Natura 2000, ecological network of the European Union
The continuous ecological network of Natura 2000, set up by the European Union, is enhancing the preservation of biological diversity and helping to keep or to reconstruct favourable nature conservation status by protecting natural habitat types, wild animal and plant species with community importance.
Natura 2000 network includes sites selected according to two nature conservation directives of the European Union: Bird Directive (79/409/EGK) accepted in 1979, which selects Important Bird Areas (IBA) and Habitat Directive (43/92/EGK) accepted in 1992, which selects Special Protection Areas (SPA).
The general aim of Bird Directive is to protect all bird species naturally occurring in the area of member states. Those regions apply for Important Bird Area, which accommodates constant and migrating populations of bird species, listed in Annex 1, or includes wet habitats with international importance.
Main goal of Habitat Directive is to preserve biological diversity, to provide long-term existence of species and habitats, by keeping or enlarging natural distribution. The Directive enforces the creation of European ecological network, the Natura 2000, which includes sites selected under Bird Directive. Special Protection Areas must be selected for the preservation of natural habitat types with community importance, listed in Annex 1. (which may become extinct, or has limited natural distribution, or has special qualities inside a certain biogeographical region) and for the protection of animal and plant species with community importance, listed in Annex 2 (threatened, fragile, rare or endemic). Those species or habitat types, which existence can only be secured by instant reaction, have high importance and apply for priority over other species or habitats.
(source: homepage of KVVM 19.06.2004.)