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Natura 2000 Network Handbook for journalists

The LIFE ‘Activa Red Natura 2000: Connecting people with biodiversity’ project has released its new publication ‘Natura 2000 Network Handbook for journalists’ in digital form, in Spanish and English versions. The handbook contains useful information on the Natura 2000 network, and an assessment of the weaknesses and strengths that hinder or foster communications concerning the network of European protected areas.

The Handbook for journalists was developed from a communications workshop on the Natura 2000 network organised by the LIFE project’s coordinating beneficiary SEO/BirdLife, the EFE news agency and the Association of Environmental Information Journalists (APIA). The workshop was held in Madrid in December 2013.

Based on the experience of journalists, the book contains practical advice on how to communicate the Natura 2000 network through a range of media. This advice helped draw up a Road Map for popularising the Natura 2000 network that includes 13 points or tips, such as “put a face to the Natura 2000 network”, “explain the benefits to people” and “involve sectoral media”.

The main objective of the ‘Natura 2000: connecting people with biodiversity’ project is to improve awareness of the Natura 2000 network. At the start of the project, it was estimated that the network was unknown to 85% of people in Spain.

The Handbook for journalists was produced as a key tool for bridging this knowledge gap. It is one in a series of project publications aiming to raise awareness of Natura 2000 among different stakeholders. The other project activities include training personnel working in Natura 2000 network sites and the organisation of the annual ‘European Natura 2000 Network Day’. A greater knowledge and appreciation of Natura 2000 can engender a sense of ownership and pride, facilitating a more effective implementation of the Habitats and Bird Directives.

For further information, visit the project’s website.