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Naturefriends win European Natura 2000 award
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© European Union, 2015

Natura Trails Campaign announced as winning project of Natura 2000 award

Naturefriends Baden-Württemberg have been honoured by EU Commissioner for the Environment Karmenu Vella for their activities in the framework of the Natura Trails Campaign with the Natura 2000 award in the category Communication.

The award honours excellent campaigns, which communicate the value of the European Natura 2000 network of protected areas. “Combining Natura Trails, the Natura 2000-exhibition “Long live life”, and the Natura 2000 days convinced the European Commission. A wonderful day for Naturefriends,” says Alexander Habermeier, environmental expert of Naturefriends Württemberg.

Initiated 2002 by Naturefriends International, the Natura Trails Campaing aims to communicate the positive aspects of the European Natura 2000 network and to foster a nature-friendly behaviour in protected sites. By now, a network of more than 150 Natura Trails all over Europe spreads between the North Sea and the Black Sea.

„Natura Trails are designed to create awareness for the hidden beauties of nature. They are waiting to be explored, not only in remote regions, but often times also right where we are living. The campaign also aims to raise the awareness for the threats to nature, to motivate visitors to behave in a nature-friendly way, and to support the protection of the European natural heritage,” explains Andrea Lichtenecker, director of Naturefriends International. “Naturefriends Baden-Württemberg achieved these goals with their excellent activities. We congratulate all actors, especially all Naturefriends, who contributed with their voluntary work to this wonderful success.”

Facing the achievements of the Natura Trails Campaign, the ongoing debates on Natura 2000 are alerting Naturefriends all over Europe. There are claims within the European Commission to weaken the two nature directives building the basis for Natura 2000 in favour of short-term economic interests. “Winning the Natura 2000 award includes the obligation to go on with our commitment for the protection of our natural heritage,” says Andrea Lichtenecker.

Together with more than 80 environmental NGOs across Europe, Naturefriends are joining the online action “Nature Alert”, which supports the protection of threatened species and habitats and rallies against a weakening of European nature legislation. www.naturealert.eu, the web platform translated in over 25 European languages, allows EU citizens to participate to the European Commission’s public consultation and, by doing so, to contribute to the protection of biodiversity in Europe.

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