nature but instead forms an integral part of our landscape incorporating wide ranging land use practices, cultural and social elements across the EU.
Each year on the occasion of the Natura 2000 day MS and stakeholders are organising wide range of public events to celebrate our natural heritage - from festivals and photography exhibitions to guided walks and cycling tours, open days and numerous activities for children. On the occasion of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, for the Natura 2000 day celebrations in 2018 a special focus will be given on the promotion of the synergies between cultural and natural heritage. Member States are invited to consider organising public events in places where both natural and cultural heritage are present, thereby promoting synergies and highlighting the role of natural/cultural heritage for our social cohesion, employment and economic growth.
Image: ©European Commission