In a new project, financed by the European Commission, Alterra will look with partners from the Netherlands, Italy and the UK at how much nature is protected by the network of European protected areas which are together called the Natura 2000 network. Natura 2000 areas cover almost 20% of the land surface of the 28 member states. They already make a major contribution to the economy of Europe by providing a vital range of goods and (ecosystem) services that contribute to jobs and human wellbeing.
The Alterra led partnership will carry out its research over the coming year and it is expected that the results will have a wider influence in relation to a broad review that is presently being carried out by the European Commission in order to establish the ‘fitness for purpose’ of the current European nature legislation. Alterra researcher and project secretary René Henkens: “We are delighted to have got the contract through a competitive process. The work keeps Alterra and its project partners at the forefront of research that explores the interface between science, policy and society. I have no doubt that the results will make a significant contribution to our knowledge of nature protection policy in Europe and how successful it is in protecting common and special species and habitats, and will contribute to setting the future agenda for nature protection.”
The project partners are the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), the Italian Institute for Applied Ecology (IEA - Istituto di Ecologia Applicata – Sapienza, University of Rome), Dutch Butterfly Conservation (on behalf of Butterfly Conservation Europe), Sovon (the Dutch Centre for Field Ornithology) and the Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation, University of Twente (ITC-UT).