Integrating N2000 objectives in MPA management

Organiser: EUROPARC Federation

Moderators: Teresa Pastor, Europarc Federation & Laurent Sourbès, National Marine Park of Zakynthos


Many of MPAs in the Mediterranean have to implement the legal obligations stemming from the EU nature directives, based on a thorough understanding and integration of conservation objectives of the respective Natura 2000 sites.

Session overview


The Birds and Habitats directives are the cornerstone of nature protection legislation in the EU and their implementation is a major contribution to reaching the goals of the EU Biodiversity Strategy. The Birds Directive provides comprehensive protection to all wild bird species naturally occurring in the Union, including seabirds, while the Habitats Directive protects animals, plants and habitat types of EU importance, including key marine species and habitats. Under these directives, the Natura 2000 network of protected areas was established to afford effective protection to core biodiversity areas. The network is almost complete on land and is expanding at sea. MPAs designated under Natura 2000 have to be managed through conservation measures corresponding to the ecological requirements of the marine habitat types and species for which the site is designated and should lead to the achievement of the site’s conservation objectives. If appropriate, these legal obligations can be fulfilled by integrating measures into the management plans or other development plans.

Today, the marine part of the Natura 2000 network covers 4,9% of the EU Mediterranean waters and it represents the biggest share of current MPAs, largely overlapping with other MPA designations in EU waters (national designations/Barcelona convention). This means that many of MPAs in the Mediterranean have to implement the legal obligations stemming from the EU nature directives, based on a thorough understanding and integration of conservation objectives of the respective Natura 2000 sites. Some countries have developed approaches (e.g. national frameworks, management plans) that facilitate the definition of conservation objectives and the implementation of measures for Natura 2000 MPAs.


This session, with the presentation of concrete examples and case studies, will show how MPA managers can fulfil legal obligations on the management of Natura 2000 sites, and how to effectively integrate Natura 2000 conservation objectives and measures within their management plans. The session will explore benefits of having a common European legal framework and a wide European network. This specific event will be in line with the results and the priorities identified during the kick-off seminar for the marine EU Natura 2000 biogeographical process in St-Malo, France, in 2015. (


The Focus Session has the overall aim to contribute to fostering a network of actors engaged in improving the management of Natura 2000 marine sites in the Mediterranean. This session will focus on various management issues, addressed from a practical (rather than theoretical) point of view in order to spark the interest of MPA managers from all around the Mediterranean basin (not only managers of N2000 marine sites). This will contribute to promote a more coherent approach to MPA management across sites having different legal bases (Natura 2000, national/MSFD sites, SPAMIs).

The session will be focused on EU Med countries, and will be open to other non EU countries to inspire on the approach, philosophy and practices of effective Natura 2000 management at sea.




► Recommendations of the session


1- The human MPA network may support the EC and countries in strengthening the effective management of marine Natura 2000 sites, namely through capacity-building of Mediterranean marine Natura 2000 managers, thus better integrating with the Natura 2000 biogeographical approach.


2- Encourage Member States to allocate the necessary human resources to afford the adequate in situ management to designated marine Natura 2000 sites.


3- Beyond the boundaries of the network of marine Natura 2000, establish mechanisms in cooperation with and in support of non EU countries in order to warranty the conservation of key functional areas, namely for highly mobile species, in order to reach coherence of the Mediterranean MPA network.




CASE STUDY 1 : The management of Agathoise Coast MPA and Natura 2000 using the DOCOB (Document d’Objectifs) instrument

Speaker:  Renaud Dupuy de la Grandrive - Ville d’Agde (France)
The case study will present the management experience of the Agathoise Coast MPA, with specific reference to the use of the Document D’objectif instrument.


ETUDE DE CAS 2 : Challenges towards the creation and management of a new MPA around the Gyaros Natura 2000 site (CYCLADES LIFE Project, Greece)

Speaker:  Ioli Christopoulou, WWF Greece
The CYCLADES LIFE Project, coordinated by WWF Greece, is supporting the creation of a new MPA around the Natura 2000 site of Gyaros, in Greece. The case study will highlight, bringing practial experiences, how conservation objectives specific to Natura 2000 sites can be integrated in the overall MPA management. For more information :