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As a milestone in the Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process, the seminar serves the purpose of discussing issues of common concern and interest, in relation to the conservation and management of a number of habitats selected for priority consideration.

It aims at identifying conservation issues of major concern and proposing actions for reinforced cooperation and networking with a view to achieving better conservation status in the Atlantic biogeographical region. The seminar also discussed a proposed methodology for identifying so-called “low hanging fruit” habitats for which improvement of the conservation status could be achieved more easily and at a short term. The Seminar was organised by ECNC and Eurosite in close cooperation with the European Commission and the hosts, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of Ireland. It took place at the Falls Hotel & River Spa, Ennistymon Co. Clare in Ireland. The Seminar was attended by 90 delegates from 8 out of 9 EU Member States in the Atlantic region.

The Draft Seminar Report

The two day seminar started with four field trips on day one followed that evening by a knowledge market where attendees shared projects and ideas with everyone.   Day two opened with a number of presentations followed by thematic group discussions.

The full draft report can be found here.

Context of the Second Atlantic Natura 2000 Seminar

The Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process was launched by the European Commission in 2011 to assist Member States in managing Natura 2000 as a coherent ecological network. The Process provides practical means to exchange the information, experience and knowledge that are required to identify and define common solutions and develop cooperative actions, which can be delivered to ensure progress towards the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy targets, in particular to Targets 1 & 2.

As responsibility for the implementation of Natura 2000 and ensuring progress towards the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy targets lies with Member States, they are key actors in the Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process. The Process also provides an opportunity to mobilise expert networks and inputs from other key stakeholders, including NGOs. By doing so, it benefits from the experience of and input from Natura 2000 practitioners, expert stakeholders and Member States’ representatives with specific responsibilities for implementation of Natura 2000. This underlines the strategic and operational importance of the Process, the integrated inputs required from diverse actors and the opportunities available to develop concrete collaborative actions for future implementation.

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