Natura People is developing a transnational framework for the sustainable management of Natura 2000 sites. This is being done by integrating the sites within the rural economy, local economies and policy agendas.
To achieve this, the partners are working on the following objectives:
- Research to develop an economic model and case studies to demonstrate the economic value of Natura 2000 sites.
- Influencing and engaging with policy makers to support sustainable development and the natural environment
- Developing a transnational network of volunteers and visitors to share bird sightings, experiences and enthusiasm for the partner sites
- Integrating Natura 2000 sites within local economies by engaging with local businesses and developing partnerships with the tourism sector.
- Creating innovative people engagement strategies to attract more visitors and broaden the type of people attracted to the sites.
- Hosting seminars to discuss and promote the economic research and people engagement findings.
- Creating a bird migration database for use by enthusiasts across the region
- Improving the visitor experience at each partner site by improving the facilities, activities and access.
- Reaching 1,130,000 visitors over the whole of the project lifetime
Natura People is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the INTERREG IVA 2Mers Seas Zeeën Crossborder Programme 2007-2013.
The Programme promotes crossborder cooperation between the coastal regions of 4 Member States: France (Nord-Pas de Calais), England (South West, South East, East), Belgium (Flanders) and the Netherlands (South coastal area).
The partners in the project are:
- Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) (UK)
- Province of West Flanders (Belgium)
- Province of Zeeland (The Netherlands)
- Natuur- en Recreatieschap de Grevelingen, (the Netherlands)
The nature reserves which are benefiting from the Natura People project are: RSPB Minsmere (UK), Zwin (Flanders, Belgium), Waterdunen (Zeeland, the Netherlands), and the Grevelingen (The Netherlands).
The total budget for Natura People is €4,522,973 which includes a grant of €2,261,486 from the ERDF.
The Programme has three priority themes as well as a common priority with the France (Channel) – England INTERREG IVA Programme.
Priority 1: Creating an economically competitive, attractive and accessible area
Priority 2: Promoting and enhancing a safe and healthy environment
Priority 3: Improving quality of life
Priority 4: Common priority with the France (Channel) – England programme.
Natura People directly addresses Priority 2, promoting and enhancing a safe and healthy environment, by promoting, improving and managing nature, landscapes, natural heritage, and relations between urban, peri-urban and rural areas. In addition, the project supports tourism and promotes sustainable tourism (Priority 1), promotes, enhances and conserves common heritage and develops active leisure activities (Priority 3).