The Natura 2000 Network
Biodiversity, i.e. the complex of biological projects, species and habitats that have been generated after millions of years of evolution, represents an heritage which any modern society must deal with and preserve.
Animal and plant organisms and the habitat they live in are, in fact, subject to continuous changes as a result of both natural and manmade processes. The latter may induce drastic changes in the geographical distribution of species, the size of the populations and the area of land occupied by certain habitats. Knowing these changes, locate them on time, track their progress and work for solutions through concrete actions, is the basis for nature conservation, but such an operation cannot be only at regional or national level. Indeed, it is only by overcoming political barriers between states and implementing a "community", that results significant and sustained over time can be obtained.
In this context operates the Natura 2000 Network, the largest initiative at European level for the monitoring and conservation of habitats and species of particular relevance due to their biological, ecological and biogeographical characteristics.
It is a real network, whose nodes are made up of nature reserves in which these species and habitats of "community interest" are present and whose protection is guaranteed by the Member States as laid down by two directives: the "Birds" Directive 79/409 / EEC (which identifies the Special Protection Areas) and the "Habitats" Directive 92/43/EEC (which identifies the Sites of Community Importance).
The Habitats Directive also establishes the need for constant monitoring of these entities in order to produce, every six years, a report on their preservation status. Natura 2000 sites, then, become sentinels for monitoring of species and habitats that provide valuable information to the community about the status of environmental health.
In Italy, the Natura 2000 Network consists of 2,549 sites and occupies an area of land equal to 62,623 km2 (19.2% of the national territory).
In the project MIPP 11 Natura 2000 sites are study areas.
Natura 2000 viewer:
Official website ENG:
National website (ITA):