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Integrating conservation management and monitoring


Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process Monitoring Workshop Mediterranean Region
Barcelona, Spain, 19 – 21 October 2015

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In Article 11 of the Habitats Directive, it is stated that Member States shall undertake surveillance of the conservation status of natural habitats and species, with particular regard to priority natural habitat types and priority species. There is a lack of knowledge about the conservation status of habitats and species and this is an issue that needs to be solved. Efficient monitoring can provide the data needed.

During the seminars and workshops of the Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process held so far it has been stressed that monitoring is still a key issue in most habitats. For example, for the Atlantic region (during the Atlantic Natura 2000 Workshop), inappropriate and ineffective monitoring was detected as one of the common problems faced in the management of all habitats across the biogeographical region. In particular, for heaths and bogs, monitoring linked to adaptive management could be a solution for the restoration of hydrological conditions. In the Atlantic Workshop report, identifying examples and providing training on monitoring of Natura 2000 areas are recommended, moreover, monitoring was recognised as a helpful tool for acquiring enough knowledge to carry out proper management of grazing.

During the Boreal Natura 2000 Seminar and Workshop monitoring was identified as a cross-cutting issue that could be covered by the Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process and one of the most common problems encountered in the management of grasslands and coastal habitats within the region. Sharing of good examples and ideas on how to assign priorities in the context of monitoring were defined as subjects for future collaborations, particularly in forest habitats, to find a uniform methodology. In the Mediterranean Region, during the Kick-off Seminar in Thessaloniki, Greece, monitoring was identified as a consistent theme across all coastal habitats. Sharing knowledge on monitoring strategies was identified as an opportunity for cooperative action.

As can be seen, monitoring of habitats and species is a recurrent issue in the Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process, it is also an issue of high interest for Eurosite members and monitoring is a key part of the Habitats directive. For these reasons, Eurosite decide to organise a workshop on Natura 2000 monitoring.

From the point of view of Eurosite, an organisation of site managers, the integration of monitoring with management is key. Eurosite has previously organised workshops on monitoring Natura 2000, but the focus was on monitoring at country level. This workshop will focus on monitoring at site level with a particular emphasis on integrating monitoring with conservation management. A specific session on monitoring of habitats, a subject with many knowledge gaps, will be held, as well as a session on new technologies to make monitoring easier.


  • To increase awareness of the new technologies available and the possibilities for increasing the effectiveness of monitoring and Natura 2000 site management;
  • To showcase best practice examples of species and habitat monitoring projects;
  • To develop recommendations for the integration of monitoring and management;
  • To showcase the Ter River management programme as a best practice example.


The Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process is an initiative of the European Commission. The purpose of the Biogeographical Process is to help Member States to manage Natura 2000 as a coherent ecological network, whilst exchanging experience and best practice, addressing objectives and priorities and enhancing cooperation and synergies.

Consensus building through the participation of diverse stakeholders is a key tool in the essential dialogue required for the effective management of Natura 2000 sites. European Centre for Nature Conservation-ECNC is the lead contractor to support the European Commission in the development and implementation of the Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process. This includes a continuing series of networking events (Seminars, conferences, workshops, ad hoc expert meetings, study visits, etc.). ECNC does this with support from their sub-contracted consortium partners: CEEweb for Biodiversity, Eurosite, ELO (European Landowners’ Organization), the EUROPARC Federation and ILE-SAS.

In this framework, this workshop has been organised as a networking event, primarily related to the Mediterranean biogeographical region, but also benefitting from ideas coming from Boreal and Atlantic biogeographical regions. As detailed in the Background section of this programme, monitoring is a key knowledge gap that has been identified across all these regions. This workshop will harness the participation of strategic stakeholders, increase opportunities to
network (through the Knowledge Market and discussion sessions) and generate recommendations for the integration of conservation management and monitoring (via the final workshop report).


Launched in 2013, the Platform is set to become a vital source of information for Natura 2000 practitioners throughout Europe. The Natura 2000 Platform is a web based resource that facilitates and underpins the face-to-face networking of the Process and provides information about upcoming events, as well as reports and documents from previous events. The platform contains a forum, through which stakeholders and experts can ask questions and make contact
with others involved in Natura 2000 management, as well as contribute news about their projects and other Natura 2000 related activities.

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For more information contact: natura2000platform@ecnc.org

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