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Prioritised Action framework

Within the European Union, Spain is the country that provides the largest surface area to the Natura 2000 network, the largest network of naturally protected areas in the world. In all, 27% of its land mass and more than 12% of its marine protected areas are included, accounting for nearly 2,000 designated sites.

In order to fulfil its community obligations and meet the needs of the Natura 2000 network, the Prioritised Action Framework document has been developed. This document contains relevant information on the conservation status of habitats, legal and administrative provisions for the protection and management of the Natura 2000 network, experience in the use of EU financial instruments and an estimation of the funding required for the adequate management of the Natura 2000 network. In addition, it establishes the strategic objectives and conservation priorities of the Natura 2000 network, the description of the key measures required to achieve these objectives and priorities, and the possibilities of financing.

STRATEGIC PRIORITIES

Five strategic priorities have been set out:

1. Increase awareness for better management.

2. Complete the Natura 2000 network in the marine environment.

3. Ensure the maintenance or restoration of a favorable conservation status for the types of habitat and species of community interest.

4. Improve surveillance and monitoring of Natura 2000 sites.

5. Provide the required information and training in order to achieve the established conservation objectives.

Given the level of investment in other complementary aspects related to the Natura 2000 network, priorities are also defined with regards to tourism and green employment, climate change, research, education, funding and awareness, as well as cooperation, including cross-border. All of these priorities are seen in relation to the management of Natura 2000.

To meet these priorities, almost 200 measures are defined and grouped under the aforementioned habitat types. In addition, in order to identify the financing possibilities of the measures included in the PAF (Prioritised Action Framework), the main European financial instruments and the main innovative financing tools are evaluated.

The PAF constitutes the cornerstone of the management of the Natura 2000 network and, is therefore the approach on which the LIFE IP INTEMARES is based. It is applied to all the marine sites of the Network, almost 300, and develops 98% of the PAF measures related to Spanish marine ecosystems