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High Quality Data for Nature Policy

Results from checking the coherence of Natura 2000 and conservation status and trends data


Information gathered as part of the reporting on Natura 2000 sites as well as under Article 12 of the Birds Directive and Article 17 of the Habitats Directive represent among the most comprehensive, regularly updated and coordinated datasets on biodiversity in the European Union. These datasets are not only used in support to EU biodiversity policies, through generation of maps, indicators and other statistics but also increasingly by the academic world and stakeholders. A reliable quality of these data is thus crucial.

The data collected under the nature directives have to be ‘fit’ for the following purposes :

  • assessing and enhancing completeness of the Natura 2000 network (Natura 2000 sufficiency assessments)
  • quantification of restoration needs and prioritization in the PAFs
  • identification of habitats and species of priority concern for coordinated action among Member States such as the “Low Hanging Fruits”, to be discussed within the Natura 2000 biogeographical seminars
  • providing a regular assessment of the State of Nature in the EU
  • informing on progress towards the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020, for target 1 (fully implement the Birds and Habitats Directives), target 2 (maintain and restore ecosystems and their services) and target 3 (increase the contribution of agriculture and forestry to maintaining and enhancing biodiversity
  • characterising ecosystem condition as part of the MAES process
  • providing the biodiversity component of the “The European Environment – State and Outlook report” (SOER)
  • underpinning outreach products such as the “Natura 2000 Barometer and Viewer”

Furthermore the information reported on species and habitats distribution, conservation status and trends, as well as on threats and pressures is highly relevant to assess cross-sectoral policy impacts.

Results of data quality analysis

1) Coherence of Natura 2000 data

To note: This is a general analysis for all species information submitted to the Natura 2000 database including species where reporting population data is not a requirement

2) Consistency between Natura 2000 data and conservation status and trends data (Article 17/12 data)

a) Plausibility check on quantity of species/habitats in SDF compared to Article 17 & 12 data

b) Comparison of the quantity of species/habitats calculated from the SDF compared to reported data on Natura 2000 coverage under Article 17 & 12

c) Information on Natura 2000 sites

3) Additional analysis

National data quality fact sheets

last updated: 04.03.2019