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Natura 2000 – explained

Natura 2000 is an ecological network composed of sites designated under the Birds Directive (Special Protection Areas, SPAs) and the Habitats Directive (Sites of Community Importance, SCIs, and Special Areas of Conservation, SACs).

The European database on Natura 2000 sites consists of a compilation of the data submitted by Member States to the European Commission. This European database is generally updated once per year, so as to take into account any updating of the content of the national databases by Member States. However, the release of a new EU-wide database does not necessarily entail that a particular national dataset has recently been updated.

The descriptive data in the European database are based on the information that national authorities have submitted, for each of the Natura 2000 sites, through a site-specific standard data form (SDF). Amongst other site-specific information, the standard data form provides the list of all species and habitat types for which a site is officially designated.

The spatial data (borders of sites) submitted by each Member State are validated by the European Environment Agency (EEA), including as regard their consistency with the descriptive data.

Any problems identified through the above validation procedures in the national datasets are brought to the attention of the Member States concerned. However, it remains up to the Member States to decide whether or not to submit a revised dataset before the European database is updated. As a consequence, the EEA cannot guarantee that all inconsistences detected in national datasets are removed in the European dataset.

Please note that some Member States have submitted sensitive information that has been filtered out of this database. The following Member States have submitted sensitive information: Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Poland, Spain and Sweden. This concerns mainly species associated to specific sites. All reference to these species has been removed from the related sites. If this sensitive information is necessary to your field of research, please contact the Member States’ administrations individually. You can find a compiled list of national or regional Natura 2000 websites at the following address:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/natura2000/db_gis/index_en.htm#sites

There are specific terms and conditions relating to the use of downloaded boundary data within the United Kingdom. If you intend to use the UK data you must first agree to the end user licence http://www.jncc.gov.uk/page-5232

Protected sites in Ireland

Ireland is home to 28 species of land mammal, over 400 species of birds, more than 4,000 plant species and over 12,000 species of insect. If we want all of this to survive, we must ensure that there are enough suitable areas for all these species to flourish.

Source – European Environment Agency

Verde Environmental Consultants have significant experience in the preparation of appropriate assessment screening and Natura Impact Assessments for numerous projects in terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments across Ireland.

Find out more here.

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