Natura 2000 is the EUs key tool for halting biodiversity loss. In the Czech Republic, Natura 2000 covers 14 % of the territory. The latest reporting according to the Habitats and Birds directives concluded that 83 % of the targeted habitats and 69 % of the species were evaluated as Unfavourable-Bad; as far as bird species are concerned, 10 % of breeding and 20 % of overwintering populations were showing a short-term declining trend. Although the number of habitats and species in the category Unfavourable-Bad has decreased (from 46 % to 30 %)and in the category Favourable has increased (from 17 % to 23 %), present trends are insufficient to achieve Target 1 of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020. Long-term improvement of conservation status requires a comprehensive Natura 2000 site management cycle. To date, individual elements have been loosely linked and some phases of the cycle have only been partially performed. It is also necessary to set priorities for efficient allocation of limited resources, and improve communication with land users, stakeholders and the general public.
The main objective of the LIFE-IP: N2K Revisited project is to establish a more effective management system for Natura 2000 network sites in the Czech Republic. The aim is to link appropriate management more effectively with corresponding planning, based on accurate assessments of status and trends of the target features, accompanied by cooperation with land users. The project will effectively utilise knowledge of the benefits provided by natural capital to society and take into account relevant costs. The project will also support regional authorities, municipalities and land users to help them mobilise their own resources, including recommendations for the EU 2027+ programming period. Expected results: assessment of targeted habitats and species status for at least 95 % of sites; conservation priorities set on an annual basis and cross-site comparisons made to optimise resource allocation; about 400 annual and 100 multi-annual public law contracts negotiated with land users concerning site management practice; implementation of priority measures, evaluation of management effectiveness, and 150 management plans updated; management carried out at on at least 1 500 ha annually, with two innovative management practices tested and evaluated in 20 localities; assessment of benefits provided by the Natura 2000 network to society, ecosystem services mapped and published, a new methodology used to assess the benefits and costs associated with Natura 2000, and the National Ecosystem Services Platform incorporates these Natura 2000 benefits into decision-making on natural capital management; training of at least 400 Nature Protection Authorities (NPA) employees; financing analysed and established for Natura 2000 management and the necessary resources mobilised to secure the full implementation of the national Prioritised Action Framework (PAF) for Natura 2000 for the period 2014-2020; guidelines for public administration procedures, and recommendations on strategic and planning documents relevant to Natura 2000; and awareness raised about the Natura 2000 network and its benefits to society through dissemination activities, including a web tool to visualise ecosystem services, information materials, and the outcomes of three case studies on local Natura 2000 socio-economic benefits.
In addition to the IP budget itself the project will facilitate the coordinated use of complementary funding of approx. 4 million from the Mon&Inv project and the project NCIS2 Nature Conservation Information System 2 (both funded by the Operational Programme Environment 20142020).