The European Commission announced that May 21 would be the “European Natura 2000 Day”. On May 15, European Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Commissioner Karmenu Vella, European Parliament Environment Committee Chairwoman Adina-Ioana Valean, Committee of the Regions First Vice President Karl-Heinz Lambertz, and Malta Deputy Permanent Representative Neil Kerr signed the joint declaration proclaiming May 21 as the European Natura 2000 Day.
“With the European Natura 2000 Day we pay tribute to this unique network and its value for people and our economy,” Vella said.
“For me it is one of the European Union’s truly outstanding achievements: a network of over 27,000 protected sites, covering over 1 million square kilometres across the land and sea, made possible through the co-operation among all our Member States,” he added.
With the proclamation of the European Natura 2000 Day, the Commission has fulfilled its first pledge from the recent Action Plan for nature, people and the economy with the aim to improve communication and outreach, engaging citizens, stakeholders and communities.
Already this year, hundreds of local events and networking activities across Europe will mark the day. Today also saw the launch of the next round of the European Natura 2000 Award. This is another Commission initiative dedicated to rewarding excellence in the management and promotion of the network and raising awareness about Natura 2000 and its benefits to European citizens.