Joint Report of the Paralllel Audit to the implementation of the NATURA 2000 NETWORK in Europe
Report ID: 271

Natura 2000 is an EU wide network of nature protection areas established under the 1992 Habitats Directive.

As stated in the European Commission strategy to protect Europe's most important wildlife areas, the aim of the network is to assure the long-term survival of Europe's most valuable and threatened species and habitats. It comprises Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) designated by Member States under the Habitats Directive, and Special Protection Areas (SPA) designated under the 1979 Birds Directive.

From february to october 2007, the SAIs of Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, and United Kingdom participated in the audit, coordinated by the French Cour des Comptes with the technical  assistance of the European Court of Auditors.

The scope of the audit on implementation of the European Natura 2000 network was to  examine whether and how the provisions of the European Directives, and especially Article 6 of the Habitats Directive, were observed in an effective and efficient way. The audit examined three key elements, namely compliance, governance and funding.