New study assesses effects of Natura 2000 in forests

Published on
What Science Can Tell Us 7

Forests are of crucial importance for Natura 2000, the EU-wide ecological network of protected areas. Nearly 25% of the total forest area in the EU is part of the network, but knowledge about how Natura 2000 is implemented in forests, and its effects on biodiversity, forest management and other land uses across the EU is fragmented.

The new What Science Can Tell Us Study from EFI, ‘Natura 2000 and forests: Assessing the state of implementation and effectiveness’, bridges this gap in knowledge. It looks from policy, economic and ecological perspectives at the monitoring of forest biodiversity in Europe, as well as the challenges, achievements, effectiveness and efficiency of the implementation of Natura 2000 in forests in the EU.

Lauri Hetemäki, EFI Assistant Director said: “the new EFI study brings together scientific knowledge and makes recommendations to help policy makers to deal with the many issues related to the practical implementation of biodiversity conservation in EU forests.”

The interdisciplinary scientific study was conducted by a team of 20 scientists from 11 research institutes in 11 countries. Ten of EFI’s Associate Members were involved.

The study’s main outcomes and policy recommendations will be discussed at the ThinkForest seminar, ‘Implementing Natura 2000 in forests: Lessons learned and looking ahead’ in Brussels on 27 September.

Further information

Metodi Sotirov (editor). 2017. Natura 2000 and forests: Assessing the state of implementation and effectiveness. What Science Can Tell Us 7. European Forest Institute.

The publication is published on 21.09.2017, and is freely downloadable:

An executive summary is available:

Further information from Lauri Hetemäki, EFI Assistant Director (lauri.hetemaki @

The European Forest Institute is an unbiased, science-based international organisation that provides the best forest science knowledge and information for better informed policy making. The What Science Can Tell Us series brings together cross-boundary scientific knowledge and expertise to strengthen science-policy dialogue on a focused issue.

This work and publication has been financed by EFI’s Multi-Donor Trust Fund for policy support, which is supported by the Governments of Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden.