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LIFE Programme and Natura 2000

LIFE Programme is the EU’s financial instrument supporting the environment. The LIFE Programme will contribute to the development, implementation and updating of Community legislation on environment integrating it into the internal environmental policies of member states.

The LIFE-Nature aim, where the Life Lutreola Spain fits, is to contribute to the implementation of the EU Directive on the conservation of nature to maintain and enhance natural habitats and animal and / or plant species of Community interest designated spaces within the network "Natura 2000".

The Network "Natura 2000" integrates a set of natural spaces that are designed to halt the loss of biological wealth and to combat the deterioration of natural resources of the European territory. The Spanish network was constituted in Spain in November 2006.

The Natura 2000 net is an European ecological network of biodiversity conservation areas.  The continuing degradation of natural habitats and the threats on certain species are a primary concern of environmental policy of the European Union, and therefore Directive 92/43/EE on the conservation of wildlife and flora’s habitat (“Habitats Directive”), of 21st May 1992 aims to contribute to the maintenance of biodiversity in the Member States by defining a common framework for conservation of habitats, fauna and flora of Community interest. Therefore, the Natura 2000 network was created, the largest ecological network in the world. It includes special conservation areas designed by the Member States and special protection areas established under Directive “Birds” 2009/147/EC. Directives ‘Annexes I and II include the types of habitats and the species whose conservation require special areas designation.

The Annexe IV further defines priorities types of habitats or species (endangered) that require strict protection.

Spain is the European country with more areas included in the Natura 2000 Network, due to the high level of habitats and species biodiversity.