In addition to preserving biodiversity for future generations, the Natura 2000 Network provides a wide range of other important benefits to society and the economy via the flow of ecosystem services.
Healthy freshwater ecosystems, for instance, provide clean water and help remove pollutants from the surrounding countryside. Intact wetlands act as natural buffers against floods, soaking up excess rainwater. Peat bogs help fix and store carbon dioxide, the number one cause of climate change, whilst forests improve air and soil quality.
In addition, Natura 2000 helps to conserve natural pollinators, preserve landscape and amenity values, as well as support tourism and recreation. By offering attractive breathing spaces, it provides ample opportunities for economic activities based on these valuable natural assets.
Healthy and well-functioning ecosystems sustained within protected areas can increase not only the range of ecosystem services, but also the resilience of ecosystems to resist and adapt to natural disasters and disturbances (e.g. climate change) also beyond the site level.
However, for the Natura 2000 Network to deliver its full economic and biodiversity potential, it is essential that every effort is made to restore the sites to a more favourable condition. Positive conservation action is vital if we are to safeguard Europe’s biodiversity for future generations and maximise the socio-economic benefits that flow from healthy
Download the synthesis report:
• The Economic benefits of the Natura 2000 Network: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/natura2000/financing/docs/Economic%20Benefits%20Factsheet.pdf …