When we protect nature, precious resources and ecosystems are preserved so that citizens can breathe clean air, drink clean water and enjoy the beauty of nature. In this vein, the European Commision has now opened its call for applications to the 2024 edition of the Natura 2000 awards to reward such initiatives that work towards the goals of preservation of nature. Now is the time to apply!
With the contributions of tens of thousands of volunteers and professionals, taking part in the Natura Network demonstrates a commitment to nature. Natura 2000 protects a vast range of threatened habitats and species. The Natura 2000 Award was envisioned to recognise the efforts of people and organisations working to protect and manage nature to achieve these goals.
There are many reasons to apply for the Natura 2000 Award, namely, any entrant regardless of winning or not will nonetheless have their work shown on the Award website and gain exposure to a wide European audience. The work of finalists will receive additional coverage via European Commision channels, including the Citizens’ Award public vote, culminating in a small monetary prize for the winner and a celebration at an awards ceremony. Furthermore, there will be great personal reward in looking back at all that has been achieved this year through the Natura 2000 network.
Applications with the following criteria will be particularly encouraged to apply:
Member States from which few applications have been received in the past (in particular Croatia, Malta, Sweden, Finland, Cyprus, Luxemburg, Romania and Latvia).
Applications from organisations whose day-to-day business is not typically centred around Natura 2000
Applicants to categories that receive lower numbers of applicants
Collaborative initiatives, especially between Member States
Applications focusing on innovative ways to pay for ecosystem services
Applications with smaller and or more local funding
Applications will be accepted online until 29 September 2023. NetworkNatureEU encourages those eligible to apply and showcase their achievements. More information available here.